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Here's How To Be The Best Gift Giver Ever

So long, gift guides!

Every year you probably check out gift guides to get ideas on what to give your dad, your kabarkada, and your boyfriend. And you might have a particularly hard time thinking of what to give guys in general, which is why we published "A Girl's Guide To Gift Giving For Guys" and "The Clueless Girl's Guide To Gift Giving To Boys" to help you out. But those gifts—like fancy perfumes, shoes, and a fucking Play Station 4 you probably can't even afford—are generic and cliche. And to be the best gift giver you can be, you'd want to avoid generic gifts and actually give something really, really special for the people you love. Here's how to do just that:

1. Ask what the person wants.

Giving someone what he wants is a sure way he'll like and value the gift. The present might not come as a surprise anymore, but gift giving isn't all about surprises. It's about giving something valuable to someone who is, and of course making that person happy. That should be your priority.

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2. Make mental notes on what he wants.

If you'd rather not ask for his wish list, make it yourself! Remember his stories and those moments he says "I wish I had..." or "If only I had..." That'll help you a lot on deciding what to buy.

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3. Think of his hobbies and interests.

Is he into video games? What kind of video games, exactly? What sports does he like? Buying something that will make doing his hobbies so much more enjoyable will definitely make him happy. What more, he'll think you're very thoughtful!

4. Don't be lazy to research.

Ask someone in his family if he already has whatever you're thinking of buying him. You wouldn't want to give him something he already has, right? If he's into gaming or something else you're clueless about, check Google! See if there's a gadget or device you can give him (e.g., a gaming mouse, a pair of earphones), and read up on the reviews so that you won't give and spend on something of poor or questionable quality.

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5. Something "new."

New in the sense that the person hasn't had or tried before. For instance, if your BFF loves using bold red lipstick, consider giving a dark (or light) shade of red, depending on which will suit her skin tone. Or if you have a friend who loves eating chocolates, give a gourmet one with special add-ons like berries or nuts (just make sure that friend isn't allergic to any of the add-ons!).

6. Know that you don't have to give a material thing.

Experiences are sometimes far more special and pleasurable than objects. They might not last forever, but that's what makes them so important and amazing. You just savor every second of it and think of nothing else. So you can buy concert tickets or gift vouchers to a fine restaurant for your guy; or vouchers to a spa for your girl friends or your mom. It'll be a treat!

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And as corny as it sounds, you can also give the gift of time. If you're spending so much money that you can't afford to spend anymore (or you just don't want to), make time for your friends or family. Watch Christmas movies together, hang out, or even help out in preparing the noche buena feast. The experience might not last forever, but the bond that'll be formed might! Isn't that the best?

Follow Stephanie on Twitter.