When my husband and I started Occasional.ly, we dreamed of creating a platform that would allow users to give amazing gifts without investing a huge amount of time or effort. After all, life is crazy enough without the pressure of trying to find perfect gifts for your friends and family! Of course, building a platform that is effective and easy to use sounds simple but is a huge undertaking. Everyday, we get a little bit closer to our dream of making gift giving as simple as possible.
Buying gifts for my in-laws has always been difficult for me. There are three occasions in a year where I buy each of them a gift – their birthdays, Mother’s Day/Father’s Day, and Christmas. Every year, because of where their birthdays fall, it starts to feel like March – June run together because I am in a constant state of gift purchasing for these special occasions.
Of course, to get me through this crazy period, I’ve developed a list of my go-to gifts for my in-laws. My mother-in-law likes artsy earrings, and like any mom, I feel that something with a personal touch always puts a smile on her face. My father-in-law likes wine, a good martini, and guitar. If I can add a personal touch to one of these items, I feel like I freaking nailed it! I’m sure my in-laws have thrown away plenty of these gifts that I thought I nailed but that’s the tricky part about gifts…. you may think you nailed it when you actually failed. Now these go-to gifts have run their course and I’m stuck trying to find the perfect gift for my in-laws again. This got me thinking… what constitutes a great gift?
After some thought, I decided that characteristics of great gifts are as follows:
Unique – Sure, you may know that your friend loves Starbuck’s Coffee, but that doesn’t mean buying him or her a bag of Starbuck’s ground coffee is a great gift! Buying a great gift means picking out something unique that your giftee doesn’t currently own and hasn’t even thought about owning because they haven’t discovered it yet. A great gift needs to be unique. Period.
Memorable – Picking out a memorable gift goes hand in hand with picking out a unique gift. Occasional.ly believes that if a gift is unique or personal enough, then the gift will be memorable. To assess whether a gift will be memorable - ask yourself if your giftee will still remember this gift in five years. If the answer is no, then you did not pick out a memorable gift and it’s time to try, try again.
Thoughtful – Thoughtful gifts usually take a significant amount time to pick out and time is the most precious gift you can give anyone. To give your giftee a thoughtful gift, try to think of a small detail about the person you are picking out a gift for. Perhaps they had a crush on a character from tv as a child (Hello, Arthur the Ardvark 😉). Or maybe you have a hilarious inside joke between the two of you. Maybe you have a special or fun memory that you and your giftee shared together. Take out a journal and write down some of these special memories and then write down any sort of symbolic item you can think of for each memory. You might be surprised what you come up with! This list will serve as your secret weapon to help you buy your giftee a thoughtful gift!
Meaningful – I want you to close your eyes and think about the last meaningful gift you received. I remember for my wedding shower, one of my good friends gave me a picture frame with a bunch of pictures in it from college. It was definitely the most special gift I received at my shower. I often look at the pictures in the frame when I miss my college friends, or I want to reminisce. Meaningful gifts remind someone of the connection that you share with them, and that gift is absolutely priceless.
Stay tuned for our initial release of the Occasional.ly platform so you can spend less time picking out the perfect gift and more time celebrating occasions. ♥️