The Perfect GiftThe holidays are here and the gift giving season is upon us.
Finding the perfect present for your spouse can be a tricky thing.
It’s easy to get caught up simply buying stuff and forgetting the real spirit of the season.
So what’s the secret to getting your loved one the perfect present this year?
It all starts with one word: intent
The goal of gift giving is to show your intent – that you care.
There’s the famous saying, “it’s the thought that counts”. And it’s true. But when it’s followed up with a genuinely cool present, it makes it the perfect gift.
It All Comes Down to Thought & Time
One of the best presents I ever received from my wife was a collage of a bunch of quotes and pictures in an 11” x 14” frame. The quotes were taken from her own journal of her thoughts about me when we were dating.
The pictures included snapshots of us while dating and also some little scrapbooky cut outs. It was cool.
I loved it because I knew how much work she had put into it. For starters, she’s not really a scrapbook kind of person. So I loved the effort that went into it. In fact, she had to get help from a friend who is a big scrapbooker.
Also, I loved the functionality of the gift. It really was cool looking and looked great on our bedroom wall.
Most of all, I absolutely loved that she put that much time and thought into creating a really cool gift for me.
The best presents often show the love that went into them, usually in unassuming ways. They’re not ostentatious but simply provide a gentle yet powerful reminder of the love of the gift giver to the receiver.
What to Actually Get
To get practical, I wanted to share some ideas of what you can actually do or get for your spouse this holiday season.
Below I share some ideas to help you brainstorm. I’ve organized them by the type of present with a few examples in each.
The Experiential Gift
Experiential gifts are the gifts that often give twice or even multiple times. They’re the kind of presents that mean the receiver will get to do something.
Many times, the best ideas include getting to do something together.
Ideas for experiential presents include:

  • Tickets to a show – broadway shows, opera, monster truck rally, or even movie tickets
  • Vacation tickets or reservation – book a cruise, extended stay vacation, or a tour
  • Skydiving, golf lessons, scuba certification, or anything active and outdoorsy

The Created Gift
The created gift is like the example I gave of my wife making me a picture collage. For the right brainers out there, the process itself is rewarding and the payoff is presenting your spouse with something made with your own two hands.
Ideas can include:

  • Photo or quotes collage
  • Scrapbook or photo book
  • Homemade video on DVD
  • Art – paintings, ceramics, even jewelry
  • T-shirt or hat

The Purchased Gift
Some of the best presents can actually be purchased. You can still demonstrate the time and thought you put into them by what you actually get.
Because everyone is different, instead of listing out what to actually buy for your spouse, I’ve listed some things to keep in mind when whipping out the wallet.

  • Pay attention to what they talk about and what they say they want/need – practical presents are always good
  • Check out his/her Amazon wish list – this is kind of cheating but at least you know they really want it!
  • Gift cards are always good – gift cards to a specific place (Bass Pro Shops or Victorias Secret or where ever) work to show you at least know what your spouse likes

Make it the Best Present Yet!
The big goal here is to help you think about your spouse. Instead of just running out to the mall and grabbing something, spend some time thinking and observing your partner.
What do they like? What do they need? If you were them, what would you love to get?
Think about what would make the perfect gift and be open to inspiration. Then go about working on that perfect present and share it with love.

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