The Gift Giver's Checklist - A Fool-Proof Way to Find the Perfect "Personality-Driven" Gift


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Gifts and more gifts. It really should be a budget item for every home, but most often is not. Weddings, birthdays, Christmas, retirements, house warming, anniversary, Fathers Day, Mothers Day, baby showers, and graduations are obviously the most common. But, to make life even more fun, we add Best Friend’s Day, Secretary’s Day and Grandparents Day. It is tempting to neglect them all, but the truth is that these special days add interest and flare to everyday life. These holidays also give us opportunity to demonstrate to certain people that they add value to our lives.

The Dilemma

Shopping for so many presents is an overwhelming task (and perhaps financially hazardous if you are like me and buy for yourself all the ‘other’ good deals you find while shopping). The reason is that we want the gift to be outstanding. We want it to be used and appreciated, and not just stored in the closet or given away. In other words, we want a wonderful ‘personality-driven’ gift that is appropriate for the occasion and will be loved.

The greatest challenges to meeting these gift-finding requirements, are:

  • Finding THE perfect gift that will ‘match’ our recipient’s personality and style

  • Finding an item that is unique

  • Finding the gift quickly

  • Staying within budget

    The Solution

    I realize that it seems almost impossible to achieve this lofty goal time and time again! But, before you give up and resort to buying the standard toaster, coffee-gift-card, or house warming plant, use this foolproof checklist to hone in on a ‘personality-driven’ gift for that lucky person on your list.

    Consider what makes your acquaintance, friend or loved one different from the other people you know. Using this checklist to write down specific facts about your recipient will fortify the information subconsciously in your mind. As you shop, you will effortlessly navigate through the myriad of products on store shelves (or web-page ‘clicks’) and discover that several choice products set themselves apart from all the rest, almost supernaturally!

    (To assist you with conceptualizing the perfect gift, this sample checklist has been prepared for my father, Gene. )

    First, take the quiz. Write down the first things that pop into your head.

    1. Who is this person?

  • Three character traits you admire most about the person: Full of hope; wise; steadfast

  • Three personality behaviors that are most obvious to you: Casual; energetic; practical

  • Would this person desire a gift that is decorative or practical? Practical, most definitely

    2. How does this he/she spend his/her time?

  • Three things this person enjoys: Walking; wheel’n & deal’n; writing

  • Two things this person would like to avoid doing: Washing his car; gardening

    3. What is his/her style?

  • The color your mind sees when you think of this person: Steel-blue or Toasty-brown

  • Fashion/Decor style (i. e. rustic, Victorian, country, preppy, sophisticated): Country-boy w/a touch of city flare

    4. How to you see this person?

  • When you think of this person, what is he/she doing in your imagination and where are they? Working in his home office on the computer with his desk overflowing with paperwork; or, watching John Wayne eating popcorn at 1:00am.

    5. Price range you want to spend: $50-$150

    Next, analyze your results. Study your answers and develop a sense of what he/she would appreciate as a gift.

    The results of the quiz I took for my father make it clear to me that my dad would enjoy something to organize his office (in country, ‘down-home’ decor), perhaps a jogging outfit (in a color that reflects his Steel-blue steadfast character or his Toasty-brown country roots), or a rustic faux fur throw blanket with which to cuddle up at 1:00 in the morning. I also should consider a year’s worth of coupons to the local car wash. On the flip side, I am reminded that he is not the kind of person to get caught up in a fad (he is steadfast and practical) so I should not buy him something of a fleeting nature.

    Now you are ready to go shopping, whether on-foot or on-line. Take your checklist with you, and look at it before you make any purchase. Does it match his personality? Could you envision him/her using the product you have chosen?

    As simple as this checklist seems, it will help you streamline your gift-buying activities. Keep in mind that this is a strategy not a miracle, so shopping will still require a little of your time and effort. But with the “fool-proof Gift Giver’s Checklist”, shopping may actually become fun in addition to being effective. Happy shopping!

    About the Author: Geri Renee Berge is the founder and owner of Berge Business Services, a 15 year old technical writing company specializing in policy and procedural manuals for financial institutions across the US. Renee also is co-owner of , a Washington based company that designs and sells high quality faux fur throws and pillows. Renee resides on beautiful Whidbey Island, Washington with her husband and three boys.

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