Bear Hub’s Guide to Great Gift-Giving

Personally, I consider myself a great gift-giver and I am here to help you out.

Alefiya Presswala, Bear Hub Editor

With the holiday season upon us, the pressures of trying to buy your loved ones a gift are more prevalent than ever. But worry not! Personally, I consider myself a great gift-giver and I am here to help you out.


My gift giving philosophy has always included “it’s the thought that counts”, because no matter how cheesy it sounds, it’s true. The best gifts are the ones that are personal, meaningful, and thoughtful.

When thinking about the perfect gift for your loved one, think about their hobbies and interests. For example, my sister enjoys watching Ghibli movies, and she talks about them a lot, so for her 15th birthday, I bought her a poster with a famous Ghibli character on it.
This can apply to virtually anything, like books, bands, actors, even a piece of jewelry or clothing they may have mentioned liking. Get your friend a gift card to their favorite store or restaurant.
Think about things they’ve talked about needing as well. If your friend constantly mentions how broken and gross their phone case is, maybe you can find a new- even personalized- one for them. If I’m being honest, one of my favorite gifts I’ve ever received is a pack of neon, heart-shaped Post-its (I use them everyday!)

You can also never go wrong with something homemade. These, I find, tend to be the most heart-warming gifts that you will inevitably cherish forever. It’s as simple as buying a wooden photo frame from Michael’s, slapping some paint and glitter onto it, printing out a cute photo of you and your loved one, and wrapping it all up. You can also attempt to paint/draw something for them, maybe a recreation of a favorite memory together or something you know would match their room. There are also tons of DIY tutorials on YouTube that you can watch to make all different types of unique gifts for your loved ones, from flower vases made out of popsicle sticks to temporary tattoos. Homemade gifts are also awesome for parents and other relatives, who will definitely appreciate the effort more than anyone else.


First, please refer to the section above this one. As I will continue to say throughout this gift guide, it is the thought that counts. Always. You shouldn’t ever feel pressured to spend a large amount of money on an extravagant present.

As I mentioned before, gifting someone something homemade is always a great option, not to mention it is also cheap.

Food is also another great option. Chances are that you already have most of the ingredients for homemade cookies at home, and simple chocolate chip or sugar cookies are the easiest recipes to follow. If cooking really isn’t for you, then stop by the store and pick up a few boxes of chocolates. Who doesn’t appreciate a few sweets during the holidays?


You’ve probably received a random candle or blanket from a coworker and thought to yourself, What do I do with this? I already have tons of these already.
Well, the trick to buying a great gift for someone you don’t know very well is to have a reason for buying it. Chances are, if you’re getting someone a gift, then you probably spend some type of time together on a daily basis, even if it’s solely a work relationship. You must know something about them, or have noticed something about them or their interests.

Even if you’re getting the person a very generic gift, include some type of note that explains why you got the gift. Instead of just getting them a random scented candle, get them a candle that smells like the ocean because it reminded you of the one time you bonded over your love of dolphins.

If you’re really struggling to figure out what to get this person, ‘fluff’ gifts are perfect. Throw in a few face masks (the self care kind, not the COVID kind), bath bombs, a candle, perfume, or an Amazon giftcard (any other general store works too).


Something else that I think is worth mentioning is the environmental impact of the holiday season and how we can still celebrate and share tokens of our love, while also being conscious of the effect we have on the environment.
Check out this great post from the Washington Post on sustainable gift giving.


Write. A. Note. This one tip automatically makes your present ten times better. Just write a note.
I mentioned this in the section about not knowing the receiver of your gift, but a note makes your present so much more personal and meaningful. In all my presents, I like to include a note that explains the thought process behind all my gifts and other niceties.
If your gift sort of sucks- and sometimes it will- throw in a small card or note (you can even simply buy a pretty Hallmark one from ShopRite) and your gift is transformed from sort-of-bad to sort-of-good.
Feel free to be creative. Use different colors of ink or different fonts, add stickers, drawings, or even decorate the envelope.
Even if your gift isn’t the best, your loved one will definitely appreciate the energy you put into the personalization.


-Start shopping early. Last-minute gifts are stressful to get and sometimes it’s obvious to the receiver as well.
-Get a gift receipt for everything you buy.
-Be creative.
-Check with other people who are also buying your receiver a gift to make sure you don’t give similar things.
-Have fun!!!