Five Hacks to Memorable Christmas Gifts

Sending the right gifts during Christmas can be a headache. Especially for people whom you’ve barely interacted with or perhaps have interacted with for a long time but hardly know their interests and hobbies. These can be colleagues, classmates, professors and other acquaintances. What are some ways you can give authentic gifts relevant to the individual without being generic and unmemorable?

Here are 5 hacks to giving memorable gifts:

Plan in advance

Make a list of people you will likely need to purchase a gift for. These might be individuals you’re interacting with this holiday season. Are you going for a house-warming party or a Christmas gathering? If so, showing up empty handed may be a faux-pas. I find the sheer panic of finding a gift last minute prevents me from thinking creatively. Moreover, with the current supply chain disruptions of the ongoing pandemic, if something is sold out in store, you’ll have ample time to look for items elsewhere.

A few years ago, my part-time work office purchased this gift for our boss whose favorite activity was hiking but never got a chance to visit Banff. Without asking his close friend who works in another department, we would not have known he never visited Banff before.

Draw on connections

If you’re unsure of the person’s interests and hobbies, is there a mutual friend or connection who can point you to the right direction? The mutual connection can offer insights and perspectives into the gift you’re contemplating on giving.

Food gifts relevant to the person

Is the individual a food lover? If so, they would definitely appreciate a thoughtful gift such as a gift card to their favorite restaurant. For myself, I like to bake Christmas cookies for my sweet-toothed friends and tea advent calendars for the tea-connoisseurs in my friends circle. Thoughtful gifts means that you’ve focused on a detail about their personality or interests that makes it unique. Despite having received many chocolate boxes in the past, I’ve never eaten any of the chocolates I’ve received, making this a highly unthoughtful gift. To be safe, avoid food items that may precipitate common allergies such as peanuts.


Three years ago, two close friends received a pair of tickets to Paris as a graduation gift

Experience gifts

Sometimes I run into a mental block when I look for gifts for those who have it all. They might have a home with the interior decor or kitchen appliances you were considering gifting. It’s oftentimes difficult to pinpoint a relevant item in their situation. In these cases, experience gifts can be a great option. For example, two years ago I gifted a pair of tickets for a friend to experience a winter lights festival that easily became a favorite gift of theirs. The experience also strengthened my friend’s personal romantic relationship and was a memory she will talk about for years to come.

These are customizable vacuum water bottles that are great for tea-lovers like these two friends whom I bought them for!

Customizable gifts

While certain items are commonplace such as a water bottle, this year I gifted a personalized gift card to a friend. The customization was relevant because he had just recently graduated from his degree and also is a stand-out to his collection of other water bottles. Other customizable gifts include charcuterie boards engraved with a friend or a newly-wedded couple’s names. Even apparel and other home decor can be customized with photos of the individual or names of the individual.


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