The holiday season has arrived, and our jolly team at Draper and Kramer Mortgage is here to help you with your gift giving. Just follow these 12 tips we’ve collected to assist you in finding the perfect presents without breaking a sweat or the bank.

  1. Interview your recipient

If you haven’t already, ask your recipient about their interests, hobbies and tastes – as subtly or directly as you prefer. Use the products, ideas and experiences they mention as a starting point for your gift-selection brainstorming.

  1. Get an insider’s recommendation

If you don’t know a person well enough to think of a gift for them, ask someone who does. Family, friends and coworkers are all potential sources of inspiration.

  1. Keep clear of clothes

Unless you know fashion better than a Vogue editor, guessing someone else’s fit or style when it comes to apparel can be a dicey proposition. When in doubt, steer clear of clothing as a gift.

  1. Give an experience

Experiences can be far more meaningful than a knickknack that will collect dust on a shelf. Concerts, sporting events, dinners and spa treatments are but a few examples of memorable experiences that are giftable.

  1. Buy local

A unique gift specific to your city or state, such as local coffee beans, beer or artwork, is more personal than something anyone can grab from a big box retailer.

  1. Make it yourself

Pot a plant, make baked goods, offer to do household chores or create a piece of art. The do-it-yourself options are limitless and often the most meaningful!

  1. Send them to class

Has your gift recipient ever mentioned an interest in taking a lesson in photography, cooking, dancing or something else? If so, check out MasterClass for online class options, or look into local studios, gyms, schools or other places of instruction for giftable in-person session options.

  1. Give something sentimental

Have a memorable photo framed, customize an ornament or charm from a vendor like Etsy or give a favorite childhood toy or food. Gifts are best when they’re personal – a little thought goes a long way.

  1. Make it practical

Consider gifting a meal kit delivery, a new appliance, a portable phone charger or even some nice pairs of socks (monogramming adds an extra-special touch).

  1. Make a charitable donation

Some folks may not want a gift for the holidays. Instead, consider making a charitable donation in their name. Giving to a good cause is always a great feeling for the gift giver and receiver.

  1. Solve simple problems

Listen when your recipient talks about everyday life, and think of gifts that will solve simple problems for them. Do they mention an ongoing frustration, like cutting with a dull kitchen knife? If so, a solution such as a knife sharpener or a new knife might be the perfect gift they never thought to ask for.

  1. Keep a gift idea list year round

Going forward, maintain a gift idea list for the people you regularly give gifts to. You may see something that reminds you of a recipient, or they may mention a want or need that would make a great gift later. You’ll be glad to have this list of ready-to-go ideas when the next gifting occasion comes around.

Best of luck with your gift giving, and happy holidays!