The Gift of Giving: How to Give the Perfect Gift

Posted by Kathryn Harris-Lowe on

Christmas is my favourite holiday.  I’m basically a Christmas cliché.  I love being home for the holidays, I dream of a white Christmas (although that’s the only day I really want snow on!), and I truly feel that giving is better than receiving.  Not to sound full of myself or anything, but I’ve been told on multiple occasions that I am the best gift giver!  So, I’m going to tell you guys some of my tips and tricks for giving the best gifts!

1. It Really is the Thought that Counts

            You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a great gift for someone.  Just put some extra thought into what you want to get. 

Whenever I am thinking of gifts to get everyone on my list, I start with a budget range and a mental list of their interests, wants, and personal/ inside connections.  After that list is created, I’ll break it down even further and list possible gift ideas under each category.

While I generally like to get a gift rather than give a gift card or money, sometimes those can be the most thoughtful gifts.  You can combine a gift card or gift with another related gift, but sometimes that is not necessary.  You really need to consider what the other person wants and what they are going through in their life.

2. Look for Inspiration Everywhere

            While there are times where the perfect gift idea, or even a part of it, just comes to me, but there are occasions where I struggle a bit more.  Like this year for example.  With my brain so focused on starting Kat’s Print Boutique, gift ideas were not top of mind.  So how do I find inspiration?

  • Google: Okay, so this one may sound obvious but it is generally my go to. I’ll search general terms, such as “Gifts to Get Dad”, or I’ll go more specific and include some of their interests, like “Gifts for Dads who Love Hockey”.
  • Go to some of your favourite stores, whether online or the physical store itself. Look at what they have on display.
  • Just keep your eyes open: Sometimes gift ideas will come from places that you don’t expect! Whether it’s watching your favourite TV show, people watching or something else entirely!

While you may not find exactly what you are looking for with any of these, they can give your ideas or trigger that “aha” switch that tells you exactly what to get.

3. Stick to a Theme

            I like all of the gifts I have to have a sense of cohesion which is why I always pick a theme for the gift.  The theme can be really specific or it can be fairly general, but in my opinion, it gives the perception that you put even more thought into the gift.

            How do I pick a theme?  It can be something right off of the recipients list of interests or wants, it can be related to a milestone or event happening in their lives, or it can be a combination of the two.

4. Add Personal Touches

            Adding personal touches makes the gift that much more thoughtful and I think it also gives a gift that extra “oomph” that brings it from a good, or even great gift, to an amazing gift!  Here are some of the ways I add in those little personalized touches:

  • Personalize the gift: there are many websites now where you can personalize the gift with photos and/or text with something meaningful to the recipient. *Shameless Plug Coming Up* For example, you can customize a print from Kat’s Print Boutique!
  • The wrapping: this can be as simple as getting wrapping paper that related to the gift or that has something on it, such as characters, that the recipient likes. You can also print off something special to the recipient and put it on top of the box or on the side of the bag!
  • Add little notes or clues: Put a little note on top of the gift explaining the thought behind it or even add notes to each item.  This can be as simple as explaining each gift or it can become a little scavenger hunt (to a certain extent) for the recipient.  This also adds to the event of opening the gift.


To give you an idea of how to use these tips, here are some examples of gifts I've given in the past.

Mother's Day Gift for Mom

The inspiration: I was looking through Old Navy's online store the same day I walked through Chapter's and this S'well bottle. 

The thought and theme: I had been thinking about getting my mom a S'well bottle for a while but I wanted to think of a way I could give a gift that included the PJs and the bottle.  The conclusion, Mom's Relaxation Kit.  To build more on the idea, we (my brother and I) got her Amy Schumer's book!

Personal touch: I painted and decorated the box it was in to keep with the theme and the pattern of the PJs and S'well bottle (hint: wall paint on a shiny box isn't the best option, as I learned doing this.  I would think spray paint would be better).  Check it out in the images below (sorry for the not so great quality)


Click on the photos to shop the products!

*While I originally purchased this at Indigo, they don't have the 17oz available anymore


*These PJs aren't available anymore but Old Navy has some other really cute PJs right now!

Birthday Gift for my Best Friend

The thought: She was going back to University a few days later and she LOVES mermaids/ The Little Mermaid.

The inspiration: I saw the sequin products on Indigo's website when browsing through for my own interest a few months earlier.

The theme: Emily's Mermaid School Survival Kit.  I brainstormed items she could use for going back to University that were mermaid themed.

The personal touch: I ended up making her a mermaid themed gift box (I printed off some scales and the front photo and put them on a shoe box) and put her face on the Little Mermaid's body!

Here's a Photo of what I put on the front of the box:

Click on the photos to shop the products!

*This isn't the exact sanitizer and I can't find a mermaid one on Bath & Body Work's website but this is close!
*I got mine at Dollarama but since they don't have an online store, I attached an Amazon link

Grandma's Big Birthday

The thought: My Grandma was having a big birthday and we wanted to get her something that she could use (as she didn't really need anything) and that was personal.

The inspiration: Personalized products.  We knew we wanted to get her something personalized, so we browsed a bunch of websites until we found what was just right.  That turned out to be a woven blanket.

The personal touch: The family photos on the blanket!

Click on the photo to personalize your own blanket!

Brother's Birthday

The thought: My brother loves music, is in a band, and has written a few songs.  He had also just moved into his first apartment.

The inspiration: I had seen a sound wave jewelry ad come up on social media and it made me think about how I could put a song he wrote onto something.  I ended up deciding to put it on a canvas.

The personal touch: I turned his song into a soundwave, arranged it into a way I would like it on a canvas, saved it as a photo, and then loaded it onto Staple's website where they transferred it onto a canvas.

Click on the photos to personalize your own canvas print!


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