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How to give an awesome gift

Seeking out the perfect gift isn’t everybody’s strong suit. However, all hope is not lost, because gift-giving is a love language in which anybody can become relatively fluent.

For those who like to skim-read, here are all of the bases we’ll be covering from gift conceptualization all the way through to wrapping the gift itself, and everything in between.

Sol's Picnic hamper
The perfect setting to enjoy a Sol’s hamper

Sol’s comprehensive gifting timeline

What reasons are there to give gifts?

This might be the most important question on your whole gifting journey. There’s never a particularly inappropriate time to give a gift but sometimes, there is a tendency to force one’s expressions of love to fit occasion-specific molds rather than finding something specially-tailored to the recipient.

On birthdays, start by calling or texting someone. Even people who claim to hate their birthdays usually appreciate the acknowledgement that these simple gestures can convey. If that person is someone you know well or a person with whom you have an intimate relationship, a physical gift is a great idea. On anniversaries, there’s nothing wrong with going the traditional route by commemorating the year with a talisman, enjoying a romantic night out or a combination of the two.

When people undergo change and transition into new life stages like graduations, moves, births and deaths, cards are appreciated but even better is to give them something that may help them with the stress associated with that change. For example, some crockery for a new homeowner. When it comes to formal occasions, the general rule of thumb is that the value of the gift should match the value of the place setting. If there’s no special occasion, random acts of kindness are often the most deeply valued of all, but that’s on you to figure out. A little always goes a long way.

How big should my gift be?

Size most certainly matters when it comes to gifts. If someone is a family member, a close friend or significant other, splash out. If you’ve just made a new friend, a smaller gift will do. Always consider the nature of your relationship with a gift recipient – the gift should reflect that and honour the connection between you. Also, it’s important to consider whether someone has shown you great generosity in the past. If a friend attended your wedding and went big on a lavish gift, reciprocating that gesture would be a good idea.

How to pick the right gift

  • Think about the gift recipient’s needs. Did they just move house or adopt a new fur baby? These might be windows of opportunity but similarly, they could be an indication as to where they’ve already recently spent money. 
  • Pay attention to and make note of hints. Nothing closes a loop quite like receiving a gift you’ve been not-so-subtly hinting at for weeks or even months.
  • What would you want to be gifted? Has somebody close to you ever complimented your style, taste in music or cooking repertoire? Chances are that they’d like some of the things you like too.
  • Some people don’t like getting “things”. However, that doesn’t for one second mean that they don’t want anything. Outdoor adventures involving food, wine, special locations or all of the above can be just as gratifying and memorable as something wrapped in a box.
Cape Town coastline
Cape Town’s idyllic coastline

If you keep it simple and methodical, your mission simply can’t fail.

Mother’s Day

Mothers know best, as the saying goes, and since that’s almost always 100% true, it follows that they deserve the best too. No matter what year it is or what’s happening in the world, give your mom a call (not only a text) on Mother’s Day because she’ll most certainly appreciate it. Why not get her something sweet too?

When in doubt, cheese

Unless your mates are lactose-intolerant, chances are they’ll go nuts for a carefully compiled cheeseboard, but putting one together is easier said than done. By 2022, it’s almost guaranteed that compiling a cheese board will be a non-negotiable life skill in Cape Town. Our shopping guide is a good place to start if you’re clueless in that regard. Cheese may not be the most conventional gift in the history of gifts, but it won’t go amiss at any event or special occasion. Check out our cheeseboard hamper.

A variety of cheese, charcuterie and delicate melba toast

Housewarming parties

Hosting a successful housewarming party has the potential to become a stressful affair. Will everyone like your music? Does the apartment look spick and span? Did you have some spinach in your teeth the entire night and nobody thought to tell you? Most importantly, has the food met everyone’s lofty standards? We want your first shindig at a new abode to be a relaxing experience where you can wow your guests, so alleviate all of that unnecessary stress with The Host Hamper because it’s the greatest gift you can give yourself. The only downside is that friends might soon expect a repeat performance from their new favourite party host.

Be The Host with the most

Game Day

The greatest gift you can give yourself on a busy sporting weekend is the Cold Cut – moreish snacks are simply part of the matchday experience. We love culatello so much that we wrote about it in April. If you’re not a huge fan yet, read our post and you’ll be converted after learning more about the provenance of this fine product.

Game Day

What type of gift should I get for my partner?

No pressure but this is probably the one you can least afford to get wrong. Strangely enough, buying a gift for a significant other, somebody that you know like the back of your hand can be the most difficult task. Either you’ve doom-scrolled through every option on your favourite online shopping apps and everything is out of your budget, or come to the conclusion that your special someone already has everything they need. The struggle is real. Always remember, however, that you don’t need to wait for an anniversary to spoil your significant other.

The Intimate Hamper

The Intimate from Sol’s fits the bill if you’ve run out of gift ideas because there are not many more wholesome and centering experiences than setting time aside to share a decadent meal with a significant other. if nothing else, this hamper sets a wonderfully romantic tone and provides that “wow factor” to memorably mark an anniversary or elevate a regular weekend away. Our next-day delivery policy comes to the rescue, should you only remember a special occasion at the last minute.

What about a friend that’s going through it?

Not all special gestures need to come in the form of a physical gift. Rustling up a few friends and whisking them away for a weekend in nature can be the ideal tonic to recharge everyone’s batteries. Maybe you’ll be able to reacquaint yourself with old hobbies and interests that you’d abandoned. For those friends who thrive more in one-on-one scenarios, let them know that they’re loved and appreciated. Sometimes just the mere acknowledgement and presence of a support system can be the greatest gift of all. Let them know!

In times like these where it’s even more difficult to be with people in the physical sense, a gift to a grieving friend can show that you care and that you’re there for them. A gift, in this instance, is symbolic of your ongoing love and support. Food is so often a major source of comfort in all of our lives and it brings people together as few other things can.

The non-gift gift

Receiving/giving gifts is not everybody’s love language but there’s also no price tag attached to a thoughtful and heartfelt gesture, which makes it priceless. When you want to treat someone who values experiences more than physical gifts, it’s a perfect opportunity to set time aside and find an experience that you both enjoy. Win-win. In the context of 2021, quality time with loved ones is as precious a commodity as it’s ever been.

The Sol’s team breathing in Cape Town’s abundant natural splendour

How to build your own Sol’s hamper

If you want to add some unique flair and thoughtfulness to a gift, our shopping guide provides the framework for you to tailor your very own bundle of delights that caters to a very specific set of tastes and preference. Although our hampers are pretty great, the shopping guide allowed a bit more scope for creative expression, and that can make all the difference when wowing somebody with a gift. 25 slabs of Nougat – unconventional, sure, but do you know someone who would want to receive 25 slabs of nougat? We sure do, and who are we to judge?

Don’t forget something sweet

As with so many things in life, gifting is often made more complicated and daunting than it needs to be. A little bit of thoughtful planning can go a long way. If all else fails, give someone food, because a hanger is a real thing. Just ask the Oxford Dictionary. No self-respecting DIY hamper bag put together in Cape Town would be complete without cheese, charcuterie, chocolate or all three, so there’s a starting point.

hangry: /ˈhaŋɡri/ adjective INFORMAL

bad-tempered or irritable as a result of hunger.

If this post has inspired you to get more daring with your gift-giving skills, why not build your own DIY hamper?

How should I present my gift and get it to its recipient?

At Sol’s, we firmly believe in beautifully presented gifts and hampers. Add a touch of class to a wrapped gift box by tying some raffia around it. When in doubt, always write a note too, because it lends a personal and memorable touch that conveys your unique personality to the recipient. In terms of getting a gift to its recipient, nothing can quite rival delivering it to them in person. However, if the recipient is a fan of surprises, having us deliver it for you is a super convenient solution.

Sol’s Final thoughts on gifting

Whether you’ve got loads to spend or not much at all, this guide will hopefully get you in the right frame of mind as you look to make your nearest and dearest feel loved and appreciated. Just always remember that giving anything is an act of kindness, so don’t sweat the tiny specific details too much. Sometimes we give gifts because we know the recipients will love them, and sometimes we give gifts out of obligation by choosing them from a registry, and sometimes we give flowers and food because those things just make people happy.

If you’ve made it this far, well done! You’re bound to be the best gift-giver in your friends circle.

Sol's Foods dad hamper
Getting toasty with the Dad hamper

Have a tasty week and stay warm!

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