If there’s one very familiar custom people almost always get wrong, it would be gift-giving. There are so many holidays and life events in a year, opportunities to be better at buying stuff for friends and loved ones, and yet we still suck at it. Christmas or Valentine’s rolls in and people grow agitated, scuffling through clothing racks in malls, but not knowing what to get this uncle or that niece. Worse, you may have unconsciously slipped into becoming that gift giver who buys something just so they can borrow it themselves or that one who uses expensive items to show off. Don’t be that bad gift giver. Instead, be one of these:

The Practical Friend

This is the person who wants their presents to be useful, that’s why they’re very observant of what their family and friends need. Or they have a very sharp memory of it that even if you say it in passing or on some random occasion, they will wrap it in their next present. A word of caution, however, when giving gifts based on your loved ones’ needs: leave hygiene essentials out of it. Yes, you may think that your cousin ~needs~ a brush up on their oral care habits, but don’t give them a set of toothbrush-toothpaste just to put the message across. That would be downright rude of you, even though you have the noblest intentions or mean it as a joke. On the flip side, it would be embarrassing to them. Pretty sure the purpose of gift-giving isn’t to put anyone down, right?

The Storyteller

happy woman

These are the people who love to give gifts that tell heartwarming stories. At some point, you’ve probably been at the receiving end of a storyteller-gifter. Perhaps in one of your teen birthdays, your mom gave you an heirloom necklace or a vintage brooch, which she got from her mom. While she was latching the jewelry on to you, you probably heard of the story of how your grandmother got it on her engagement. If you want to replicate the same gift-giving habit, jewelry is one of the best presents that tell stories. It may not be a story that directly involves you, but someone worth remembering. If the necklace is a bit too conventional of a choice for you and you want something out of the ordinary, why don’t you try women’s gold anklets? Make some sneaky, subtle moves to get your loved one’s ankle size.

The Experience Sharer

These are your friends who aren’t into material things. Rather, they lean more towards giving you the gift of a fun, meaningful experience. They’ll treat you to a high-end Chinese restaurant, a hotel staycation, or a trip abroad. Now, this may sound like a costly way of gift-giving, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case when you do channel the experience-sharer gifter. You only need to think about the interests and hobbies of your loved one. Do they enjoy outdoor activities? Perhaps a mountain trek or white water rafting is their kind of gift. Do they love scrapbooking? Book and attend a class with them. Are they fans of wine-tasting? Organize a laid-back champagne and cheese night right at your backyard.

What Kind of Gift-Giver Are You?

Strive to be better at gift-giving. The bottom line of all this, remember, is to share the love. Embody these good kinds of gift-givers, and it will give you genuine joy, for sure.