Gift selection is difficult enough to begin with, but when the recipient is not a member of your demographic -- for instance, a child or a newlywed couple -- the task is even more daunting. But don't panic! Just consider the following before beginning your search for the perfect gift.

Gifts for Kids: A Challenging Choice

While most people will agree that finding the right gift for a teenager or an adult is a difficult and often stressful task, you probably won’t find too many saying the same thing about presents for kids. Indeed, it is often thought that kids will love anything and there’s no need to go through too much trouble selecting gifts. According to this view, any toy will do. Still, as in most cases, the opinion held by the majority may not be the best one.

First of all, there are safety issues to be taken into account. Different toys are suitable for different age groups, depending on the material they are made of, or the parts they contain. Toys usually display warning messages if they contain parts that may be swallowed, for instance, or parts that can injure the little one in any way. You should always check the label or packaging for this information, to make sure they toy you are about to buy will not put the child at risk.

From another point of view, the mere fact that children are so used to receiving gifts should mean that they are not so easily excited by everything they get. If you’re buying them toys, you’ll want to choose something they won’t get tired of the next day. If you don’t know the child very well, you should ask the parents what the kid likes in general. It might even be a good idea to inform the parent as to what present you are about to buy. This way, you can be sure you’re not giving the kid something they already have.

Children are not indiscriminate gift recipients. On the contrary, due to the significantly wider supply of gifts available to them as compared to adults, they will most likely have clear preferences for certain types of toys, and you can easily go wrong if you don’t think well before you get them something.

Gifts for Two

Choosing between something nice and something useful is among the common dilemmas connected with gift selection. Come to think of it, neither option is easier than the other one, because they both rely on your ability to predict what the recipient might want. What about when you have to choose one present for two people? This may be the case of gifts for newlyweds: whether they are meant as actual wedding gifts or merely something you bring on your visit to two people who have recently gotten married.

Of course, you could bring each of them a separate present, but that’s not really the idea, is it? They are starting their life together, so they are likely to be much more excited if you bring them a gift they can use together.

Some people will say such gifts are easier to choose: instead of racking your brains to come up with two different gifts -- yet, at the same time, not too different, because the two recipients should feel equally important. Others, on the contrary, say it's much harder to reconcile two people's different preferences into one present. Regardless of who is right, most of us would agree that buying one gift for the newlyweds is the more sensible option.

So what do newlyweds need? If they’ve also moved into a new home, anything that can help them decorate it is handy. You can give them some fixtures, for instance. But even if it’s not a new home, the gift can be simple to choose: some cutlery, utensils, a set of pillowcases, a tent for two, anything that can be connected with the idea of a new period in their lives.

As you can see, gift selection doesn’t have to be such a complicated affair. Just remember that whatever you choose, it should come from the heart. That’s ultimately what gifts are all about.

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