1 min read

What Makes a Good Gift

I like Van Neistat’s mental framework for gifting, and I've found these to be true for the best gifts I've received and given this year.

Here are the rules:

1. Surprise

The best gifts contain an element of surprise. If they know what you're getting, surprise them with when you give it to them or how you give it to them.

2. Nice, thoughtful, personally made

Good gifts are often 2 or more of the above.

  • Nice and thoughtful gift: warm clothes for a Californian in Seattle.
  • Thoughtful and made gift: a postcard, a book with a note.
  • Nice and made: an Airpod tag with their favorite emoji engraved.
  • Nice, thoughtful, and made:

3. Expensive v.s. costly.

Expensive gifts are a reasonable amount for a gift, but more than you would usually spend on yourself: $10 chocolates, $20 socks, $30 underwear. Costly gifts require a lot of money: $500 Jordans. Depending on your budget, either could make a good gift, but gifts don’t always need to cost a lot to be special.