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The Secret to Giving the Perfect Gift

 
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Last week we explored “How to Select the Perfect Host Gift." This week we offer shopping tips for all the other wonderful people in your life… from your family member, who seems to already have one of everything, to that special someone, who sometimes leaves you stumped. We’ve checked in with our Mast Store gift-giving experts to help unravel the mystery of finding the perfect gift for just about anyone on your Christmas list.

perfect-gift-2.jpgWe all know someone who’s an expert at selecting the most thoughtful gift. One of the Mast Store Family's gift-giving pros is our Community Outreach Manager, Deb. She has impeccable taste and always knows just what to get every person for any occasion. Deb shares, “The first and most important thing to remember is that I need to forget everything I like when shopping for someone else. I’m not giving the gift to myself, and my tastes may not match the preferences of my recipient.

“Next, think about the person you’re buying for,” she continues. “What’s their favorite food, color, do they have a hobby or special interest? Make mental notes about the things you know about the person. Even the smallest detail might prove to spark an idea!
 
If the person you’re buying for collects a special item or has a special theme in their home, proceed with caution. I always remember this story about my aunt. She chose a French theme for her kitchen, purchasing special accent pieces as décor. Over the years, friends and family added items to help with her theme. One day, a visiting neighbor pulled into the driveway, and my aunt jumped up and ran to the hall closet. This closet was packed full of French-themed items.  My aunt chose one and quickly set it out. Come to find out, the neighbor had given it to her for the kitchen. My aunt didn’t want to hurt her neighbor’s feelings, so she made sure it was on display for the visit. What a painful process! Everyone wanted to be thoughtful, but their theme-related gifts had become more of a burden for my aunt.”

Here are a few more gift-giving tips to consider from the pros at Mast General Store:

Don't feel that you have to buy an expensive gift,” shares Mary. “Money isn’t important. The love and care you put your gift are worth so much more than the cost of the item.”

perfect-gift-3.jpgDave suggests, “If you’re really stumped, why not ask? After many years of marriage, my wife appreciates when I ask her what she really wants for Christmas and birthdays instead of just guessing. Surprises are fun too, but it’s always nice to get her exactly what she wants and needs.”

A homemade gift is usually a treasured gift. Just like every parent cherishes their children’s handmade cards, your friends and family may appreciate presents crafted by hand, too.  During my daughter's winter break this year, we're going to bake cookies and make homemade candles for our friends and neighbors. The time and energy you invest in creating your own gifts will not only please the recipient, but it will create wonderful holiday memories for you and the people who help you craft them (like your children).

Our final suggestion is to choose a gift that reminds your loved one of shared memories. Make a mental list of places and events you’ve enjoyed with that person. If they revolve around a theme, like hiking for example, select a gift that reflects those sweet times together. Maybe choose a photo from one of your hikes and frame it. If you’ve shared special days at the beach together, purchase a bracelet, necklace, or Christmas tree ornament made of seashells. The symbolic gift will remind them of the memories you’ve shared.