Emerald gift card in Lagos


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Today we are celebrating the ones we love and as such we would be talking about ways to celebrate them without buying things and making handmade gifts that will help you gift more thoughtfully (with loads of  cost benefits).

Before we start thinking about gifts, I think it is important to think about the actual people we are celebrating. What will be the best gift for them? People more often than not, get stuck on what they would want or what to get that special person, rather than considering what matters the most to that person.  At the end of the day, a smaller, more meaningful gift, is way more important to someone than a big showy gift that does not have much meaning for the person receiving it.

The aim of this post is to share tips for gifting thoughtfully and to get you in the right frame of mind to celebrate the people you love in the best possible way and by remembering to celebrate who THEY are, and what THEY love.

Before You Buy a Gift, Know the Occasion

Before you buy a gift, consider the occasion. How terribly important is it? How formal is the event?
In general, the gift should reflect the occasion or the event.
The greater the importance, the more exquisite the gift should be. The more effort your host took, the bigger the gift.


                II.  A gift is not always required

In our society, people feel pressured into getting everyone gifts (i.e.: family, friends, co-workers etc.). And thispressure usually leads to gift  buying and money spending, that doesn’t necessarily need to happen. A genuine, heartfelt holiday card can go a long way toward serving the same purpose of a gift (celebrating or thanking someone) and can be a much better answer when you don’t know enough about the person you “have” to give a gift to.

             III. Thank you note

If you have received a gift from someone, a ‘thank you’ note is in order. Whether or not you liked the gift- or the recipient- a ‘thank you’ note should be sent.

It is just simple etiquette that you respond, irrespective of how you feel about the gift or the giver; it was a thoughtful gesture and a ‘thank you’ is how you can reciprocate and show appreciation.

            IV. Remember the Recipient

The biggest mistake people make when approaching holiday gifts is to buy what they would like, rather than what the recipient would like. If you care about someone enough to get them a gift, consider what they would like. You can put a spin on it that suits your beliefs, etc., but don’t forget the person entirely. Consider giving something that would align with their passions that shows you considered the person and their interests while getting the gift.

 Presenting the Gift

Presenting the gift properly is as important as gift givingA beautiful container always increases the perceived value of the gift even though it only costs a couple of dollars more. A jar, a wooden box, a basket, a tin, a cloth bag etc will all do very well. The traditional box, wrapped with a bow and a gift tag always works.

 Gifts should not be a Contest

I believe very strongly that gifts should not be a contest or an obligation. No one should give a gift with an expectation to receive one in return. Gifts should never have to be matched in quantity or cost-point but rather they should be matched only with genuine celebration of the other person.
So if someone surprises you at your door or your desk with a gift, and you don’t have one in return, the most thoughtful thing you can do is to warmly thank them and follow up with a heart-felt thank you note. Nothing makes that situation worse than someone saying, “Oh nooo! I feel so bad, I didn’t get you anything.” That only highlights the gap in gifts, so instead smile and say thank you and how much you appreciate the gift.

Most-times when we give a gift and the recipients  gives a more expensive gift in return, we overthink the situation, whereas it
could be either of these 2 options:


ü  An expensive gift does not mean the recipient is expected to reciprocate. Sometimes people with larger gift budgets truly enjoy buying luxury items or expensive items for people. If you are comfortable receiving it and don’t feel pressured to return it, thank them and enjoy the kind item someone purchased for you.

ü When giving an expensive gift, consider the recipient. Some people don’t mind and would love to get a luxury gift from someone who has the gift budget to provide one. But some people feel as if it’s a flaunting of income or pointing out an economic situation the recipient is unhappy with or wouldn’t like discuss. If you can tell your gift is making someone uncomfortable, consider stepping down things next time. You don’t need to apologize if your gift was well-intentioned and thoughtful. Simply stress that the gift is an expression of how you value their friendship and the time you spend together.

Belated gifts: It’s never late

If you are late sending gifts, just send a simple “So sorry for the delay!” along with a thoughtful gift. It is better to apologize for something that is slightly delayed than to not send it and have a conversation about why a gift was never sent in the first place. Better late than never.

No shame in your wish-list game

If you have no idea what to buy for someone but and it is compulsory to get them a gift each year (i.e.: nieces, nephews, n-laws, etc.), there is no harm in asking for a wish-list. Especially when it comes to people you do not have direct contact with often (or children who can
be hard to buy for at certain ages), feel free to ask people what they would like. It also guarantees they are happy with what they get.

But if it is for someone you should know well (i.e. your spouse, child, a parent, best friend, etc.) consider paying closer attention to the things they talk about rather than requesting a list each year.


If you want to re-gift an item you got (the same item from different people, or the gift is not to your taste) there are two things to consider:

ü  Will the gifter recognize the item when you give it out? If yes, then your best option is to re-gift outside of the family if you must (or outside of your friend group).

ü Is the gift worth re-gifting and is it in great/new condition? If you don’t want the gift you received, don’t pawn it off on someone else. Donate it if possible. However, if it’s a perfectly good item you just can’t or don’t want to use, and you know someone else it would be perfect for, feel free to re-gift.

The biggest question is always how to handle a missing gift the giver notices being absent from your home. If you are not ready to answer that question, re-consider the re-gifting.

What we give as gifts and how we receive them says a lot about us as individuals.

Don’t you think it’s time you start giving the right gift!



~Anna Emilia



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