Written by Maggie Pettinato

What is the perfect (corporate or personal) gift?

What is a gift?  Sounds like a silly question. A gift is a package wrapped up and given to someone. Right? The definition from Merriam-Webster is “something voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation”. Other definitions include “thoughtfully” in the mix. There is “gift” as a verb, gifts we are born with, and many other references to gifts. For our purposes here, we will focus on this concept of “transferring something thoughtfully”.

Why do we give?  We could say we give to mark occasions, to say thank you, to celebrate an event, to reciprocate something given to us. None of those answers are wrong. Let’s look deeper. Why do we want to give?

Gratitude. There has been so much in recent health news about the healing power of gratitude. Quite simply- it feels great to give when we are grateful.

A well thought out gift says so very much to the receiver. 

Recognition. What better way to say “I see you” and “thank you”, I appreciate you” or “congratulations”, then to deliver a spot on, intentional, well planned gift. When the receiver feels known and recognized for a special occasion, a job well done, or an accomplishment, or” just because”…. then the stage is set for a “perfect gift”.

Love. There are many ways to say I love you. One very fun and very well received way is with a gift. It can be a very small but meaningful gift. When a gift is well thought through and well matched to the person on the other end- that person can feel loved and honored because you took the time and care to “get it right”. Gifts given can become positive reminders for that recipient. They can be lasting. The “perfect gift” lasts concretely or in our memories. 

The perfect gift? It starts with knowing the recipient. If you are unsure (in a corporate, or organizational, or first time visit situation, for instance) it is

okay to ask for help! Take what you DO know and let someone help you think through a gift. If you know the recipient very well- think about where they are in life at that time. Again, ask for some guidance using what you DO know. 

Follow your gut. Purchase gifts in the corporate setting, or for your family and friends, that “feel” right to you- not just the thing of the moment or the easy way out- but what feels like it carries your unique message. Work with people who know how to illicit that from you.

Recently a story unfolded of a wonderful grandmother and grandfather who thought they were not going to see their grandson until later in the week. They ended up seeing him for his milestone birthday at the last minute. They were in a cabin with a lot of family history. Far from stores, and with not a lot of time, they were stumped. They began to talk. They were thinking about their grandson and his passion for golf. As they were talking, they realized that a family heirloom golf club was there at the cabin.

Before you knew it the grandfather had a pen in hand and was writing a wonderful note to the boy. They wrapped the heirloom up simply but beautifully and enclosed this once in a lifetime message about the great granddad who had purchased that club. In no time at all, from thinking about that child, and asking each other and some friends what they thought – the givers created a most memorable and meaningful treasure.

Enjoy the gifting process. Let those around you help you think about why you are gifting and what you know about your recipient. Include your thoughts in a note or card. Take the time (or let someone help you to do so!!) to wrap or present the gift beautifully or uniquely. Remember, this is NOT about the amount spent at all. This is about the thought and preparation. 

When you feel excited to give something- no matter how small or grand- then you KNOW that is the perfect gift.


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