5 Ways to Enhance Gift-Giving when There is No Element of Surprise

5 Ways to Surprise Someone Who Already Knows the Gift They are ReceivingSometimes, there is no getting around it…not every gift you give will have the element of surprise. Plenty of people start unwrapping a present and know exactly what is inside. For some gift givers, they just can’t get over the fact that they’ve somehow missed out on that stunned, amazed, astounded look that comes across a gift recipient’s face when they have no clue what a box or package has to offer. If you’d like to enhance the overall effect of this type of gift-giving, consider the following suggestions on how to add your own personal touches or flair:

1. Enhance the Presentation of a Gift

The first thing a gift recipient sees when receiving a present is the packaging, which is one area you have complete control over when they already know what they are getting. There are plenty of ways to enhance the look and presentation of a gift, such as:

Enhance Gift Giving with its Presentation

  • Dressing up a gift with unique bows, ribbon, fresh flowers, and other textured accents. We’ve outlined a few creative ways to wrap gifts in a previous post.
  • Choosing wrapping paper that dazzles, such as unique designs, personalization, and novelty styles.
  • Using photocopied gift tags and wrap (with the help of this Martha Stewart tutorial) by turning favorite photos into memorable labels.

Martha Stewart Photocopied Gift Tags and Wrap2

You can also surprise a recipient through the way a gift is delivered:

  • Create a themed scavenger hunt.
  • Hire a singing telegram or costumed delivery person.
  • Use a drone to deliver smaller gifts, especially fun for tech lovers.

2. Select a Fancy Box

When enhancing the way you present a gift, one of the best ways to make a lasting impression is by choosing an ornamental or dual-purpose box. These are the types of boxes and containers that your loved one won’t throw away, but instead, keep because of its value and ability to function as a stand-alone gift.

Wooden Slide Boxes are Lovely Ways to Package a Gift

A few ideas include:

  • Placing smaller gifts inside of a decorative jewelry box – two gifts in one.
  • Personalizing a slide-top wooden box (as shown above) to create a memorable keepsake.
  • Using a treasure chest, which doubles as storage and home décor.

For example, KhaoticHopeCreations makes custom treasure chests with personalized details, such as names, initials, monograms, dates, and other pieces of significant information. Made to order, the artisan offers an array of finishes, such as Early American, Red Mahogany, Worn Gray, Vintage Navy Dark Walnut and Natural/Unfinished. Different sizes and styles are available, including some chests that come with lock and key.

Personalized Wooden Treasure Chests and Trinket Boxes

Celtic Realm also sells customizable woodburned trinket boxes, watch cases, jewelry boxes, and treasure chests (some with secret storage compartments) that display unique designs.

3. Choose an Unforgettable Card

Midnight in Paris Greeting Card by Laura IversonNowadays, it’s easy to find eye-catching cards that come with extra bells and whistles…literally. Some of today’s creations help make a special occasion even more memorable with some of the following features:

  • The ability to light up, blink, or glow in the dark, like the Midnight in Paris greeting card by Laura Iverson shown here.
  • Encourages interaction, like spinning a wheel or pulling a tab.
  • Entertains with gag sounds, music, and singing.
  • Allows you to record a personalized message.
  • Impresses with the artistry of elaborate laser-cut and pop-ups.

Papyrus is a company with a reputation for churning out truly impressive greeting cards. With high-quality craftsmanship and attention to detail, the cards tend to go the extra mile. A lot of cards offer unique features – oftentimes detachable and 3D. They also incorporate texture into some of their designs, from soft-to-touch accents to patterns made with foil, gems and glitter.Papyrus Halloween Card with Hangable SpiderAs seen in the Honeycomb Glitter Spider above, part of the card is made up of a hangable ornament decorated with black glitter and “gemstone” eyes.

Floral Pop Up Card sold by Papyrus

For flower lovers, the company also sells a line of handmade, laser-cut detailed, floral pop-up cards which are blank inside to allow space for heartfelt messages. Shown here are the iris and rose – other options mirroring this same style include lily, daisy, and lily pad.

4. Include Present as Part of Themed Gift Basket

Car Wash Mega Gift Basket sold at GiftBasketAlthough a loved one may know exactly what they’re getting as a gift, you can still include the element of surprise with a gift basket made with love. Consider buying or making a gift basket that coordinates with the present they are receiving.

For example, if you’re handing over the keys to a new car, stash them inside of a car care gift basket. Prepare an ingredient-filled gift basket to surround a large kitchen appliance purchase. A K-Cup and coffee toppings gift basket is an added surprise for a gifted Keurig maker.

You may also choose a theme to fit the personality of the gift recipient or one that represents their interests or favorite things.

Choose a Smaller Companion Gift for a Larger Gift

5. Buy a Companion Gift

It doesn’t have to be fancy, flashy or expensive…but purchasing a companion gift can help sneak in an element of surprise. Pair a brand new winter coat with matching gloves. Order personalized luggage tags for a new travel set. Consider a lens cleaning kit or editing software for camera gifts. Buy a bottle of wine or champagne to accompany a celebratory gift. Purchase a video game, extra game controller or $20 gift card to Gamestop for the Xbox or Playstation you’ve just finished wrapping.

How would you add an element of surprise to your gift-giving?


About Yona Williams

In addition to being a freelance writer, foodie, art lover and book hoarder, Yona also enjoys researching and sharing the many different ways one can surprise or amaze loved ones with unique and unexpected gift ideas.

22 comments on “5 Ways to Enhance Gift-Giving when There is No Element of Surprise

  1. Dressing up a gift will always make the receiver excited in opening it.

  2. Great list! I love the idea of including the gift in a themed gidt basket, what a clever idea

  3. These are great ideas for gift giving!! The personalized boxes are just adorable and I would love to receive a gift in one of those :)

  4. This is such a great post. When you are married on a tight gift-giving budget it can be a challenge to surprise your partner with a gift they know they are getting. I love these ideas, especially for the upcoming holidays!

  5. These are some great ideas! I am going to try some of these for Christmas. My daughter is the worst she always figures out her gifts before she opens them. I hate that!

  6. I like all of these ideas. The companion gift idea is my fave!

  7. Love the fancy box idea! Will definitely consider these for Christmas this year especially for my husband.

  8. Love the fancy box idea. Great suggestions, will definitely consider some for Christmas this year.

  9. Neat ideas! I especially love the first picture idea. It sure makes the gift looks much more prettier and that you take the time to wrap it nicely.

  10. This is such a great post! I love the packaging and boxes points. You should definitely share this again around the holidays. People will find it so useful!

  11. I love the idea of presenting the gift in a unique way. Decorating a cute wooden box looks adorable! They can cherish it forever.

  12. Great ideas! I need to remember these because my boyfriend always seems to find out what i’m getting him before the holiday arrives.

  13. I like the fancy box idea! Kids can really get creative decorating a box. My husband is great at buying “gift companions”, but last year he did something a little out of order. He got me the new iphone 6 for Christmas, he was saving the best for last, but one of the gifts was a sparkly goad iphone 6 case, I opened the case and totally flipped out with excitement before I opened that gift. It was pretty funny but didn’t go like he had planned it. 😉

  14. I’m ALL ABOUT giving amazing cards. Cards are actually my favorite gift to give and receive. Usually my sister and I just tell each other what we want for Christmas/brthday’s so we always do it up with the cars since we already know the gift <3

  15. I love themed gifts, they are so fun to make. It’s so easy to put in a bunch of little things to create a wonderful gift.

  16. I hate just giving a gift card. I try to get something small to go with it. These are great ideas! love the fancy wrapping but the boxes are my favorite!

  17. These are all great ideas, I feel like more times I miss the boat on getting people surprised about the gift.

  18. I love the idea of giving gifts in wooden boxes or other reusable containers. It really adds something to the gift, since it becomes a gift within a gift!

  19. This is a fabulous list to enahnce giving a gift someone already knows about. I usually go for fun packaging to liven up the gift, but these other ideas are great to keep in mind too.

  20. This is great – I’ll definitely have to keep these in mind. My wife doesn’t like surprises but definitely loves how gifts are presented to her.

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