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Use This Hierarchy of Gifts to Send the Right Message

BY: | Nov 20, 2015

It’s impossible to put hours of thought into a holiday present for everyone you know—there just isn’t time. So to make sure you’re saving your best efforts for the people who deserve them most, we put together Groupon’s Hierarchy of Gifts. Remember, there are no bad gifts on here, as long as you’re comfortable with the message they’re sending.

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Level One: Necessities


What they are: Stuff everybody needs. You could mail these to a random address and they would at least get used.

Examples: Gloves and umbrellas; kitchen appliances; groceries

What they say: “We may not be best friends, but I’m reasonably sure you are a human. Have a pragmatic holiday!”


Level Two: Safe Bets


What they are: Stuff everybody likes. Stick to these if you’re the kind of person who picks “Build Me Up Buttercup” at karaoke.

Examples: Movie tickets; tablets and gadgets; pretty much anything potable or edible

What they say: “Sure, I could have given this to anyone on my list. But I chose you.”


Level Three: “So Thoughtful!”’s


What they are: Stuff the recipient likes. Giving these proves you were listening the last time you guys played the popular party game “Let’s List Our Interests.”

Examples: Hot yoga classes (if they like hot yoga); golf games and gear (if they like golf); clothing in their style

What they say: “It’s the thought that counts, so this definitely counts. You should probably say, ‘Aww’ or ‘Wow’ or something.”


Level Four: Mind Blowers


What they are: Stuff you had no way of knowing they wanted—either because they never told anyone or because they didn’t even know themselves.

Examples: Hard to say. Maybe there’s a certain destination you suspect they’d love to visit (and can get people to chip in to send them there). Or heck, maybe you have an inkling they’ve always wanted to jump out of a plane.

What they say: “I know you so well you should arguably be frightened. You may want to change your passwords and sweep your home for bugs.”


(Text by Sean O'Toole and image by Greyory Blake for Groupon.)

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