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How to pick appropriate gifts for Christmas

Gift giving and exchange during the Christmas season has always been one significant part of the celebration and it is not over-looked by many. But…

Gift giving and exchange during the Christmas season has always been one significant part of the celebration and it is not over-looked by many. But did you know that picking the right gift can be a daunting task which can be very problematic, and can send an unintended message to the recipient?  Life Extra spoke sampled the opinion of shop owners and prospective shoppers on how to pick the right gifts for the Christmas season.
Joan Njoku, a gift shop owner in Wuse, says that: “Getting the right gift for Christmas or any other event can be stressful. But I advise people to bear in mind two keynotes when buying a gift, they are: ‘What is your budget and who are you buying for?’ When buying a gift you should have a laid down budget which you should not exceed because trying to get that perfect gift can lead you to extravagance and regrets, hence a budget should be duly stipulated and stuck with. Another thing the buyer should bear in mind is who you are buying the gift for. Is the person your mum, dad, girlfriend, wife, boyfriend, colleague etc. This would enable you know what you should buy, you shouldn’t get a gift meant for your girlfriend for your colleague, it would definitely send a wrong message.” Njoku adds that: “I also advise people to give gifts that would be appreciated by the receiver. You can do this by discussing with the person indirectly, just to know what he or she would cherish most.”
Lucy Inaji, opines that: “As a shop owner when I notice you are having problems picking a gift or you come to seek my help, the first question I ask you is ‘what does the person want?’ This question may seem ironic to you because you would be thinking that ‘if I knew what the person wanted, I won’t be seeking your help.’ But the reason I ask this question is because you may know what the person likes, the person’s taste and favourite thing. You would see that along the line when we start discussing about the person you are getting a gift for, you will end up having different ideas for a good gift that would be appreciated by this person. In all, I think knowing the person you are getting a gift for helps you get the right gift, especially during this season of Christmas.”
Chidinma Osaji, a 25-year-old student, is of the view that there is no perfect gift, but a gift gotten and well appreciated by the recipient is all that matters: “I know getting the right gift can be stressful especially in this season of Christmas, but it can also be easy. I don’t believe in stressing myself just to pick a gift because personally, I don’t think there is a perfect gift. When I want to get a gift for someone, all I consider is your gender, who you are to me, what is the occasion, age and profession? If I have this information, then I am good to go hunting for a gift for you. All I do when getting a gift is to pick a gift I know you would like and appreciate.”
Joshua Olarenwaju, complained that: “Getting the right gift can be very hectic for me, especially when I am getting a gift for my fiancé, I always want to pick the right one for her just to surprise her. Christmas is here again and I have been racking my head on the gifts I am going to get and which I should get and if it would be befitting and appreciated by those I would get it for.” Olarenwaju explains further that: “I have this strong believe that when getting someone a gift, it should be un-expected and I like that element of surprise that won’t be forgotten in a very long time. I like to give a gift that makes your jaw drop; it doesn’t have to be expensive but not expected and unforgettable.”
Jelilat Momoh, a shop sales representative, says: “In picking the right gift for this season one should bear in mind the following questions: How much do you have? Who are you getting the gift for? How well do you know the individual you are getting the gift for? How old is the person? What are the person’s likes and dislikes? All of these should be noted before hitting the shops and I can assure you that you would pick out the right gift this season without any help or assistance.”
Tom Oleary in an article titled ‘How to choose the perfect gift,’ states that: “There is another way to select the perfect gift but it involves changing our perception of what gift giving is all about. The problem is that we think about giving gifts as the exchange of physical objects. A useful alternative is to think of a gift as communication. When you give a gift to someone, what you are actually doing is speaking to them. You buy, make or discover a gift that says something to the receiver. They receive the gift, and if they are perceptive, they understand your message. Of course this is obvious, but somehow we forget it when we go to choose gifts. We focus first on the object or the need, and then check what message it conveys. You may have realised gifts are communication when someone gives you a gift and you are instantly aware of what it says.”
He adds that: “Some gifts communicate distance, others intimacy. Some say ‘I love your creativity,’ others ‘you should look after yourself.’ Some are downright insulting. What gifts communicate is seldom attached to their price tag or their prestige. Some of the gifts that I have appreciated the most have been practically free for the giver to arrange for me, but have said so much that they have been immensely valuable. If you harness this thinking, when you choose gifts, then you can quickly move towards the perfect gift.”
Oleary advises that: “Ask yourself first, “What do I want to say to this person?” Then move on to “What can I give them that will communicate this?” This is opposite to the more common “What can I buy them?” and then “What will they think of it?”

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