3 Steps to Coming Up With the Perfect Holiday Gift


Getting Christmas presents is so much fun, but picking them out for another person is a completely different story. It’s true that it’s the thought that counts, but at the same time if you are buying a present for someone, you want him or her to actually like it. Buying a Penn State sweatshirt or a pair of fuzzy socks for a friend or family member is boring and completely expected. But this year surprise your loved ones with something more creative and with something they will truly appreciate. Here are three steps to giving the perfect holiday present.

1. First, think about things they enjoy

When trying to figure out what type of present to buy, think about the things you know they enjoy. Maybe they have certain hobbies they are really involved in like collecting coins, playing a sport, hiking, etc; or maybe they have an obsession with shoes, cars, different types of brands, or a sports team. Even think about things they do on the weekend to relax such as going to spa, getting their nails done, or going to the gym. “I love receiving gifts that people put a lot of thought into because that means that they know me really well and obviously care about me,” says Sophomore Hospitality Management Major Sarah London. Then, once you figure out all the things that they love, choose one and start brainstorming of presents that would fit that theme.

2. Now, think outside the box

Steer away from the obvious gifts that come with their hobbies. For example, lets say you know your brother is obsessed with his favorite football team, the obvious gift would be a jersey. Instead, buy him a cooler with the team’s logo on it or hand paint a beer pong table in the team colors for him and his friends to use during tailgates. This type of creativity works for everything. If your mom loves going to the spa, buy her a heated lotion dispenser or incense they use during massages so she can have a part of the spa at home. If your friend loves working out, instead of buying gym clothes, sign them up for a Tough Mudder or a Color Run that you two could do together and pay for their entry. Branch out from the normal gift ideas and have a little fun with it.

3. Then, complete your present by wrapping it to perfection

Wrapping paper seems trivial because it gets ripped off savagely and thrown in the trash can anyway. But the appearance of your gift really gives it the final touch it needs to brighten your friend or family member’s holiday. Go to your nearest Dollar Store or CVS and grab anything you can to make your presents adorable. Wrap your present with cutesy Santa wrapping paper or a more elegant design, depending on the type of person you are giving it to, and then deck it out with bows, glitter, or stickers. “I love the glam for the holidays! All the shiny paper, pretty colors, and glitter makes my heart happy,” says London

Then, the gift is finalized with the perfect Christmas card that should represent your relationship with the person you are giving it to. For a friend, get something silly, for a parents get something sentimental, and for a sibling an obnoxious singing card is always a hit. Sign your name, or Santa’s, and happily give them your present.

This Christmas, turn away from the usual presents, and get something your friend or family member will truly enjoy. Surprise them with your creativity and put a smile on their face. Follow these three steps and Santa will have nothing on you.

Photo by Meghan Tranauskas

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