If you’re like me, the holidays are a mixed bag of emotions. On one hand, you love giving gifts to friends and family; on the other hand, shopping for the perfect gift for the ones you love can cause moderate to severe episodes of panic, obsession and, occasionally, hyperventilation. So, let’s all take a deep breath and stay calm. For your Black Friday shopping pleasure, I’ve put together a list of ways we can all avoid the stress and uncertainty of gift buying this year by harnessing the power of social media.
Pinterest – You can usually get a pretty good idea of the things a person likes and desires based on pin boards they’ve organized and the things they’ve pinned. Pinterest also has a built-in plan B in case your Great Aunt Francine hasn’t joined Pinterest yet: use Pinterest to find a DIY project to make for her instead.
Amazon Wishlist – A true classic. Sure, not everyone keeps one of these in his or her back pocket, continually adding to and deleting items that have already been acquired, but the folks who do are guaranteed to appreciate receiving something they’ve filed away on this list. I mean, it IS a wish list. These Christmas miracles are the easiest to achieve. Be a hero.
Deal Sites (Groupon/Living Social/etc.) – For some folks, Black Friday can be every day when you subscribe to Groupon, Living Social, Gilt, No More Rack, Denver Daily Deals, etc., etc., etc., as I do. Don’t call us cheap because we never buy anything at full price. Come to the dark side; we have coupons. And, meta as it sounds, we’d love to have a gift certificate to buy more coupons throughout the year via our favorite deal site. It’s not just a discount; it’s a lifestyle.
Spotify – This can inspire lots of different gift ideas! Concert tickets, box sets, iTunes gift cards. If you can’t bring yourself to support your friend’s love of Taylor Swift, perhaps a nice set of headphones would make a thoughtful hint. No one wants to hear about Taylor’s heartache but you, buddy. No time to think thoughtfully? Buy a gift subscription.
Facebook – When I needed to know what kind of stuff my niece and cousins are into, I went straight to their Facebook profiles to see what they like. I basically just picked things I liked too, though. She likes Justin Bieber and Harry Potter? Guess who’s getting a golden snitch pendant? Selective encouragement, y’all. Teach them well and let them lead the way.
Foursquare – Is your loved one the mayor of a local bar or coffee shop? Buy a gift certificate. Is guessing which airport they’ll check-in from today your favorite game? There are a zillion great gifts for the happy traveler!
So, that should put you on the right track to a load of thoughtful gifts for your friends and family this year. Unless you associate with a bunch of jerks, they’ll appreciate the time and thought you put into making or picking out their gift. And if it turns out that you are awash in a sea of ungrateful jerks, perhaps it’s time to start cleaning up your friends lists across your own social media accounts.