Spring is here...Finally!! And this marks the beginning of one of my favorite shopping seasons. That's right- It's Wedding and Baby Showers Galore!!
Deciding what type of gift to buy is not always the easiest thing to do. Here are some questions that you can ask yourself before you buy.
1) What is my relationship to the person(s) receiving the gift?
Is this the wedding of my best friend whom I've known for years OR is this my 2nd cousin, twice removed, that I saw at a family reunion 10-years ago? Knowing who you are buying for and what the relationship is, will make it easier to decide what type of gift to purchase.
2) How well do I know the person/ people I am buying for?
What do I know about them and their lives? A young couple just starting out is going to have different things on their list than a more established, possibly more mature couple, who already have all the home basics covered.
The better you know the gift receiver, and/or the more you know about them, the easier it is to decide if you should buy them something unique, that they didn't ask for but you know they will totally love, or play it a little safer, and get something off the registry. Then you also have to ask yourself...
3) Do they have a registry?
Typically these days, people that are getting married or having a baby register for their gifts. That makes it easy for folks trying to get them something they really need and want.
Depending on my budget, I often find it fun to get one present from the registry and then a little something extra to personalize things a bit. There's usually a good selection of things on the registry list, which then makes you have to ask...
4) Do you want to get them something they need or something they want?
People put EVERYTHING on gift registries. And sometimes that is exactly what they need! This tends to be especially true for new parents.
I had a friend tell me that if she ever has kids, she isn't going to tell anyone the gender before they are born. She explained that she had attended a shower where everyone knew they expecting a little girl and the only presents they received were cute outfits. No diaper bag, car seat, or stroller - nothing the baby needed or could use beyond the first three months. "The whole point of a shower," she said "is to get things people can really use!"
I tend to agree on this point, but often the things they need are expensive. Make sure you always ask...
5) What is my budget?
This question is often the "big" question for a lot of people. Don't feel badly if you don't have a lot to spend. It really is the thought that counts!
Sometimes it's the inexpensive or even homemade gifts that are cherished the most. How great would it be to know that even though your best friend didn't have a lot of money to spend, she learned to knit just to make your baby a beautiful blanket?
If you feel like you really want to get a big present, talk to a few friends or relatives who are attending the same shower. It's a good possibility these days that they are in the same boat.
Bottom line, it's good to give- and to give well. Weddings and Births are the two most important events anyone will have take place in their lifetime. So whether you choose a gift from a registry, think of something totally new that they didn't ask for, or even decide to do a little of both, giving from the heart is the surest way to know that the gift you have given them will be perfect!