How to score meaningful gifts this Xmas
I don't know for you, but I'm getting tired of buying and receiving gift for the holidays that end up at the back of drawers before actually being donated a few years later without having been used or loved.
How many times have you received gifts that you didn't know what to do with? Another sweater that doesn't fit you quite right and that you will never wear, a piece of jewelry that isn't your style, a decoration item that you don't want to see lying around in your living room, a vanilla scented candle that makes you nauseated (I personally hate fake vanilla smell!)...
You get the point: we don't want to hurt the other person and we really appreciate the gesture but then we feel stuck not knowing what to do with it.... If I can't really dictate what the other person will buy me, I can make sure the gifts I will offer from now on will be packed with meaning.
One great way to make sure your gifts have a positive impact and truly makes the other person happy is to link them to the 8 psychological needs of Process Communication.
We all have those 8 needs, but some are more important to us, depending on our personality base and phase. For more info about the 8 needs, read my previous blog here.
I want to share with you some ideas depending on the person you want to treat.
For the Harmonizer/Empathique types
Typically warm, compassionate, and sensitive people, they will feel more pleased when you take care of 2 needs : Recognition of the person & Sensory needs
Gifts that show the person that you love them and that you want to spend time with them:
▷ This personality type will enjoy spending quality time with the people they love, so an experience that you can share together and create new memories is often a great gift. Taking a class to learn something together, for example. A special moment for you and them (don't even think of letting them go alone!).
▷ They will love receiving a gift that shows how important and special they are to you. This can be done with a gift you spent time to find or that you create yourself. Mixing in some memories of you two together is also a great add-on.
A couple of years ago, I made a painting for my dad. It touched him so much that, even though it's probably not my very best art, he keeps it in the living room, in plain sight.
Gifts that focus on the 5 senses: smell, vision, hearing, touch, taste.
▷ Offering a massage or a wellness experience.
This is our go-to gift for my mother. She would never treat herself to one but she just adores being pampered. And it doesn't matter to her that we recycle our gift idea from year to year, she loves it every time.
▷ A beautifully looking & scented candle (with a scent that you know will please), quality gourmet treats, luxury flavored tea, etc. can also be small gifts that will make a difference.
One of my friends once bought me a pillow mist that smells like heaven. Every time I use it, I feel a bit happier.
If you couple both needs (recognition of the person + sensory needs) together, then you hit the jackpot :
▷ How about taking your father for a weekend by the seaside where you'd rent bikes to ride around?
▷ You can also offer your mother to help her prepare the Xmas dinner or the tree with her, play Michael Bubblé's Xmas album as a pre-Xmas gift and use this time to bond.
Last year, my whole family gathered to get me Bose pink gold noise cancelling headphones. I love them! They're pretty (which pleases my vision sense) and they make noisy days so much more pleasant (perfect for hearing sense). Plus, it shows how much they know me, and that also meets my needs for Recognition of person!
For the Thinker / Travaillomane types
Logical, organized, and responsible people, they will appreciate when you take care of 2 important needs : Recognition of work & Need for structure.
▷ This personality type likes what makes rational sense. Ask them what they want, they will likely appreciate that you asked and they probably already have a list of practical things they need.
▷You can bet on an activity that they will be good at, or a tool that will allow them to become even better.
However, Thinker/Travaillomane types probably have already in mind what they want and they are the type that is the less likely to enjoy a surprise. If you are still planning on organizing something for them, make sure to plan in advance and avoid last minute requests. Keep in mind they have a high need for time structure. Same goes if they are buying a gift for you : don't come 1 week before the big day asking for something unexpected. They probably already went Xmas shopping and this will increase their negative stress level.
For the Persister/Persévérant types
Devoted, conscientious, and observant, they have 2 important needs: Recognition of work (and its impact) & Recognition of opinions and convictions.
▷ This personality type often has strong beliefs and values, and it is important for them to receive gifts in alignment with their values.
▷ They will also very much appreciate to be asked for their opinion, whether regarding their own gifts or the gift of someone else. Ask them what is important for them at the moment, and what kind of gift would have the best impact in their life.
If they strongly advocate for climate change, avoid by all means buying them a fast fashion item from Zala, or M&H. Instead find a zero-waste product they don't have yet. They will appreciate that you took time to wrap their gift in a reusable paper or fabric.
For the Imaginer/Dreamer types
Imaginative, reflective, and calm, they appreciate and need solitude and moments for themselves.
▷ Gifts are perfect when they allow them to dig deeper into their imagination and use their introspection capabilities. Offering them a meditative experience can be a great hit.
▷ They're also likely to enjoy manual work or artistic projects.
I once offered to myself a Paint-with-Number for Adults and I spent evenings absorbed in my art and was really proud of the results too.
For the Rebel Types
Spontaneous, creative and playful, they crave for fun contacts and interactions. They love variety and novelty and are the type of personality most likely to enjoy fun presents too.
▷ Anything that can create a fun atmosphere will be most welcome. A new decorative piece that is bright and colorful, for example.
▷ A gift that help them break a boring routine. What about a monthly membership with fun activities each month?
▷ Anything that represents for them a new / unexpected / spontaneous experience will be considered a great gift. How about taking them to an exciting lunch experience to the new place that just opened?
▷ They love fun gadgets. A cool new addition to their home office maybe? A calendar with fun new quotes everyday? A fun t-shirt with a cool quote?
▷ As they are also creative beings, gifts that promote their creativity will be most likely welcomed, A DIY box for example.
For the Promoter Types
Resourceful, adaptable and charming personalities, they are very much driven by action, incidence and excitement. They love a good thrill.
▷ Think of activities that bring the adrenaline level up, like parachute or bungee jumping.
▷ Their inner competitor also enjoys high-performance and a good challenge to be the best, like a car racing experience or outdoor rock climbing.
▷ If you'd rather offer them an object rather than an experience, think of luxury, status-related, or rare items that are hard to get and will make them feel special.
I hope you find some good ideas to treat your loved ones and finally make gifts that are truly meaningful to the person.
If you still have to make a list for yourself, think about your own need and what will have the most positive impact.
If you are hesitating, feel free to send me a message.
And remember, luck is an attitude,