Well, it's time to go shopping. Maybe it's your boss's birthday or time to recognize your niece's graduation. How on earth do you find the right gift?
The answer is really quite simple. Pay attention to the person. Look carefully at what they wear, how they carry themselves. Giving gifts is a great way to show someone you care about them, and giving a gift that really speaks to them, while it may seem challenging, is worth the effort.
I'm not suggesting that you take out their house or office and spy on them. You do, however, need to watch them, and pay attention when they're talking. In the case of a boss or co-worker, it can be reliably easy. Look at what he or she has on her desk. Listen carefully when they talk about what they did on the weekend or where they'd like to go on vacation. Next, via a few simple questions, you can decide what to give them for their special day. Find out what they think would be fun about the Bahamas or what team they support in the NBA. Then, depending on your budget, you can get them something that shows you know what's important to them.
In regards to a family member, especially extended family like a niece or cousin, things can get really easy. If you're not exactly sure what would be the perfect gift for your nephew, ask his mom! His parents will know (or should) what kind of music he likes, or what games he's playing on the computer. For young folks, you can even ask them. They know what they want, down to the model numbers, in some cases, and will be thrilled to receive what they asked for.
Of course, you may not always have the time, opportunity or inclination to do the research suggested above. If this is the case, let me suggest something that EVERYONE likes to receive, and that something is cash. No one I know would refuse cash, and if you think they'd be embarrassed to receive actual money, you can give them a gift card. These little babies are so well loved that there's not a soul who would refuse one. You can go generic and get one for the Mall or a chain restaurant, but you can also get more specific shops you know your recipient frequents or even websites that you think they'd enjoy shopping at.
Wrap it up in a cute little box (they have them now just for gift cards) and deliver it to your special someone. They'll be thrilled because they'll either be able to go out for dinner for free or they'll be able to pick out something they love at their favorite store. And that's way better than having to return a too-small sweater or a duplicate coffee grinder.