Be Easy To Shop For

Since we are smack-dab in the middle of the holiday season, you have likely seen a fair number of lifestyle articles about how to graciously give or receive gifts. You might have even read an article on this very site about how to be an effective gift-giver for your wife.

There is one crucial point, though, that I feel gets consistently overlooked in those kinds of articles…

You should be someone who is easy to shop for.

To put a finer point on it: You should strive to be someone who is easy to shop for.

Don’t we all know someone who is a pain in the butt to buy gifts for? You feel like no matter what you get them it’s never quite right. You never feel like you hit it out of the park with their gift. Maybe they don’t really have too many interests or hobbies. Maybe they are really particular about certain things. Maybe they’re one of those people who “has everything already”.

Whatever the reason, buying gifts for someone like that is a real drag. And it always causes stress around the holiday season.

“Ugh, I never know what to buy for So-And-So!”

You don’t want to be that person that everyone hates buying gifts for!

Being easy to shop for says a lot of positive things about you. It means you probably have a lot of diverse interests, but it more than likely means that you appreciate lots of different things. And it also means that other people know that you appreciate lots of different things! That’s important.

Being someone who is easy to shop for puts people at ease. There is no stress buying gifts for someone like that. No matter what you get you know that person will love it and genuinely appreciate it.

Isn’t that nice?

Being able to naturally put people at ease in any circumstance is a mark of a true gentleman.

So, if you are currently someone who is difficult to shop for (and you probably know who you are), how do you turn it around? Honestly, the advice isn’t that different from how we dads coach our kids to receive gifts: above all, grace.

Beyond just having hobbies and interests, it’s important to train yourself to find things interesting. Many people are pretty blasé about things that aren’t within their usual wheelhouse, but it’s a definite skill to be able to look at a range of different things and find them interesting. That was one of the lessons my dad taught me.

Once you become someone who is genuinely interested in things, you need get your head on straight regarding receiving the gift. Someone is giving you a present for cryin’ out loud! Make sure you understand that someone’s time, thought, and money went into the very moment of you opening that gift. You need to thank your lucky stars you have someone in your life who chose to do that for you. Also, think about it from their perspective. How would YOU want someone to react if they opened a gift from you?

This is where you genuinely thank the individual. That means you look them in the eye, smile, and thank them. Maybe even mention something you like about the gift. Even if it’s something you know you’ll never use or you know won’t fit. Those are considerations for another time. In that moment, the most important thing is that person who gave the gift feels as appreciated by you as you do by them.

Once you have the gift, try your hardest to actually use it, preferably around the person who gave it to you. Wear the sweater when you visit them. Serve the liquor when they visit you. Read the book and discuss it with them.

It’s nice for them to know that their gifts aren’t just going into the void.

If you have a host of interests that other people know about, give genuine and enthusiastic reactions when given a gift, and then USE those gifts as much as possible, you will quickly be known as someone who is easy to shop for.  

You will be someone’s source of joy and relief this holiday season and that’s a wonderful gift in itself.

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