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The Best Things

Updated: Apr 21, 2022

A cheat guide to finding your perfect gift.

in life are free...

in life aren't things...

come in small packages...

come to those who wait...

come in threes...

Family, friends, (fur)babies. For many of us, we'd say those are our best things. They bring us love and laughter. They keep us warm and safe. They remind us that we're all connected in this hamster wheel of life. They build us up and keep us humble.

In the last couple of years, we haven't had many occasions to connect in real life. In a way, having those occasions to go to - birthday parties, anniversary dinners, farewells - kept us on our toes. We had to plan. We had to make an effort. So what have we done to stay connected while apart? Some of us picked up the phone and made calls. Some of us scrolled obsessively on social media. Some of us Group Watched the latest blockbusters. And sometimes, "just to stay sane" as a friend of ours said, we sent out care packages. We sent a lot of care packages!

Although we're avid gift givers (we built a business around it!), we know that gifting can just seem like a crutch, a gesture, a lazy way to show someone you care. But for many of us, it's our Love Language. "Receiving Gifts" is less about the material gift and more about the love that goes into the gifting process. And where they receive, they'll show love that way, too. Interestingly, it has the lowest attribution amongst the 5 love languages, which may help explain why many people think of gifting as an obligatory, painful and boring process. If you're in that bucket, or you're just struggling to find something for a special someone, this guide is for you!

How do you start?

When getting a gift, it's all about the why. Is this for a big birthday or a Secret Santa or a "feel better"? The why will determine everything else - budget, timing, size. For example, you probably wouldn't be budgeting as much or planning as long for a Secret Santa gift as for your partner's 40th birthday. Once you've figured out the why, your budget, how long you have and how well you can hide it, then it's time to think about the feel of the gift. Here's a list of the main categories of gift feel in increasing strength of emotion:

  • Fun or flirty - cute and enjoyable

  • For the soul - sensitive and nurturing

  • Made with love - handmade and bespoke

  • The BIG gesture - deeply invested

The following sections give suggestions on gifts for the first 3 categories by budget, timing and size where relevant, and when (anytime or planned) and where you can find them. The BIG gesture isn't covered as that's personal to your relationship.

Fun or flirty

Perfect for more casual occasions like a Secret Santa, 8 week (or 8 year) anniversary, or "just because". These gifts may not be widely practical but there's a lot of opportunity to make them personal. Just make sure the person receiving the gift is in on the gag!

Budget: any. Timing: any.

When and where

Suggestions from small to large storage


These gifts can usually be found at your nearest dollar store or newsagent

Scratch and win lottery ticket

Funny mug/shot glass

Randomest DVD you can find like Magic Mike

Learn each day calendar

After dinner table game: charades, trivia

Stuffed toy: teddy bear


These can be found in most shopping malls or ordered from specialty stores and online marketplaces

Casino chip


Customised mug/sweater

In-shower speaker

Cartoon book: Texts from Dog/Cat

Cocktail making book

Claw game/carnival toy

Building blocks: Nanoblock, Lego

Inflatable pool/beach toy: flamingo, ball

Outdoor game set: boules, cricket

Garden statue: gnome, corrugated sheep

Giant stuffed toy: Snorlax

For the soul

These gifts invoke our senses and feed our souls. Whatever the why - birthdays, Mother's and Father's Days, weddings, illnesses, funerals - these gifts or a combination of these gifts will make anyone feel nourished and cared for inside and out even if you're not in the room with them.

Timing: any. Size: any.

When and where

Suggestions from small to large budgets


These gifts can usually be ordered from business websites and sent directly to inboxes

Food voucher: UberEats, restaurant

Flower bouquet

Hamper: wine and snacks, edible bouquet

Beauty voucher: nails, massage, spa day

Tickets: theatre, concert, magician, comedian

Weekend trip: hotel with event tickets


These can be found in most shopping malls, grocers, art galleries and specialty stores

Snacks: shortbread, nuts, Tim Tams, Lindt balls, cheese, doughnuts, mochi

Hand poured scented soap

Reusable straw and cutlery set

Tea and tea wares

Bed socks/woolen gloves

Hobby book/supplies

Travel toiletry set

Triple scented candle

Scarf: art print, knitted, wool, cashmere, silk

Cocktail making set


Scents: eau de toilette/parfum, cologne

Memorabilia: crystal figurines, collector cards

Made with love

Not everyone is artistic or crafty but for those with a Quality Time love language, making something with you is even more important than having something made by you. These gifts are for your biggest supporters, the big birthdays and big thank yous.

Budget: any. Size: any.

When and where

Suggestions from short to long timings


These gifts can usually be ordered from learning or experience websites and sent directly to inboxes

One-off class: paint and sip, ceramics, silver jewelry, acting, singing, macramé, felting, cooking, cupcake decorating

Learning subscription: Masterclass, college


Supplies can be found in craft stores and local markets. Specialist equipment may be required.

Bake: cookies, brownies, cupcakes

Plant and vase: succulent, bonsai, terrarium

Write: poem, short story, IOUs*

Craft: greeting card, bookmark, flip book

Macramé plant holder/hanger

Crochet: toy, scarf, jewelry

Scarf/tie/handkerchief: shibori, embroidery

Jewelry: silver, leather, beaded

Artwork: painting, drawing, resin, alcohol ink

Video montage

*IOUs are a fun and personal way to connect with a loved one. Example IOUs: foot rub, dishes, laundry, homecooked meal, date night, alone time, Sunday night football, your choice.

Gifts can also be combined across categories to create a care package.

  • Care packages should be made up of: smell (soap/scent) + taste (biscuit/chocolate/tea) + feel (lotion/mug/scarf) + see (book/artwork)

This is a trick we use a lot - making use of the things we've picked up throughout the year - see our Have you been A Little 8? post. If you are planning on creating a care package, make sure it at least includes the memory-invoking sense of smell to make a lasting impression.

We hope these suggestions help you find the perfect gift! And remember, support your local small business :oD

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