Give a gift that’s sure to make them smile

Some of us are just natural gift-givers, affirming how much someone means to us with every present that shows we really know and appreciate them. And some of us, despite our best intentions and caring, struggle every time a special celebration looms.

But with a little advanced planning and extra attention, you, too, can be the giver of an ultra-thoughtful, wow-worthy gift.

Follow these tips to take the stress out of gift-giving for birthdays, holidays and other special occasions.

Pay attention to clues
Whenever you’re around the recipient, watch and listen for the things they love. Are they drawn to dragonflies? Is turquoise their favorite color? Does the scent of lavender conjure up instant relaxation? Keep track of such clues to take the guesswork out of making that special purchase.

Expand your reach
If you’re not around the recipient enough to pick up on any clues they might drop, reach out to a best friend or family member who may be more intimately familiar with their tastes and interests. And don’t forget social media: a Pinterest board or Instagram account can be fabulous places to learn what’s captured their attention.

Offer your services
Can you organize a home office, wash the car, or babysit the kids for two hours so your loved one can have some quiet to themselves? Offering a gift of your skills, time or talents is not only an expression of caring it helps the recipient feel better about themselves and some aspect of their lives.

Give the gift of experience.
A museum membership, a spa day or theater tickets all make memorable gifts that encourage spending time together. Similarly, choosing an activity the recipient’s always wanted to explore is a wonderful way to support a goal while enhancing your relationship.