Jen, our head of brand marketing, is one of the best gift givers I know. So, I’ve asked her to give us her tips.
What's your gift giving strategy?
Well, the other day I was in the car for waaaay too long so I turned off the radio and thought about each and every person I need to buy a gift for and I thought about THEM - their likes, their quirks, what they might want or need, funny things that make them who they are, their love language. And I go from there. I find that the best gifts to give are the personal ones, the ones that show that you have taken the time to really look at who they are, what they like, and what means the most to them. I also try and think about what they might be going through at the time and how I can help them.
Tell us about the best gifts you've given:
I pride myself on my Christmas gift to my dad - I struggled for years for that hard to buy for man. Finally, I found a company that sends a box of frozen fish every year from Lake Huron. He is older and can’t take fishing trips to Michigan like he used to. Food can be such a great gift! I once gave bread and butter as a birthday gift to someone I didn’t know very well who happened to mention they liked expensive french butter a month earlier. I gave my daughter a fun "birthday video" in quarantine because she couldn't have an in person party. I always try and make it personal. And in my opinion, the quirkier, the better.
Have you heard of Love Languages? There are 5 different languages and the strategy is to speak in the language that the recipient understands. The concept was introduced in a book by Gary Chapman called The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts
The 5 love languages are:
Words of Affirmation
Acts of Service
Usually the way that someone shows their love is also the way they feel loved. Don't know yours? Take the quiz here
Jen has put together an invaluable list of gift ideas based on the 5 different love languages.
Love Language: Words of Affirmation
If someones love language is words of affirmation, how about writing them a letter about what they mean to you? You could also give them a stack of books you think they might like, inscribed with a personal sentiment in each one. Not the best with words? How about a “Mixtape” on Spotify, carefully curated that will bring a smile to their face. I still remember the first mixtape I received from a junior high crush- words plus music? Swoon! Another idea is a video packed with people they care about saying what they mean to them. I'm working on this project right now - 52 things I love about you - write on a deck of cards one thing you love about them on each card. Also -here are some quote jewelry ideas for those words of affirmation gifts that they can wear each and every day to be reminded of how you feel.
Love Language: Quality Time
This one is easy! Date night baskets are such fun ideas and PERFECT for the quality time love language! Just plan out a date and give your significant other all of the components they need – Are they a foodie? Give them a restaurant gift certificate for you both. Or how about get 2 passes to a yoga class that you can take together. Spa day (at home or at a spa) would be an ideal gift for someone who needs a little pampering. Concert tickets, sporting events tickets, a weekend away, there are gifts for every kind of budget for quality time. You could even give them a coupon book filled with homemade coupons “Good for one hour of undivided attention,” “Good for a walk in the woods” and/or “Good for one weekend away.” The gift of education is always a good thing as well - nowadays there is a masterclass online for nearly any new skill you want to learn. A friend and her husband are taking a Ikebana class together (the Japanese art of flower arranging). Hearing about their experiences during class makes me chuckle.
Love Language: Receiving Gifts
This is the love language of gift giving is for those that truly love to be spoiled! Flowers for no reason, a surprise bottle of wine, an over the top, perfectly thought out gift for every special occasion. These are more or less the “traditional” Holiday gifts. Have they mentioned anything special lately? Obviously the options are endless for this love language. Clothing, Jewelry, Perfume, the list could go on and on……On a budget? How about homemade yummy treats, pre-loved items (pre-read books, children’s clothing or that sweater that your best friend has been coveting). DIY projects are also great (lip balm, propagated plants, candles, art). Obviously I’ll mention that there is some nice Chocolate and Steel jewelry in this category too.
Love Language: Acts of Service
Who wouldn’t love a cleaning “coupon,” a yard service, an oil change, a charity donation in their name. How about a surprise home cooked meal? Clean the house, have candles lit, and prepare a home cooked meal for your wife, husband, boyfriend, or girlfriend. This is such a classic thoughtful gift that involves romance and a special act of service. A staycation is another great idea. Just the same as planning a trip only, in some ways, this can be even better. Whether it’s planning out full-fledged dates or just things to do for a day at home, taking care of the planning and preparation is a gift in-and-of itself!
Love Language: Physical Touch
a gift certificate to a massage, a spa day (at home or at a spa), a getaway, a manicure/pedicure, cozy slippers and a robe. Weighted blankets are great gift ideas for the love language of physical touch because they basically generate the feeling of a hug…all night long! Bath bombs are another easy gift idea that is perfect for people that crave physical touch, especially if you’re putting together a basket of gifts of something that is sensual and thoughtful. I'm also coveting this massage gun in case there are any readers out there who want to buy me a gift.