In many families, and amongst groups of friends, it’s become common for gifts to be selected from a list, much like wedding presents. You don’t know who is going to give you which present, but you do know what you’re going to get. The advantage of this is that you don’t end up with a load of boring old rubbish that you neither want nor like. It also makes gift buying easier for everyone, because you don’t need to come up with clever ideas. All very practical and sensible, but the joy of unwrapping something that surprises and delights you is missing; as is the pleasure your friend gets when they see your face light up. If you want to recapture that experience, you need to get creative.
Why surprises are risky
If you have spent time going to a lot of trouble and expense and believe you’ve come up with an exceptional gift idea that your friend is sure to love, only to be met with confusion and a request for the receipt, it’s understandable that you would want to avoid a repeat performance. By the same token, few people would want yet another purple sweater, just because their favorite color is purple. By sticking to buying gifts the recipient has asked for, there’s no risk of disappointment on either side.
Why taking risks is good
You don’t have to abandon the safety of the gift list, but the rewards of taking a risk and pulling it off are so worthwhile, it’s a shame not to go out on a limb on at least one or two gifts. To reduce the chances of failure, think about what they already have, and which of their passions you should avoid. If they love ceramic owls but have no room for anymore, don’t add to their problem. If they have an expertise in a specific subject, don’t be tempted to buy a related gift unless you are equally knowledgeable. Say they are a keen fisherman, you might think it would be a good idea to get them a new rod. Resist the temptation, as experts are very particular about their equipment and you will almost certainly get the wrong thing.
What sort of risks are worth taking?
Having considered the key questions above, how do you apply this information to your surprise gift purchase? For the owl lover, if they don’t have room for their collection, a clever idea would be a display cabinet to house the owls. If your friend is a big sports fan, tickets to see their team play are sure to be a big hit. Or for a real surprise, how about a starter pack for a new sport? Pickleball is gaining in popularity but is still something of a novelty, which you can find out more about at bestpickleballpaddlereviews.com. Or if your friend has always wanted to go surfing but never tried it, you could get a voucher for some surfing lessons.
The key to successful gift giving is to buy something the recipient would like, not something you would want for yourself or the latest trend. For example, a tour around a vineyard would be an awesome present for someone who loves wine, but not so great for a bourbon lover. The gift needs to be specific to the passions of the person who is receiving it, then you will be able to share that special feeling of spreading joy with your surprise gift.