Take This Quiz Created by a Happiness Expert To Figure Out What Gifts To Get Your Loved Ones This Holiday Season

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There's nothing quite like that fuzzy feeling of watching a loved one unwrap a gift from you and seeing their face light up in appreciation and awe. But witnessing anything less than such a positive response can sting, particularly if you had high hopes that the item would land well. Maybe the gesture of the gift got lost in translation, or maybe it wasn't their style, or they just already own a better version of whatever you gifted them. To get ahead of that disappointment, it's helpful to spend some time figuring out what would make your loved ones the happiest—and there's perhaps nobody more qualified to help you do that than happiness expert Gretchen Rubin, who released The Gift-Giving Quiz to streamline the process.

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An eight-question test, Rubin's quiz asks you to answer questions about your recipient's habits and behaviors, and then uses those answers to sort them into one of four gift-appreciation profiles: the "Easy-To-Please," the "Tried-and-True," the "Enthusiast," and the "Connoisseur." Each of the four types, says Rubin, is marked by different preferences in terms of novelty, trendiness, familiarity, and exceptionalism. The quiz results share gift-giving advice based on those preferences, as well as specific gift recommendations.

Rubin created the four gift-appreciation profiles based on observations in her research for her latest book Life in Five Senses on how the five senses can influence your experience of happiness. She noticed key differences in what different people gravitated toward sensorially, and soon discovered there were subtle variations among people in terms of how attuned they were to quality and variety, and how much importance they placed on each. “These [discoveries] explain why certain kinds of gifts work really well for certain kinds of people, and other ones fall flat,” says Rubin.

"A good gift allows your recipient to feel like you really see them and have paid special attention to their passions and interests." —Gretchen Rubin, happiness expert

Better understanding the type of gift your recipient most wants to receive (without having to directly ask them, that is) can help ensure that your time, effort, and money is well-spent, and your recipient feels appreciated—which is the whole point of gift-giving in the first place. “Sometimes people think gift-giving is just some consumeristic thing, but no, this is deep in the heart of human nature,” says Rubin. “It's of enormous importance because our impulse for reciprocation is so strong.” A good gift allows your recipient to feel "like you really see them and have paid special attention to their passions and interests," she adds.

Below, you'll find a detailed breakdown of each gift-appreciation type, including their unique likes and dislikes, as well as the kinds of gifts they're bound to love. After taking the quiz to determine your recipient’s gift-appreciation type, try taking it for yourself, too, suggests Rubin. Understanding your own gift-appreciation type can help you identify what it is you value in the gifts you receive, and potentially help you take some of the gift-giving pressure off of your loved ones.

4 gift-appreciation types from the gift-giving quiz by happiness expert Gretchen Rubin

1. The Easy-to-Please

Shop for: Thoughtful gifts based around inside jokes or personal recommendations

Avoid: Cookie-cutter box sets

Their motto: “I love whatever you get me. It’s the thought that counts.”

Open-minded and easy-going, the Easy-to-Please loves whatever you love. Despite their name, these recipients can be quite difficult to shop for since they genuinely would be happy with almost anything you get them, says Rubin. (It’s much harder to shop for someone who has no definitive gift likes or dislikes.)

When considering what to get them, focus on recent conversations you’ve had with them or fond memories that the two of you have shared together. “To the Easy-to-Please, a personal touch tends to really make something more appealing,” says Rubin.

A new book from an author they like, an upgraded version of a tool they use every day, a relaxing spa day, or something handmade, like a photo album, can all show how much you care about them, and that, says Rubin, is all the Easy-to-Please really wants.

“My daughter who is an Easy-to-Please wrote her senior thesis in college about this one piece of art,” says Rubin. “So I used a simple design site to make her an insulated mug that had [the painting] on it. For her, that was really fun, and now, it’s a great memento.”

2. The Tried-and-True

Shop for: Things you already know they love

Avoid: Surprises and gifts that seem to propose new hobbies

Their motto: “I like what I know, and I know what I like.”

Ahhh... the reliable, the traditional, the easy-to-shop-for Tried-and-True. These are the people who have used the same cologne for 30-plus years, who always go to the same Italian restaurant every Friday night, and who have binge-watched the same series multiple times over. The Tried-and-True type has their favorites and prefers to stick to them if they can help it. “There's a lot of people who [simply] like what they like, know what they like, and want what they want,” says Rubin.

These recipients love gifts that are an extension of their favorite things (say, a hoodie with their favorite sports team’s logo on it) and would be genuinely ecstatic to find a multipack of their favorite candy under the tree. It may not feel so fun or exciting to get them something predictable, but according to Rubin, gifting the Tried-and-True something they already know and love will show them how much you pay attention to them—and how much you respect their unwavering passions and interests.

3. The Enthusiast

Shop for: Cult favorites, hot items, novelties, and samplers

Avoid: Splurging on singular products

Their motto: “I can’t wait to give it a try.”

Adventurous, free-spirited, and frankly just excited to be here, the Enthusiast loves to try new and novel things. You can catch these recipients reading the latest “best of” lists or randomly signing up for a new workout or art class.

“The enthusiast is interested in checking things out and seeing for themselves,” explains Rubin. A perfume sampler set of a trendy fragrance brand, a monthly self-care subscription box, a variety pack of hot sauces or spice mixes, a starter set for a hobby they’ve mentioned trying, or tickets to a funky exhibit that you heard about online would all be fantastic options for the Enthusiast in your life. The only limit to what works for an Enthusiast is your imagination.

4. The Connoisseur

Shop for: Top-of-the-line items and experiences

Avoid: Samplers

Their motto: “I like the best, forget the rest.”

If your recipient has to check Yelp before making any dinner plans, has stayed loyal to a specific clothing brand for years on end, or could give a history lesson on their hobby, you likely have a Connoisseur on your hands.

When it comes to gift items, the Connoisseur loves the best of the best, says Rubin. This gift-appreciation type does their due diligence when picking out their next tech-y gadget or weekend date night spot. They research which options are the highest-rated and best-reviewed, and would rather wait a few months for the top product to come back in stock than get the next best thing. To them, quality will always trump quantity.

“Sometimes, it's hard to buy for a connoisseur because they would really like that one special thing, and sometimes, that one special thing you think you should get them costs a lot or is otherwise difficult to get,” says Rubin. “For them, it's better to splurge on the one really outstanding thing than to spend on anything else.”

But if you’re short on time or can’t afford that singular top-of-the-line item, know that there are other options. The Connoisseur also appreciates anything that advances their knowledge of or skill in their hobbies. Books on their specific interests, informative podcast subscriptions, and items endorsed by the experts of their respective fields would all be well-received. “Another thing you can do is give an experience,” suggests Rubin. A wine-tasting workshop, cooking class, or trip to a niche museum would all be well-suited.

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