I’ve always loved the idea of gift giving. Whether I was excitedly rummaging through my birthday gifts at the end of my party, or making my mom lunch for Mother’s Day, I’ve loved receiving and giving gifts. As someone who believes in the five languages of love, I truly believe that gift giving (which I group into acts of service) is one of my strongest signs of love. I honestly can’t think of a better way to show your loved ones how much they mean to you than by giving them gifts. So here’s my list of easy and simple gifts that will definitely put a smile on the faces of your friends and family (some of them will be a little expensive).
1. Fandom merchandise
There’s nothing a fan wants more than merchandise corresponding to their interest. Sure, it sounds a little childish to hear the words “fandom merchandise,” but I don’t just mean their favorite TV show or book merch. Get them a phone case inspired by their favorite painting or a signed copy of their favorite music album. When I say fandom, I mean any of their pop culture interests. Though this can be a little pricey, a gift like this shows them that you care about their interests.
This is a tricky gift to give––it can be very hard to understand someone’s style, clothing preferences and clothing size. But that’s what makes a gift like this so special. No one expects you to pay attention to the way they dress, and they definitely would not expect you to get them something that they love. Keep in mind, however, that it is very easy to go wrong when giving this gift to someone. Make sure you get their size right. Don’t do this gift unless you have a fairly good idea what their size is and what they like to wear.
No, I’m not saying this because I am a broke college student craving a good, home-cooked meal. I am saying this because food is something everyone loves. If you’re into cooking or think you can handle yourself in the kitchen, cook your special someone a meal. It doesn’t have to be anything grand, it can be something as easy as Kraft mac and cheese. It’s the thought that counts. If cooking isn’t your thing then take them out to dinner. Buy someone you love a meal––not in a patronizing way––but to show them how much they mean to you. This would especially work on a S.O., or with your family that you may not have seen in a long time while away at college. When you have dinner with someone, you’re taking time out of your day for that person, making sure that they are comfortable and having a good, heartfelt conversation with them. What’s a better way to show them you’re grateful for them than this?
This is one of my go-to gifts. When I want to tell someone I love them, I write them a letter. It might not be considered a gift by a lot of people, but I think there is something really charming about letters. Writing your feelings and thoughts about someone down is almost like carving it in stone. There’s a sense of safety and concreteness to reading a letter. What’s more, they can go back and read all the reasons why they’re special or loved when they’re feeling down.
5. Something that means a lot to you
This is a weird suggestion, I know, but hear me out. When you’re close to someone, they will know your likes and dislikes. They will know your interests, and understand how much certain things mean to you. For example, an idea I’ve been toying around with is to send a poster of “Starry Night” by Vincent Van Gogh (my favorite painting) to my best friend in India, in an attempt to tell her that that’s how much she means to me. It doesn’t have to be something you bought for them specifically, either. It could be anything that means something to you. It shows that you think about them, and that you trust them enough to give them whatever your gift is.