If you’ve ever wanted to be that person who gives the best gifts, then you’re reading the right article. That’s because you’re about to discover an easy 3-step method for achieving the look of awe on your loved one’s face. The good news is that this method works even if you don’t have a ton of money or time. Read on…

Step 1: Profile Your Target – Get to know the person receiving the gift.

You may be thinking, “But I already know my own daughter!” Yes, you likely do, but have you been paying attention to what has been happening in that person’s life the last while? Many people who’ve been buying gifts for close family or friends don’t even realize that they need to do this step before they can identify new interests or hobbies. That’s why a lot of people who buy the same old gifts end up failing – they’re simply missing this crucial step. So, the first thing you need to do is think about how they have been spending their time lately.

You’ll find that this part of the process goes much more smoothly if you apply these tips and tricks:

  • Review any notes you can find. This includes their Facebook or other social media accounts, emails, text messages or letters.
  • Look for patterns. Make a quick list of repeated themes you see occurring. Birds, gardening, books, baking, fashion, caregiving etc.
  • Think of the people and places that surround them. Who do they spend time with or where do they spend time? In the park with their grandchild, at the senior’s club with their peers, in their home with their dog. Once you’ve profiled your gift recipient, then you can move on to the next step.

Step 2: Give an Experience.

The next thing you need to do is remove the idea of giving a tangible item out of your mind. Start thinking about the gift of an experience. When you first think of an experience, you may be thinking narrowly. A dinner date, a night at the theatre, or a massage. These are all great, but there are a million different ways to give the gift of an experience.

Here are some ideas to broaden your thinking:

  • The bird lover might appreciate a guided bird watching tour or a gift pass to an aviary.
  • The active grandparent might appreciate a round of mini-golf with the grandchildren or a day at the bowling alley.
  • The homebody might enjoy a hamper with homemade goodies and a new board game or a gift card for a digital book, movie, or music.

Step 3: Get Even More Personal.

At this step, you’re going to add the WOW factor. What you need to do is think of that little extra special personalized touch that is going to truly warm their heart.

“One year I wrote a poem to the tune of “T’was the Night before Christmas”, which detailed my annual December 24th shopping trip with my father. We still read it every year and laugh,” says Ellan Dickieson of Senior Transitions Made Simple. “Making your gift heartfelt is really what makes the difference. Nothing can replace that human connection.”

Add a custom hand-painted golf ball to the mini-golf gift. Let the bird watcher have Grandpa’s binoculars for the tour. Handwrite the recipes for the goodies you put in the hamper.

Don’t overthink it. It does not have to be complicated. Write a note with a story about a time you went bowling or add an old picture of a family member doing the same activity.

Giving gifts can be a joyful thing. It gets us to think deeply about loved ones and consider their interests and personalities. We get to imagine what others might enjoy receiving. It shows generosity and teaches us empathy. Taking your gift-giving to the next level by using these 3- steps is sure to warm your heart and theirs!

Ellan Dickieson is the Founder of Senior Transitions Made Simple. As a registered Social Worker and Accredited Financial Counsellor, she empowers seniors to overcome later life challenges and live out their vision for aging.