Ok, we’re going to put all of our gifting cards on the table. We’ve given—and received—our share of bad gifts. Gifts that were bought in desperation, at the last minute, when we just didn’t have a clue, and even when we thought way too hard about it. dearduck is all about making it easy to find the right gift, so those cringe-worthy moments are a thing of the past. Coming this fall, our aim is to take all the tricky parts of gifting off your plate, so you can simply enjoy all the fun parts. In the meantime, and in the spirit of full (anonymous!) disclosure, we wanted to share a few of our own #giftingfails, and how to turn them into, yes, #giftingwins.
1. Mother’s Day #Giftingfail
“The idea of my first Mother’s Day gave me all sorts of warm and fuzzy feelings inside. I was hoping my husband would come through with a sentimental token of appreciation for all the hard work I’d put in with the birth of our daughter. I dropped all kinds of hints on how I wanted something sparkly and how her birthstone would be so pretty on a dainty piece of jewelry. Mother’s Day arrived and I was handed a heavy box. To my shock it was something sparkly, more sparkly than I could have imagined, but not even close to what I had hinted. He had taken a photo of our daughter to the mall and turned her into a crystal photograph at one of those cheesy gift stores. Not even her cute little face can make that thing look good!”
Even the best intentions can make for the worst gifts. Though it sometimes feels like being creative will show that we care, studies reveal that giving people exactly what they ask for is the way to go. But nobody really loves a Wish List, and sometimes part of the fun of gifting is the anticipation of a great surprise. That’s why we’re obsessed with listening to the people in your circle, researching and curating around their idiosyncratic preferences, and then discovering perfect presents we know they’ll love. We do the work so that you can be the heroic gift-giver you’ve always wanted to be.
2. Just Because #Giftingfail
“The worst gift I ever received wasn’t even a gift for me to begin with. My college boyfriend gave me a big white fluffy bathrobe with my name embroidered in pink (I hate pink), but that wasn’t the kicker. He told me the robe was only for me to keep at his house when I took showers so I wouldn’t get his floor wet anymore. If you’re curious, I let him keep the bathrobe in the breakup.”
Don’t have an agenda. Just because you like something or think it’s a good idea doesn’t mean the recipient will feel the same way. Remember that gifting works best when it’s all about, say, Aunt Molly. Not you.
3. Friend #Giftingfail
“My worst gifting moment was receiving a Hello Kitty-themed present from a friend in college. It was something that was so not my style or liking. I think I just threw it away.”
Ignorance hurts, so try not to guess. Everyone has super-specific likes and dislikes, and guessing is like throwing spaghetti at a wall to see if it sticks. Take your cues from the person you’re gifting to, or let dearduck do the work for you.
4. Birthday #Giftingfail
“Each year, my parents ask me what I want for my birthday and I say I would love anything from a number of stores (which they already know I like). Every year, they still end up giving me money. It’s not that I’m ungrateful – it just hurts my feelings a little because they say they had no idea what I would want. I’m not even that picky, I love a lot of things!”
Fear doesn’t work, either. Playing it safe with money or the same gift on repeat means you’re not in the optimum gifting zone. Instead, listen to and trust the suggestions and hints you get. Chances are, that’s what the person really, really wants!
5. Significant Other #Giftingfail
“An ex-boyfriend and I had been dating for about 3 months and my birthday was the first time he bought me a gift. He bought me some western jewelry that could not have been further from my style. It was like he was seeing someone else when he chose the gift.”
Knowledge is power. If you don’t know someone’s tastes, ask, or let dearduck do the heavy lifting for you.
Tell us your #giftingfails and #giftingwins in the Comments!
And don’t forget to sign up for the dearduck app, coming this Fall!