Ask Me Anything

by Kristi Hawley

    What is an uncommon occasion you’d recommend for surprising someone with a gift?

    We are always looking for occasions to surprise people around our house. We celebrate friend-a-versaries, May the fourth (force) is a big day at our house, goals reached or promotions at work. If you still need ideas here’s the national calendar of official days. Who knew there was a “World Whisky Day” – LOL (It’s May 15th).

    More seriously, I try to make notes on my calendar of meaningful dates to remind myself when a friend lost a loved one, had a special event anniversary in their life, or if they practice a different religion honoring their significant day is especially thoughtful.

    Why is finding the perfect gift so stressful?

    It’s crazy that I get asked this question all. the. time. It seems so simple, yet it isn’t. The simple answer is (a little self centered) that we stress ourselves out because we all want to be liked and accepted – we all want to show up with the “home run” gift and be the hero. Also, most of us also want our recipient to feel special.

    The less simple answer is that there are many factors involved in finding the perfect gift, including planning ahead, cost, knowing the recipient and what they love, want and need. Honestly, who has all that time? This is why so many of us default to currency, which is what I would love to change about the world! Seems so cold and mindless just exchanging currency, be it cash or gift cards. Let’s bring back the art of gift giving – wrapping paper and all! If anyone wants to dive deeper and understand the psychology of gifting, I found this article helpful (The Dark Side of the Gift).

    What’s your favorite holiday?

    Christmas…always! As a kid, Momma did her best to go overboard and make each holiday special – she always succeeded – while Dad lit the fire and would sing and dance to his favorite Christmas songs (he could do neither but always made us laugh). As an adult, Christmas is my favorite holiday for all the cliche stuff: winter, big sweaters, hot cocoa, classic movie nights, the smell of Christmas trees, and holiday parties, all with a big dose of family chaos. I realize that the holidays are a difficult time for many people, but, I want to believe that the holidays also bring out the generosity and thoughtfulness in each of us.

    How can I choose a meaningful gift for someone who isn’t materialistic?

    The old adage “the greatest gift we can give someone is our time” rings true. For those recipients who are not materialistic, I would encourage you to find a way that you can gift them your time…plan a home cooked meal, game night, movie night, picnic, canoe trip, concert, an experience of some sort. If you aren’t able to do so in person, then send them an experience they can enjoy with someone else. If you look closely at the non-materialistic person and see how they spend their free time, it will give you insight to the best gift ideas for them.

    Where are you from?

    Born and raised in North Central Florida, hence the “southern gal.” I love being raised in the sunshine state and really never understood why anyone would want to live anywhere else. It’s funny though, my northern relatives are always so confused when we see each other and I’m not tan. I’m like, “no Pam, just because I live in Florida doesn’t mean I sit on the beach under palms trees with a margarita basking in the sun all day.”

    How can I please that one person who returns every gift?

    You can’t. Some people actually enjoy returning or exchanging gifts. My experience with people that like to return things is just to accept that as the way they are and not be offended. It’s about them, not you and your gift selection. You other option is to get them a gift of experience, so they won’t be able to return it. Gifts of experience would be spa, concert, theater, or activities like zip-lining or fishing trip. Another idea is to make a donation to charity in their honor.

    What inspired you to take on the gifting space as a profession, and why are you so passionate about it?

    Honestly, I used to REALLY struggle with gifting, it must be the people pleaser in me. I realized that if I was struggling so was everyone else, so I started studying gift giving and how to help simplify it for others. As a mom, it has been a constant struggle to manage gifting for birthdays and special occasions for my children and their friends and all the important people in my life. Sounds like arrogant first world problems, I know. Yet, the struggle is real.

    My passion comes from an insatiable desire to help others and to problem solve. The best way for me to further my passion was to create a platform — GiftBoss — where I could share what I have learned as well as hear new ideas, inspiration and connect all of us together. I want to become a resource for others to be inspired not just to give gifts but to exercise the spirit of generosity.

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