Why is holiday shopping so difficult? Because most of us dont put much thought into what were buying. We show up at the mall or log on to Amazon and stare slack-jawed at the array of products jammed onto the shelves. Then, as often as not, we shrug, pick up the first thing that looks like it might please, and move on. So, heres an experiment: Really think for a moment about the people youre buying for. What do they do for a living, listen to, wear, aspire to be? (Do not, under any circumstances, buy something for them that you think they should
enjoy.) Once youve spent a little time ruminating on the personalities of the loved ones on your list, let the buying begin.
— Hayley Kaufman, Globe Staff