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Finding Birthday Gift Ideas.

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by: Claire Calkin
Most of us frequently ? if not all the time ? are short of good birthday gift ideas. Regardless of who the intended recipient is, whether it is a brother, sister, mum, dad, grandparent or in-law, often we all end up frantically searching through shopping malls for the elusive perfect birthday gift. All too often unfortunately, all these stores seem to stock only products that fall into one of three categories ? they are either unsuitable, overpriced or impractical.

So when you are looking for birthday gift ideas it can help to bear in mind the following points. Firstly, does the recipient deserve the efforts you are going to find them a gift? If they are a passing acquaintance or you find them disagreeable, then perhaps a gift is not necessary. If the person does deserve a gift, you should determine to what extent you want to go to for them. Are they worthy of you trudging through a crowded shopping mall for? Quite often, the quest for good birthday gift ideas can take longer than initially envisioned, so it is important that you only extent this for gifts for the people most important to you.

Often, before setting out on a shopping expedition to the mall, or online, it is good to have a think about your intended recipient. What are their interests? Have they been dropping any subtle hints about something they may particularly want or need? In some cases, you are geographically distant from the recipient, so it may be hard to determine quite what they may be looking for in a gift. However generally you will have at least a rudimentary knowledge of the person interests and what they like. You should also determine prior what your budget is for the gift, and stick to this. While you are likely to see otherwise suitable gifts outside of your budget, you should stick to your original budget lest exceeding it should cause consternation.

When it comes to choosing from different gifts you should always consider whether the item in question is most suited to your recipient. Some of the questions to ask of the prospective gift include, Is it in some way useful? Could it bring the recipient enjoyment? And perhaps most importantly, is it something I would like to receive myself? If the gift meets these criteria and fits within the budget, then chances are it is entirely suitable.

Many people tend to give vouchers or money rather than a physical gift. The reasoning behind this is that it allows the recipient to spend the money as they see fit on a gift that they will surely like. The advantages for the gift giver is that it is a somewhat faster process than trudging through a mall trying to locate a suitable physical gift, and they can console themselves with the thought that they have given something of true value to the recipient. In many cases however, the reverse of these objectives is achieved. Often, the recipient may ? while grateful for a gift in the first place ? may consider voucher or money as the easy way out, in that the person who gave them the item did not think it worth the time or effort to locate a physical gift. The reality is, once received, money and vouchers are rather easily dispensed with, and for the recipient it is difficult to relate the fruits of the money or vouchers to the person

This said, certainly there are places for the gifting or money or vouchers ? specifically to those located abroad or who are otherwise geographically distant.

The reasons to buy presents in advance greatly out weight the reasons not to. When you begin preparing for birthdays and Christmas at the start of the year you can buy presents that are less expensive, more thought out, less stressful experiences and more time to relax. If you leave present shopping until a few days before, you will have to pay the price the retailer asks for a particular item instead of buying it when it was on sale a few months earlier. Especially with Christmas, this season can be stressful and it takes time and money to buy all the presents required in only a few days. Waiting in long queues is no fun either. It is ideal to buy presents ahead as you can spend more time on this present, less money and get them something they will really appreciate. It is great to shop around over the course of year to find gifts to suit everyone in your family. You can buy them on sale then store them safely away in the closet until it is time to bring them out.

About the author:
Claire Calkin operates several websites offering advice on social conventions and etiquette.

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