Great Gifts

07 May 2021

Birthdays are like opinions, everyone has them but not everyone shares them

For a long time I’ve struggled with reflecting on what I like in terms of gifts.

In the past I’ve created lists that suggest potential items, and I’ve even searched for functional wishlist apps that are relatively easy to use.

Ultimately I’ve narrowed down my ideal gifts to a few traits that are fairly good as a universal guide for what I like in a gift.

  • Digital

    First and foremost, the majority of my purchases are online now, either on Google Play or other digital services, meaning a digital purchase allows me a gift which I can take anywhere simply by having my existing devices. The main things here would be vouchers for Google Play or Amazon. It can even be just a flat out prepaid debit card and I’ll probably use it on something online anyway.

  • Consumable

    An alternative option is something that is consumable, a meal or event voucher, snacks or experiences. I’m quite driven for novel experiences so cool events or activities are definitely something I’m keen on, especially if we can do it together!

  • Travel friendly

    During 2013 after my Funeral I travelled the world with just a carry on backpack. A good way to think about gifts is “would I bring it with me in that backpack?”. Travel friendly devices such as Headphones or an ebook reader are a perfect example of this.

  • Growth

As I suspect most of my friends know, I’m very keen on becoming the best me I can become, so personal or professional development classes or courses are also great to help me work on becoming an even better version of myself.

  • Currency

    One of my friends gave cash as a gift once, and he pushed back at a suggestion from one of the attendees that he should have gotten a gift card instead. “I did get a gift card, this is a gift card for Australia!” In reality, many of the things that I want to add in my life fit outside of what is easy to gift (Renewing my domains through my website provider being the most salient example at the moment) and by providing liquid currency you can better enable me to get whatever what item or activity I’m saving for just that little bit closer.

  • Ask

Many people resist asking what to give as a gift and many resent being asked because they perceive the acting of choosing a gift to be an indication of how well someone knows them. I am not one of these people. I am more than happy to be asked what to give me and then to offer up a long list of suggestions.

Even just the process of reflecting on this list has helped me refine and identify what items bring me joy and which I can leave behind or donate.

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