The act of giving presents is a universal expression of love, appreciation, and connection. But to ensure that your gifts hold lasting value, it’s essential to approach the process with intention and thoughtfulness.
In this episode, we’ll explore the concept of gift-giving as an individual sport versus a collaborative endeavor, and we’ll provide you with valuable insights on how to assemble the perfect gift-giving team.
Remember, you’re not alone in this venture; your recipient, their friends and family, and even the vast online community can be your allies in creating moments of joy and appreciation.
No More Selfish Gift Giving
First and foremost, let go of selfish gift-giving.
Your top priority should always be to present a gift that your recipient truly desires. It’s about them, not you.
This shift in mindset is the beginning of creating gifts that stand the test of time, leaving a memorable impact.
Shortcuts for Those Last-Minute Surprises
We all find ourselves racing against the clock at times. Fear not, Patrick (from Better Gift Coach) gathered some handy shortcuts for those last-minute gift-giving scenarios.
Learn the art of “always on hand” gifts—stock up on universal, charming presents that are perfect for just about anyone. Consider having items like tea towels in your gift arsenal, a practical and thoughtful choice.
Additionally, don’t forget to scour your own desk and dresser drawers. Hidden within might be keepsakes that can be transformed into cherished gifts. For instance, a ticket stub from Paris, framed and presented, can evoke wonderful shared memories.
And don’t hesitate to replace or upgrade something that’s broken or no longer serving its purpose. It’s a practical way to show someone you care.
Solving the Conundrum of Difficult-to-Shop-For Individuals
Dealing with challenging recipients is another aspect of mastering the art of gift-giving. Whether they seem to have everything, possess unique tastes, or are uncomfortable receiving gifts, Patrick has strategies to help you navigate these situations.
For those who appear to have it all, opt for experiential gifts that create lasting memories rather than filling their physical spaces.
When confronted with people of unique tastes, the best course of action is simple—ask them directly what they desire.
And for those uncomfortable with traditional gifts, consider experiential presents as well. They often make the most meaningful gestures.
Hallmark Gifts, Practical Gifts, and Fun Gifts
Finally, we’ll delve into the world of gift categories. Explore the timeless charm of Hallmark gifts, which are infused with sentiment and tradition.
Discover the beauty of practical gifts that serve a useful purpose while still making the recipient smile. And of course, embrace the fun gifts that bring joy, laughter, and a sense of playfulness into the art of gift-giving.
So, whether you’re striving for lasting value or navigating the maze of gift-giving dilemmas, this episode has you covered
A B- gift-giver by nature, Patrick Kucharson runs Better Gift Coach, a free newsletter that is a weekly 1-minute shortcut to always having awesome gift ideas well in advance.
Each week, he enjoys sharing a story of the best gift someone has ever received, analyzing it, and providing guidance on how others can replicate it.
His newsletter has been featured in Real Simple Magazine and The New York Times.
Connect with Patrick
Links Mentioned in This Episode
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Transcript of This Episode
I’m sure you know what it feels like to receive a gift that you really like. You probably tried to smile through it and say, Yeah, thanks. It’s great. But what if we could change things up? What if you could be the one that gives the best gifts? Now that is what I want to talk to you today about with my guests. And I’m super excited about this episode, because this is a real happy mom first. This is the first episode that I’ll actually have a guy on the podcast. Because we’re entering into the holiday season. I really think that this is a great time to talk about the art of giving great gifts. Hey there, my name is Toni-Ann. I’m the podcast host of the real happy mom Podcast, the podcast for busy working moms who need help with time management and achieving their big goals without pulling their hair out. And fun fact about me, my favorite cartoon is Scooby Doo. And in this episode, I am going to be talking to my guests all about giving good gifts. So if you need a little help or inspiration, this episode is for you. So let’s jump into unwrapping the secrets of giving great gifts. So my name is Patrick Kucharson.
So I’m an average gift giver by nature, I want to stress that. So I’m an average gift giver by nature, who committed about two years ago, I’m gonna find shortcuts that make me outperform my nature as a gift giver that make giving good gifts a lot easier. And I got so good at it. Now I’m someone who enjoys coaching others on how to be better gift givers. And I run a weekly newsletter that’s called better gift coach. And every week, we inspire our readers by sharing a story of the greatest gift that someone’s ever received or given. And then I provide some analysis and guidance on how one can go about replicating that guests for the for their own people in their lives.
Nice. Now I know you shared a little bit about how you got started a few years ago with committing to give him better gifts. Now, I’m just wondering, what are some of the kids that weren’t so great that you gave? And what were some of the responses?
Oh, well, you know, so I’ve been married for a bit now. And we were together before that for a while. So I wouldn’t say that I was ever giving like d or f gifts, but a lot of sees, you know, just par for the course just trying to get by almost treating gift giving, like a check the box exercise, right? So there were plenty of times where it’s just like, you know, hey, what do you want? Okay, send me the link for you know, that T shirt in that color in that size, all ordered for you. And boom, there’s a gift, right? And we can get into this in a little bit like, I don’t have a problem with that kind of gift giving actually science would back that. That’s okay, that’s pretty good gift giving. But it just didn’t feel like fulfilling or meaningful gift giving. So that’s really an inflection point for me. And where I look to, to create shortcuts to make sure that you know it’s a fulfilling, meaningful experience for the gift giver and the gift recipient.
Got it. So I know that since you’ve been doing this for a couple years now, you’ve seen some really good gift giving, and some not so good gift giving. So what are some of the common gift giving mistakes that you’ve seen?
Yeah, good question. So I normally summarize it with three. So number one, it’s not being proactive. So if you just set aside one to two minutes a week to actively get into what I call that gift brainstorming mode, year round, you are going to find yourself in one of the sweetest spots you can possibly ever be. And that’s having, you know, being relieved that you have a ton of great gift ideas well in advance and being excited to give those gift ideas. So just be proactive year round. And you’ll find that gift giving is a lot easier. And that’s really what the newsletter the better gift coach newsletters about, it’s helping people get into that gift brainstorming zone every week in an enjoyable way. So not being proactive would be the first common gift giving mistake. The second. And this is one that I recognized myself. And that’s treating gift giving as a solo sport, when it really should be treated, or at least it’s a heck of a lot easier when you treat it like a team sport. So a lot of us just sit there and say, Oh, I got to think of a gift idea for X, Y and Z. And we do that we go on that journey alone. But let’s talk about who could be on your team to make that a more productive, easier experience for you. So your first teammate and this is probably your first and most important teammate that you should consider is the gift recipient. themselves. So there are tons of academic studies that support that people much prefer to give to receive gifts that they’ve requested, over Surpriser unrequested gifts. Okay, so I am a total proponent of just asking someone, what do you want, and we can delve into other ways that we can make that a more fulfilling experience for later in the conversation. But first, and most importantly, the gift recipient should be your most important teammate. And gift giving. The second would be their friends and family. Right. So I’ve won brownie points over brownie points by just reaching out to my wife, Sister friends, months in advance of her birthday, and just saying, hey, you know, do you have any ideas for gifts for her, and sometimes we’ll provide it and sometimes they’ll go on little covert missions to figure out what might work. Right. So their friends and family, the gift recipients, friends and family are great teammates, your friends and family are the third type of teammate that I encourage people to try. So that’s really how the the newsletter started is I just started asking my friends and family and people in my network, hey, what’s the best gift you’ve ever received or given they would share those stories, and then I would just pretty much copy or recreate those gifts for myself for my own people for about their own gift recipients in my life. And then lastly, your last potential teammate and gift giving game would be strangers online. There’s great subreddits like gifts and gifts ideas, as well as communities like better gift coach that people can turn to where you have really good gift givers who you know, that’s their love language, they enjoy helping other people brainstorm gift ideas. So looking for strangers online would be a great idea too. And then the last gift mistake would be selfish gift giving, and we’re all guilty of this. It’s okay. So my best advice, anytime you’re giving a gift is your top priority should be giving a gift that your gift recipient wants to receive. That should be your top priority. It’s okay to have secondary priorities of gifts that you want to actually give. But it’s so important to make sure your top priority is gifts that they want to receive being prioritized over gifts that you want to give. So those are my top three.
Nice now these are all really, really good. I’m over here taking notes now. And I wanted to talk to you a little bit because you brought up love languages. I’m just thinking about one of the ladies that I work with in their love language is giving gifts. And I’ve learned with her it’s not always the most expensive gift, the most luxurious gift, but it’s something that’s thoughtful, that really makes her light up. And she absolutely loves receiving something, even if it’s something that simple is like a 50 cent candy. So I’m thinking about the person whose love language is gift giving. And they can find it a lot easier to give gifts, because that’s just what they do. And that’s just their language. But there’s other people who don’t find it as easy or as natural to give gifts. And there’s probably people listening who are feeling like okay, Patrick, I get all that that sounds great. But sometimes you’re in the moment and you have to get something quick. So I’m wondering if there is some things that come to mind, especially if there’s someone that you may have worked with, that you may have found helpful when you’re trying to get something quickly when you don’t have the months to prepare and be proactive in also running into the holiday season. And someone may wait or forget about an individual. So what would you say that can help with this?
Yeah, fantastic question. And we all live busy lives, I totally get it. I don’t look down on a gift giver who gives himself one week to give a gift that’s just normal life these days, right? For a lot of people, especially the people who you mentioned, their love language is not gift giving, like mine, my gift giving not love language. So let’s talk about some of the shortcuts. I’ll go rapid fire then, of course, if you have any questions, please, let’s just dive deeper into into any of them individually. So the first one is, my wife does a really good job of this. So she gets what I call always on hand gifts. So she in particular loves these tea towels, his hand towels for the kitchen, and she just stalks up on them from a local artist. And we find ourselves almost on a, let’s say quarterly basis, being in a position where we’re like, hey, we need to, you know, give a housewarming gift or we forgot to get a gift for this person or should we get a gift for this person. We didn’t really think about that person. We probably shouldn’t give a gift to that person. And we go right into the jewelry. We keep the tea towels. We wrap them up. They’re beautifully given and they’re awesome gifts. So there’s one shortcut is just how Have universally appreciated gifts on hand on stock at home that you can delve into whenever you need a last minute gift. That’s number one. The second one and I do this, I love this. And this is a, this is a shortcut to not only a last minute gift, but a usually a really, really thoughtful gift one of those gifts that people will remember and make them smile. So some people ask what’s the best place to go shopping for gifts? My answer is often go in your desk, or dresser drawers, and look for what’s called unrecognized DIY keepsake gifts. So it might be a ticket stub or an old note that or something else said that it elicits a shared memory between you and your gift recipient. And you can repurpose it in a way where it’s a really thoughtful gift. So one of the I’ll give you an example one of the subscribers to the better gift coach newsletters submitted the best story that she’d ever received. And that was her husband simply took a ticket stub from their trip to the Eiffel Tower. And he framed it and gave it to her in a little under a little inscription that he wrote that said like we’ll always have Paris, right. And that’s her favorite gift that she’s ever received. And all he had probably did was I don’t know if he was proactively thinking about it, or it dawned on him while he opened a drawer and looked at it. But go shopping in your dresser and desk drawers, you’ll find a treasure trove of gifts potential. Two other ones are a little bit more practical. So I call it the replace or upgrade, shortcut. So if someone has something in their life that you know they love, and it breaks, or they lose it, or there’s an opportunity to upgrade it, that’s usually a shortcut for you, and an opportunity for you to just get a gift that does that. And then lastly, how do I put this so the shortcut would be room give gifts that remove some of their biggest annoyances. So people always ask me, Patrick, you know, what’s one of the best gifts that you’ve ever received? I would say that it’s my Vitamix. And my wife gave me a really practical gift. But she sat there for years when we were dating and watched me chew my smoothies in the morning, because I was using an old blender that just didn’t do a job of grinding up with kale. So she got me a Vitamix that I use pretty much every morning now. And she gets the you know that gift givers high almost every morning to just sit there and every once in a while she’ll just smirk and be like, do you like that Vitamix? Hmm. And yeah, I do. I love it, it’s a great gift. So she she recognized the biggest annoyance in my life of chewing down my smoothies and, and solved it with a gift. So those are those are quick for ones.
Oh, these are all really really good. And I’m feeling a lot better as far as getting ready to jump into the holiday season and even some birthdays that are coming up for some people in my life. So these are really really good tips. Now one thing I did want to circle back to is just asking what makes a really good gift. Because Because given a gift can mean different things to different people. So what have you seen makes a great gift or what would you say makes a great gift?
Fantastic question. So I’ll answer what makes in my opinion, a great gift. And then I’ll answer what I think makes a perfect gift. Okay, so a great gift is one that offers the gift recipient what I call lasting value, and that can come in practical or emotional flavors. So practical flavor might be the Vitamix my wife gave me right that’s a very practical gift that I often use. Emotional might be the ticket stub that the husband that I referenced earlier gave his wife from their trip to the Eiffel Tower. So those both have lasting value just in different flavors. So any gift that offers that lasting value, that’s a great gift lasting value to the gift recipient. Now what makes a perfect gift because gift giving is a two way sport right? There’s not only a gift recipient but there’s a gift giver of course. So the perfect gift is one that offers the gift recipient that lasting value. But then also is one that allows the gift recipient or the sorry the gift giver to witness that value. Perfect example would be the Vita Mexican. Right so not only is it a fantastic gift that continues to offer me the gift recipient practical value, but it offers my wife the the value of have the pleasure of getting to see me enjoy that value, right witness she gets to witness that value.
I love this. This is so good. And I am just thinking about some of the great gifts or perfect gifts that I’ve given. But I know that in particular, I have my husband’s birthday coming up in he has been dropping hints on wanting this 120,000 other car and I keep thinking in my head. Yeah, keep dreaming. Like, I’m not buying that. And you’re not either. But I know that there are ways to find great gifts for those people that are a little bit difficult to shop for. Because we all have those individuals in our life that aren’t the easiest to shop for it. So how can you help us with this?
Are you talking about mentorian? Oh, I see I can read between the lines, we’re talking about men, I am totally aware that the men, myself included sometimes are not the easiest to shop for. But let’s just let’s expand out for men, because obviously there are women who are also challenging to shop for. And I would say that people who are challenging to get gifts for usually come in three flavors. So there’s those who have everything. In which case, I would stick to gifts that are experiences because he really can give gift themself many experiences, especially not together time experiences, right. So that’s one flavor, those who have everything. The second flavor of people who are hard to get a gift for would be people with unique or specific tastes. My advice is within reason, if those type of if you’re giving a gift to that type of person, ask them what they want, have them provide you a link and just give them what they want. Right? Studies with support, that’s what you should be doing. And the last flavor of person who’s typically difficult to get a gift for is those who are uncomfortable receiving gifts. All right. So what I found in my own personal life, is that experience gifts, or experiential gifts, or are great gifts, or those types of people, because even if they’re uncomfortable receiving gifts, a lot of times they are comfortable with spending quality time with you. So if you can organize that in a way where they’re comfortable, that’s usually a good gift. But I’m also still a fan of if someone says, don’t get me anything, I don’t want anything. Sometimes you should just listen to them stick to their wishes and and don’t give them anything. And if you feel compelled to give them something, just give them a handwritten note that shares it, you know, your your appreciation for them. And you know, your how lucky you feel to have them in your life. That’s always a great gift. It’s free. And it’s usually well received.
Nice now the one last thing I wanted to jump into is some of the best gifts, I wanted you to highlight some of the best gifts that you’ve heard about or that you give in or maybe even Burma, those that you have spoken about in your newsletter that have given to others.
All right, I have a gift for you. Let’s play a game. Right? It is a choose your own adventure game. So you pick Do you want to hear a hallmark worthy gift? A practical gift or a fun gift? Let’s do practical, practical. Sure. So I think one of them that kind of already mentioned is just go back to why I’m telling stories here. So a practical gift story that one of the better gift coach subscribers shared would be that when his now wife, but at that time girlfriend, the two of them were dating, they stumbled into a flea market or a thrift shop. And they bought this E T shirt drinking class waterglass et the movie, you know, et phone home. So after I think 10 years of being together, it broke. And she was devastated. So what he did was, he went on eBay and found the exact glass and surprised you’re with it for their anniversary. And that was just a really practical but thoughtful gift of just, it’s a great example of if something breaks, or it’s lost, just replace it. Right? It’s great gift idea. I’m also a fan. If you’re talking about practical gifts, of just giving someone an IOU and a handwritten card. It works really well. There’s no rule that says that you you need to give a gift on the day of the gift giving event. If you’re if you’re giving gift to someone who’s going on a vacation, let’s say in a couple months, you can just say hey, you know, here’s an IOU for, you know, when you’re on vacation, I’m going to send you know, some some catered food to your room or something like that. It’s just a really practical gift gives them something to look forward to. And then along with the handwritten cards, you can give them something on the day of just in case anyone cares about that. So those are two practical gifts. Do you want to hear some Hallmark or some fun gifts next to Hallmark? I like that. Okay, so this is One that was just in the better gift coach newsletter. And this one, I told the subscribers I was like, I think this might be one of the best gifts that I’ve ever heard in the newsletter. So one of the subscribers submitted this story. So her grandmother passed. And her grandmother was one of those grandmothers who loved wearing really loud Christmas themed jewelry around the time of the holidays, right? So her grandmother passed, her mother ended up so the person telling me the stories mother ended up with all of her, I guess, her mother’s jewelry. And no one wanted it. None of the kids none of none of the grandkids wanted this very gaudy jewelry. That was kind of out of fashion. So what the mother did was she created Christmas ornaments out of the jewelry, that it’s there like pieces of art that the grandkids can hang on their walls during the holidays. And she was telling me how much she adores this gift just because it’s now has been repurposed with a really sentimental use where she gets to see that and think of her grandmother and how much he loved Christmas, and it gets her into the holiday mood every time she looks at it. So I thought that was a really Hallmark or the gift. Another one would be and this is a gift that’s free and really anyone could do. So for a dad’s 60th birthday, his daughter who was the one who shared this story in the newsletter, she wrote to people that had some kind of Chapter who shared some chapter in her father’s life. So it might have been friends. He grew up with even old teachers that he had growing up. Family members, obviously any and she had them write just a simple a letter of just like, hey, you know, a good memory that we’ve had together what I appreciate about you. And she accumulated, I think 60 of them for his 60th birthday. And this gave him the stack of letters for his birthday. And she said, You know her dad was a hard guy who she really had never seen cry. He was bawling with how much this gift meant to him that she went out and did this. So that is another one of the best Hallmark gifts that I have. How about a fun gift.
Let’s do a fun one. I like it. Alright.
And this is one that anyone can do. And it’s free. So one of the subscribers shared that for I think it was Mother’s Day Two years ago. Their mom is like an avid crossword puzzler. So what she did was she created a personalized crossword puzzle for her mother. With all of the clues and answers tied to you know, family lore, inside jokes, places they had been together shared memories, etc. And it’s really easy. Now online, there’s these free crossword puzzle generators, where if you just type in the the clues in the answers, it’ll generate the crossword puzzle for you. So that was just a really fun gift that you know, that I actually gave my wife, the following anniversary.
I like it. And these were all really really cool gifts. I love all of the ideas that you mentioned. And honestly, I had a different person in mind for each one. And I know that they would all light up if I did something similar to what you mentioned in those examples. So I’m excited now to go out and give some A plus gifts instead of my c minus gifts. So thank you so much. Now there are others who are excited to and also want to learn more about us. So Patrick, where can we connect with you and learn more about you online?
Yeah, thanks for having me. So just go to www dot better gift coach.com And you said you can check out some of the playbooks that I have for gift giving. But most importantly, I would encourage you to just subscribe to the free newsletter. It’s a free newsletter. It’s a one minute a week shortcut to always having awesome gift ideas well in advance. I’ve it’s fun to you know, I share the stories of the greatest gifts that people have ever received. And then I provide guidance on how you can go about replicating those gifts. It’s a win win for everyone. It gets them in that that brainstorming zone once a week for a couple minutes. It’d be a much better gift giver at the end of it.
Awesome. Awesome. Thank you so much, Patrick for coming on. And if you want to get the links and show notes mentioned in this episode, head on over to realhappymom.com/217 and all the links will be mentioned there So now make sure to stay tuned for next week for another full episode take care and with lots of love