The Gift Giving Guide: Everything You Need To Know For The Holiday Season

Josiah Scarano, Author


Seeing the colorful lights being hung, feeling the temperature slowly drop, hearing the christmas songs in the background of your shopping trips – it certainly is that time of the year again.  As we get closer to the holiday season, I’m sure you’re wondering what would be a good gift to get for the high schooler in your life.  One of the hardest things is finding a gift for someone who tells you that they want “I don’t know.” 


According to The Unconventional Route, there are four things that make a present good.  The first is to “give them what they want” (Chris).  This seems a little bit obvious, however important to remember.  The second thing is to “address a problem” (Chris).  Whether this is an everyday problem, a broken object, or an overwhelming amount of responsibilities, solving a problem is very valuable.  The third way to make a present good is to make it “something that helps efficiency” (Chris).  The last method to make a present good is to “create meaning” (Chris).  When I first read this, I was skeptical.  Surely gift giving isn’t that easy. Surely there can’t be only four ways to make a present good.


So I set off to get to the bottom of my questions.  On my quest to find the best present, I interviewed several individuals.  When asked what a great present would be, Jacoby Scarano, a freshman in high school, replied,  “Anything that is related to an interest of mine.”  For him personally, he wants a basketball to replace his popped one, since he has an upcoming season. Senior Tyler Rafferty advised, “Time put into a gift is something that makes it important.”  Something he has done in the past is promise his parents a free car wash and to make dinner for the night.  A gift like this shows how you are willing to spend time for loved ones, which is something that you can’t buy.  


If these gifts aren’t for you, don’t worry.  Patrick Restuccia said he wants “something he can use every day; something that is useful.”  For him specifically, his list includes “an electric pencil sharpener, because [his] at home just broke.” Now that I had interviewed people about what they wanted, I started to worry about presents for people that I didn’t really know that well.  What if a Secret Santa swap pairs you up with an unfamiliar person?  Have no fear. Victoria Harper, a great gifter, shares that her go to gift is candy, fuzzy socks, and a candle.  “Just make it something that everyone likes, and you can’t go wrong.” she adds. 


After interviewing multiple people I know, I realized that the research was right.  Whether it was something that the person wanted like candy or cozy socks, taking away problems like replacing a popped basketball, improving efficiency with a pencil sharpener, or spending time with your parents, all of these gifts fit into the four categories. When holiday gift shopping this year, make sure to remember these tips!


 (Image credit: <a href=””>Andy Dean Photography</a> | <a href=””>shutterstock</a>)

Chris, and Lucas. “What Makes a Good Gift? If It Satisfies One of These Four Needs.” The Unconventional Route, 5 July 2022,