Guide to Gift-Giving

There are a lot of different kind of gift-givers out there. Some are good, some are bad. Some are confusing, while some give you comfort. Also, some people don’t give gifts (I’m looking at you, little sister). It’s fine though. Being good or bad, there or not, in regards to presents, does not make you a good or bad person.

If you don’t give gifts because you’re bad at it, I’m here to help. If you don’t give them because you just don’t want to, there is no help for you. I’m also here to help if you’re bad at it, and still give them. Hey you, that’s an A for effort!

Gift Giving by Amanda Wood

In any case, I’m no expert and I am not going to tell you that everyone has loved every gift I’ve ever given. But, a lot of people do ask me what to get for their loved ones, so maybe I can offer some sound advice. There are, of course, exceptions to everything I’m going to tell you, but it’s probably not a great idea to focus on exceptions.


First, here are some generally bad gift ideas:

Gift cards or money

Live animals (unless it’s for me)

Dead animals (well, maybe)



Lock of your hair (ok just this once)


The Advice:

Do not choose a general interest of the person and then just try to match the gift. This will result in your poor friend or family member having an entire house full of dog things because of that time they liked a dog. Or, like my sister, a house full of High School Musical merchandise, because she liked the movie in 2006.

Do you remember a joke they made once? That time you two were alone and you saw something weird or silly? Do you remember when you watched that one guy fall in the street and you both tried not to laugh? My point is, think of a memory that you share. THIS is a better way to choose a gift.

Pro-tip: If you get something small, go ahead and get a few things. Calm down, your wallet is fine.

Always wrap your gift. Don’t be an asshole.



Sometimes you buy a gift for someone and they FLAKE OUT OF YOUR LIFE before you can give it to them. If you are an excellent and prepared gift-giver, this can happen more easily, since you’ll probably have your gifts ready way in advance. But watch out, it can happen to anyone, at any time. “Life,” amirite?

So here’s what you do. The gift you got this person is not a generic thing that you can just give to someone else instead, because you care and you are better at gift-giving than that, we’ll assume. So you need to gather some wood and create an effigy around the item. Build it up so that it resembles the person you got it for. Carefully, set it on fire.

Gift Giving by Amanda Wood

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