Have you ever received the perfect gift? The one item you always wanted? That one thing that you really needed? That something you couldn't afford or could never seem to find? Have you ever wondered how the gift giver knew that gift was just the thing? Was it Luck? Was it a miracle? Or... Was it planned?
Things You Will NeedTime Patience Determination Listening Skills
The key to being a successful and memorable gift giver is to learn a few habits that will help you in this endeavor. The first thing on the agenda to become a great gift giver is LISTEN. This is the hardest but most productive skill. Listening to others true needs, wishes and desires are bits of information injected into everyday ordinary conversations throughout the year. (You rarely get an honest answer when you ask straight up what a person wants, since they may be reluctant to ask for something that is too practical, too expensive, to hard to find etc etc.) Thus, the cousin to "listening" is "remembering" when you hear these little bits of info. You may want to make notes on your organizer maybe under the persons birthday. This way you can consult with your notes when the shopping begins. This also allows you to shop year round which helps with those hard to find or seasonal items that might not be available at Christmas time in your local store. (Suzy wants a swimming pool, jimmy wants a fishing pole, grandma Kay really loves peaches.) You get the idea. With enough planning you can be the star of the show by producing that Swimming pool (and what a deal...you even got it on clearance in September and saved $79!), the fishing pole was the last one, (but you remembered just in time to get it in October) Great going! And Grandma Kay, wow! Wasn't she surprised when she opened the basket delivered to her from that online company specializing in Fresh fruits! (But it took 3 weeks from order time to delivery so you sure were smooth thinking of those peaches in November!) By LISTENING you will get to know the people around you better not only improving your gift giving skills but enriching those relationships as well. Becoming a good listener and remembering the things you hear will make you appear to have supernatural powers come Christmas time. Folks often disclose their true wants and desires while amidst everyday relaxed conversation, rather than "put on the spot" impromptu questions elicited during the holiday season. Folks often clam up when pressed for information on personal wants and desires. You must have a listening ear ALL YEAR!
PATIENCE is needed to avoid "settling" on a gift that is "almost perfect"... Jenny wanted a PINK iPOD, but PINK ipods are sold out because its 2 days before Christmas. Jenny will like a new Green ipod, but to be a really great gift giver, securing that PINK one would have made the difference! She will LOVE a PINK ipod!!! If there is a sale on ipods at the department store you are shopping but they only have white or black in stock, ask for a rain check, skip the temptation to buy the white or black one (even though it will finish up your list for the nieces) and wait for the pink one or locate a store with a pink one in stock. The key here is to recognize the importance of the COLOR, because if the color had not been important to Jenny she would have asked just for an ipod, not a "PINK" iPOD. Determination is a related talent that helps you keep searching when at first you dont succeed. This is often the case with rare hobbies or interests, like Uncle Frank... He wants a voodoo bulb. Like, what the heck is a voodoo bulb anyway? So you consult with everyone you know and no one has a clue, you finally consult wikipedia and find out its a rare flowering plant with a bad smell and blossoms one weird flower in the winter inside? Where do you get one? Can you get one in December? So with some phone calls you find a shop that can order one for you but it will take 2 weeks to arrive which wondrously is a week before Christmas...Perfect! ...and now you know what a voodoo plant is too! Thanks Uncle Frank!
Being a GREAT, MEMORABLE, MIRACULOUS gift giver means LISTENING, HAVE PATIENCE, BE DETERMINED, Shop ALL YEAR, Give yourself PLENTY of TIME! Don't settle on a less than perfect gift, give a gift that lets the recipient know that you REALLY CARE about them. They'll all want to know...HOW DID YOU KNOW I WANTED THAT?!!! (Well, you said something about that back in May, I heard you talking about it to your sister on the phone.)
This brings us to the essence of TIME. As you can see in all of the examples above, time was of the essence in the plan to be a great gift giver. Time allows you to PLAN, SEARCH, INVESTIGATE, FIND and SUCCEED!!! You have to have time to be successful. You can not shop for gifts on Christmas eve and succeed very easily at being a great gift giver.