The practice of gift-giving is in itself quite a precarious tradition which we seem to be collectively having trouble figuring out to this day. Its precariousness is further compounded by the occasion on which a gift is called for, but it really doesn’t have to be all that difficult.
How do you go about picking out the perfect “thank you” gift, for instance? Well it depends on who you’re picking the gift out for and perhaps even more importantly, what your relationship with that person is. And that’s just it – when it comes to picking out a gift to demonstrate gratitude, you should generally not be aiming for practicality. You’re in a sense just trying to show your appreciation and not necessarily trying to go all out to pick out a gift that makes the recipient’s life easier. So no, you’re not going to be studying every last detail of the recipient’s life and then trying to find a gift that will make it easier in any way. What you rather want to do is just show that you appreciate whatever it is they may have done for you. So with that said, a git of gratitude is not meant to be practical.
This makes this a lot easier, doesn’t it?
Take a Hint
Sometimes it’ll be made very easy for you, like I remember once having to drop off an assignment with a lecturer I’d never seen in my life before and when we arrived at her office she was kind enough to lend us all her stapler so that our assignments wouldn’t get mixed up. She was very straight-forward about how we can thank her and hinted that she loves tulips — easy enough since we’d just all band some money together and buy a bouquet of tulips.
As it turned out however, different coloured tulips have different meanings, but we went ahead and had a bouquet with all the colours available arranged and the thank you gift was received in good faith!
So sometimes you can simply take a hint from the recipient and never have to break your head worrying about whether or not you’ll pick out a good thank you gift or not.
Make it a “Passive” Gift
Well you’ve probably figured out by now that getting the perfect thank you gift is a case of “solve for x” – you’re the one who has to go out and pick one out, ultimately. There’s no silver bullet perfect thank you gift because as mentioned, relationships between different people are indeed different.
That said, a thank you gift is a passive gift, meaning that it does not require any further action or engagement from the recipient to “enjoy” it. You give it to them, they receive it and that’s that. So no gift cards or vouchers which would require them to jump into their cars and drive to the mall or health spa, etc. to redeem it. It should be as simple as handing the gift over or having it delivered, perhaps with a nice “thank you” note attached.