The Art of Gift Giving

The art of gift giving.Gift giving is one of my favorite things to do!  I love giving thoughtful, creative, and well-planned gifts.  My favorite thing to do is give some sort of themed gift and/or gift in a box (or basket, bag, etc.).  All the items come together to form one cohesive gift or tell a story.  I tend to do this quite often with gifts.  I have gotten in the habit of giving my student interns a birthday party in a box as part of their birthday gift and celebration at work. Here are my tips on how perfect the art of gift giving.

1. Organization
It is most helpful to have a list of birthdays, anniversaries, etc. for all your family and friends somewhere accessible so none of those important dates creep up on you when life gets busy.  Set reminders to begin the process of planning for a gift and getting the gift to allow yourself enough time to complete the gift in time for the big day.

2. Plan
Now that you have dates and reminders set, it's time to plan.  The first thing to do when planning the gift is to think about the giftee.  What are their characteristics, their favorite things, and what inside jokes or special memories might you reference?  Think about what would make a great gift that they will enjoy.  If you are opting to put together a themed gift, this step is especially important.

Once you have determined what you want to do, it is time to create a plan.  At this point you may just have a broad idea or you may have a very detailed plan of what you want to get.  I like to make lists of things that could work so that I can keep them in mind while moving on to the next step.

3. Research
Whether you are looking for more ideas, DIY instructions, or just where to purchase something, Pinterest is always a great resource! I create entire boards (remember to make them private if you don't want the giftee in on your plan) filled with ideas while I'm in the research stage.  I also check out Instagram and Etsy for unique ideas.  Etsy offers items that will help make your gift one of a kind.

4. Purchase
Now that you know what you want to get, it's time to buy it.  As I'm buying each piece to the puzzle, I tend to store them all together so I always have a visual of what exactly it is that I have which makes it easier to see what I still need to get.
The art of gift giving.
Piece of Harper's welcome to the world gift!

The art of gift giving.
Holding area for the birthday gifts and matching party decor.

The art of gift giving.
Almost ready to prepare a retirement drinks and relaxation gift bundle.

5. Bring it all together
Now that you've purchased the gifts, it's time to wrap them! For my themed gifts, I like to put them all together in a decorative box or a basket or whatever container you feel best suits your gift.  I have used bowls that were part of the gift so you can really get creative here if you wish.  I use tissue paper, gift basket filler, confetti, etc. as fillers at this point.

The art of gift giving.
Sometimes you don't make a birthday in a box or a themed gift.  Sometimes you just buy a good ol' toy and wrap it up.
Birthday In A Box.
My first birthday in a box creations were for my mom and my sister for a joint celebration we had for them a few years ago.
Birthday In A Box
The art of gift giving.
Relaxation gift in a box.  Bonus: The giftee is an avid reader so I created a gift box out of a book! There is a bracelet hiding in that book.
The art of gift giving.
Birthday In A Box.
Bestie Box
First bestie box that I ever created!  I took quotes from my bff's favorites and created custom labels in this bestie box/shopping survival kit.
Bestie Box
Bestie Box

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