Gift Giving: What makes the best gift?


Graphic by Mariana Riano

Sophia Lopez, Staff Writer

   Some people can’t be bought with items… or can they? With the holidays coming in, the countless secret santas and gift exchanges pile presents under the tree. As you start making a mental list of who might get what, what are factors that you consider? Sentimentality? Cost? Quality?  

   As a person who likes giving gifts as much as receiving them, I try not to abuse my wallet and encourage my loved ones to do the same. 

   Let’s get one thing straight. A gift is a gift. If you’re giving something to someone, it means you’re willing to show that you care through gifting materialistic objects. Most of the time though, you need to think about the person receiving the gift.

   The last thing you want is to back someone into a corner with a gift that makes them feel uncomfortable even though your intentions were elsewhere. In some cases, cost does have a lot to say with this. 

   An expensive gift can set the bar high. If you’re used to giving out pricey presents and going above and beyond with your budget, you’re going to constantly have to search for ways to top it again and again. That can be exhausting for a lot of people. It’s bold, to put it simply.

   Here are some PPCHS students’ thoughts on the topic. Pembroke Pines Charter High School freshman, Lucas Ortega, knows where he leans toward when it comes to a gift’s price:

   “I prefer expensive gifts from my parents because they make me happier since they’re bigger, but coming from my friends I like sentimental gifts better because it lets me know they care. One of the best gifts I got was when my stepdad gave me a PC, and I always have a lot of fun.”

   You wouldn’t expect your friends to get you a phone upgrade, or that expensive shirt you’ve been wanting to get. You can leave that to your parents or when you save up enough money. 

   Receiving gifts from parents and other loved ones are definitely two different things.  

   Ortega’s classmate, freshman Gabby Sarbello also understands her preferences, stating  

   “I like sentimental gifts better if it’s from friends, because thoughtfulness has more value than cost. My friend gave me a rock because of an inside joke, and now it sits in my room.” A rock is a rock. But if there’s meaning behind that rock, it could be more fun to have around then let’s say, a slick pair of Gucci slides from that same friend. 

   If you haven’t done it already, setting a budget is very helpful. Communication is essential in gift giving to avoid misunderstandings. Don’t go over or too under the budget: think of it like a pact. You might mean well, but you risk making the other uncomfortable with your gift choice.

   It’s the thought that counts. 

   Wise words especially since I tend to second-guess my gifts and wonder if they’re good enough very often. 

   Seriously. Sentimental items can be harder to find than expensive ones if this person is really that meaningful to you; racking your brain for a relevant inside joke or any of their favorites can help– and it definitely brings you closer. 

   You don’t want to make whoever is receiving the gift uncomfortable. Throwing away your savings can make it kinda awkward. At best, they’ll accept it, but attached with a future warning to not go overboard. 

   But hey, if you’re wanting to put in the work to make it meaningful, surf the web and see what you can find. A gift doesn’t have to be the richest in value, it’s all up to the interpretation of those that receive it.  

   If it comes with a good intention and a consideration, you’re already there. As you exchange your gifts and await their reactions, pat yourself on the back. You made it through another gift giving season.