The key to giving a meaningful gift is to know your audience, says Lori Deschene, author of Tiny Buddha's 365 Tiny Love Challenges. "When we show people we've paid attention, they know we care."

Here are a few things to ask yourself about your loved one.

1. How would he treat himself?

"My dad loves lobster but thinks it's too pricey," says Deschene, "so I bought him a pair of lobsters and wrapped up a butter dish with a note that said, 'Your gift is in the fridge.' It was one of his favorite presents."

2. What does she need?

Use your sleuthing skills: "Years ago, a filmmaker friend had a big premiere, but he was going to wear old, scuffed shoes because he couldn't afford new ones," says O editor at large and renowned gift giver Gayle King. "So I found his size and bought him a pair. You would've thought I'd given him a car."

3. What does he dream of?

"Look for a class on a subject that interests him, like photography or cooking," says Veronica Chambers of the blog "A few sessions with a life coach can also be a fabulous gift."

4. What makes her feel at home?

"I like to give a soft, glamorous faux-fur throw," says Chambers. "It says, 'I love you, and I want you to be warm.'" In the accompanying card, tell her just that.


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