4 Ways to Give Meaningful Gifts this Valentine's Day

11 February 2022

In case you’re doing a countdown on when Valentine’s Day would be, it’s just three days away as of writing.

Whether or not you have a special someone to spend this calendar day with, we all know that receiving and giving love is one trait that makes us happy as humans. So drop the notion that you need to have someone by your side as a romantic partner to enjoy Valentine’s Day. It’s all well and good if you do have a boyfriend or a girlfriend who wants to spend the coming holiday with you. And then, you can also show some love for your parents, your siblings, relatives, and friends.

Have you already prepared a date for your special someone? Or have gotten gifts for the people that you love this Valentine’s? While you should give love every day, it won’t hurt if you make them feel extra special on February 14. After all, a shared human experience is what unites us all in this world, right?

There might be people cynical about this holiday and consider gift-giving on the 14th as just a waste of money, another practice of capitalism at its finest. We do respect the opinions of others, but in this regard, we beg to differ. It may be cliche to say that it’s the thought that counts, but it really is! Our love language may be receiving gifts because we give high value to giving and receiving something tangible on the Day of Hearts and even more so when it comes from a person we truly love.

It might be true though that you could feel pressure in giving gifts this Valentine’s Day. Doing it out of obligation will be noticeable because you might not even think of what you’re buying and just give something for giving sake. Below are some tips on how to give more meaningful gifts. You could breathe new meaning into the gift-giving process and make it more genuine and enjoyable for you and the person you are giving the gift to.

1. Know the recipient by heart.

Chances are you are giving a gift to this person because he or she is really special to you. Know that a great gift will start based on your knowledge of their interests and whatnot. It will have so much more meaning for that particular person if you are in the know of what they fancy. You should know what they’re interested in, what they’re currently investing their time for at the moment, what experiences they want to try, etc. This would mean going through your memories together and all the stories you’ve shared so that you will have an idea of what could be the best gift for them. Remember that if you want to give meaningful gifts, it should not be the same gift to any of your loved ones because you have to put in the effort to tailor-fit each gift to each person.

Other than sentiment, another factor is practicality. People often go for fancy gifts, thinking that the partner would love it (for example, a ticket to see the opera) but more often than not, the fancy gift ends up not being used. It’s just not practical for them, or they might not even be interested in it in the first place. So let us break it down for you. People actually prefer the more practical choice. Yes, even you, when you really ask yourself what you want to receive. So remember, what you have to buy is a gift that your recipient would like and not a gift that you just wanted to give.

A practical gift can be something that your person needs but you know they won’t set aside money for it themselves. Your lover might have just started the WFH set-up since the pandemic and has been telling you nonstop about his or her neck and back pain. Buying them ergonomic furniture is something that will add value and comfort to their daily working experience at home.

2. Give gifts that you made yourself or something that has a lot of meaning for you but you’d like for them to have.

No one has a heart of stone so if you put in the effort to make something for your crush, a friend, a family member, they would surely appreciate and give you more than five stars for the effort. It could be something as simple as baking cookies, knitting a beanie, or writing a poem. You would feel really special when you receive a gift of this sort because you will be reminded of the effort and the hours it took to finish the project.

A family heirloom of yours that has been passed from one generation to another may also be considered valuable by the recipient, knowing how much it meant to you. Its symbolism won’t ever be matched by any monetary amount.

3. Give the gift of experience.

There are people who like to collect memories more than collect gifts. As number 1 said, you should know the recipient and if he or she is the type to choose experiences more than material things, then it might be a better idea to give a concert pass, a flight ticket, or a gym membership.

Studies showed that people are satisfied after the experience even when they expected a material gift. If you’re feeling anxious about spending the experience together, you don’t even have to go with them. By experiencing the gift you give, they would already be attaching that memory to the giver.

4. Donate on behalf of the recipient’s name.

If you’re looking for fulfillment in life, being altruistic or taking care of others’ welfare before yours is one way you could do so. Your friends will most likely be happy and grateful when you donate under their name. Studies have found out that people who give more to charity are happier, and being generous makes people happy. Moreover, according to the International Journal of Happiness and Development, more people become happy after giving with acknowledgment versus giving anonymously.