A great gift is fundamentally two things – it’s a little unexpected, and it makes the recipient feel seen by reflecting their interests, needs, or tastes.

In a year that has been tough on so many, a thoughtful gift can be a powerful way to reflect a message of love and hope to those you care most about. It’s also incredibly exciting to give someone a gift you know they’re going to love and appreciate! Here are a few tips on how to approach more thoughtful gift-giving.

Keep Your Ears (and Notes app!) Open

One easy tip is to make a Note in your phone when the person you’re shopping for comments on something they want or need. Not only will you be buying something you know they’ll like, it shows thoughtfulness that you listened and remembered.

Consider Something They Wouldn’t Buy for Themselves

Think of something decadent they may not feel comfortable spending money on for themselves, but you know they would enjoy. This could be the newer model of an accessory for their hobby, a special service like a massage, or a gift certificate to a high-end restaurant.

Always Remember a Card

A short note goes a long way to make any gift feel more special. While not everyone is comfortable putting their feelings into words, a card is an opportunity to share why you think this is a great gift for them.

Presentation Matters

Whether it’s wrapping paper, a pouch, or a gift bag, considering the presentation goes a long way in making the gift feel like you put real thought into it. We all have memories of receiving something unwrapped in the shopping bag it came in with the price tag still on – it feels rushed and can make the recipient feel like an afterthought.

Take a RiskThe Element of Surprise is Powerful

The best gifts are always unexpected! If you’ve phoned it in the last few years, consider showing up with something they may never expect from you, like a piece of jewelry or decorative item. At the very least, they’ll be so touched you decided to go for it.

Kat McCoy is the owner of Best Kept Jewelry Concierge (@bestkeptjewelry, www.bestkept.com) and specializes in helping clients buy and make thoughtful pieces of jewelry for themselves and their loved ones.