While gifts are traditionally given during happy occasions, such as celebrations and accomplishments, there are sadly times where a different kind of gift is in order. If someone close to you is going through a hard time, it may be a good idea to get them a sympathy gift to show that you care. Sympathy gifts can be tricky, but with the right thought and effort, you will find the perfect gift in no time. Here are some of the top tips for picking out an appropriate sympathy gift:

Evaluate the Situation

There is nothing worse than a present that comes off as tone deaf. For instance, if the person you are shopping for has recently lost a loved one, you don’t want to get them a present that reminds them of their loss. Try to think of what would cheer that person up and take their mind off of the situation at hand.

Get Creative

Depending on your friend’s situation, they’re probably getting lots of flowers, cards, and casseroles. To give them a gift that will truly cheer them up and show that you are thinking about them, think outside the box a little bit. The emphasis of the gift should not be that you feel bad or sad for them, instead, think of something that will make their day and make them smile for a little while. What does that person find funny? Is there a certain TV show that cracks them up? The more creative you can get with your gift giving, the more likely they are to remember that you love them and that you have their back.

Shop Around

Because the gift giving industry is primarily focused on joyous occasions instead of somber ones, you are going to have to shop around a bit. Don’t just pick a gift at one location because you need to find something; explore your options and look into different places that specialize in condolence or special occasion gifts. You want something that your friend can appreciate not just now, but in future hard times. You want something that is going to explicitly show them how much you love and care for them a how you are a priority in your life. Do not skimp out or cheat the value of your gift by settling for the first store and item that you find.

Make Sure to Include a Card

A gift is no replacement for love and kind words, so make sure that there is some option for personalization somewhere within your gift. Whether this is in the card or as part of the present itself, it is important to put a little bit of yourself into the present before giving it. A card does not happy to be sappy or tear-inducing; a simple “I’m here for you” will more than do the trick. Do some soul searching and find the perfect gift from the heart.

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