5 steps for finding the perfect gift

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By: The View from 5'2"



Gift giving can be so tricky and stressful if you're looking for something extra special or are stuck on what to get for someone. Whether it's a loved one, a friend or a new flame there always feels like there's more pressure on it than should be.

I'm more of the 'nostalgic and thoughtful' gift giver–I prefer quality over quantity (and sometimes even timeliness) because I've found that when it comes from the heart, those are the best gifts to give and receive.

When I sit down to think about where to start I usually go through a quick list in my head for ideas.

1. WHAT DO THEY SPEND MOST OF THEIR TIME DOING?
For me, that's pretty easy. I love to eat and explore, spend time with family and friends, blog and travel. For my parents it's mostly focused on travel. For my sister and her family they're at home a lot with my nephew so those are their two top priorities. If you're unsure and it's someone you're just getting to know, if it's a girl she most likely has a Pinterest board and that's always a good place to start to get a general idea.

2. PICK ONE OR TWO OF THEIR FAVORITE THINGS. WHAT DO YOU SEE OR KNOW THEY LIKE THE MOST ABOUT THOSE?
If you look at my outfits or my Pinterest inspiration boards, I tend to wear a lot of the same things when it comes to my style. I love jeans and have a special affinity for stripes. I love to travel to visit friends and family and have a ton of trips coming up this year and don't have any staple bags that I use regularly. My parents love traveling but have their luggage already sorted out, however, enjoy excursions on their trips. My sister and brother in law don't get to get out often because they have a 2 year old, so when they do it's usually to a concert or movie in the area.

3. ARE THERE ANY PATTERNS YOU'VE OBSERVED OF THEIR FAVORITE THINGS OR ANYTHING THEY'VE STARTED THAT'S NEW RECENTLY?
My Dad hasn't been golfing as much as he used to and that used to be my go-to gift idea, but he has gotten a lot more into grilling and cooking and they love having people over. My Mom is quite the shopper these days but is still working so sometimes doesn't see things that I do when I'm browsing. She loves lightweight coats that are easy to pack for traveling and crossbody bags for her trips. My sister and brother in law love working out on the weekends and in the summer go for long walks with my nephew.

4. WERE THERE ANY MAJOR EVENTS OR OCCURRENCES IN THEIR LIFE THIS YEAR THAT MIGHT BE MEANINGFUL TO COMMEMORATE?
Sometimes these are harder to shop for unless things pop up and remind you of that person, but you can also think about friends who have recently gotten engaged or married, moved into new houses or celebrated something extra special. I stumbled upon these state necklaces that are a really sweet way to focus on something that means a lot to that person if they're particularly nostalgic about where they're from. These adorable little airport charms are also great for someone like me who has lived in a few different cities. I also think that buying art or framed pictures for people you know well know can be a great option. I have a Prada marfa print from a favorite Gray Malin because it reminds me of Texas, but also eventually want to have a piece from his Chicago collection (shot during the time I was living there shortly after I got to meet him through some friends) and one from his New York collection as well. Anyone who knows me well knows that my travels and adventures have really made a huge impact on my life and especially the people that I've met in those places.

5. IS THERE SOMETHING SPECIAL OR UNIQUE ABOUT THAT PERSON THAT YOU CAN HIGHLIGHT?
Two of my best friends are teachers and some of the most thoughtful people that I know. I know they're always looking for teacher appropriate but still cute clothes and also like to remind them of what an amazing impact they're having on their kids lives. Whether they're serving our country, other peoples' children, or have special talents and gifts those are great opportunities to find gift able ideas.

What do you think about when it comes to finding the perfect gift?

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