How to Sweetly Hint for Gifts

Posted on December 03, 2014 by Mary Hood | 0 Comments


Many of us are somewhat bashful about receiving gifts let alone hinting at what we’d like to receive—at least in our adult years (life without letters to Santa can be a bit complicated, no?). At the same time, however, it’s often a relief to hear what our loved ones would actually like. After all, deciding what to buy is half the work of holiday shopping!

If it seems that your significant other or close family member is struggling to figure out what you’d like, throw them a bone, and don’t be afraid to drop a hint or two.

Not only can suggesting gifts for yourself allay the mental flurry of gift-shopping, it can also ease financial stress for someone who is facing money challenges. If a financially burdened friend or relative insists on getting you something, why not suggest something affordable yet meaningful? For example, “This Christmas, I would really love a batch of your famous brownies.” Or, “For my gift, can we get coffee at our favorite place? It would mean a lot to have some quality time with you.”

For a gift of any value, you’ll want to be considerate of the other person’s likely budget and the amount of time she’ll have to go shopping between now and the time you’ll be exchanging gifts. Remember that hinting at a gift is ultimately to help the giver.

First, try a subtle approach. The subtle approach doesn’t involve you directly asking for a gift. Instead, you’ll be leaving visual and verbal clues for the giver.

For example, you could leave a tab open on your boyfriend's browser featuring a sweater you’d really like. You could also place a bright sticky note on a catalog page and leave the catalog in his workspace--or anywhere he'd be likely to come across it.

Alternatively, you can speak in hypotheticals and name the type of product you’d like: “It would be really neat if I had the last two seasons of Gilmore Girls. It would complete my collection, and I’d watch them all the time!” 

You can also try the subtle approach while shopping. Imagine finding the perfect tote while shopping with your partner. Now is the ideal time to drop a hint. Wear the tote, ask him how it looks on you, rave about how beautiful the stitching is—but don’t buy it. Return it to the shelf, and say something like, “Maybe one day!” Hopefully, the giver will catch on.

But if not—there is always a more direct approach. If your beloved is positively stumped, you may want to say exactly what you’d like—or direct her to your Amazon wish list (that’s why these things exist!). You can even mention last year’s gift if it makes sense to do so: “Remember how you got me that awesome cologne last year? Well, that brand came out with a new fragrance called, “X.” I’ve tried a sample, and I’d really like the full-size bottle.”

Have you ever hinted for gifts before? What strategies have you tried?


Photo: Fazen via Flickr

Posted in dropping hints, engagement, engagement ring, fun, gifts, hinting for gifts, holidays, jewelry, surprise gift



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