More than anything else, what would you like to unwrap this year? What do you definitely not want? What gift ideas are winners for each Enneagram type you’ll buy for this season?
Each Enneagram type has gifts they would love to give and gifts they love to receive. So what would you like to receive? What gifts does each type want to get from you?
Before we dive in, if you don’t know your Enneagram type, start here. Then read this piece.
You can also grab this free resource about what the Enneagram is, what it isn’t, and what you want to know about your personality type. Your Quick Start Guide to the Enneagram walks you through how to determine your type, what’s up with wings, and Enneagram resources you’ll want to check out.
Please know that I’m not an Enneagram expert, merely a lover of it. What I present to you is based on my own research, feedback from men and women of each type, and peer review.
Type Eight: The Challenger
Gift Philosophy: You love giving more than receiving.
Type Eights love giving gifts but have a hard time receiving them.
As a gift-giver, finding that one great gift that shows the other person how much you respect them is a joy. In fact, you much prefer giving gifts than getting them.
As a gift-receiver, you prefer that people give you a purposeful gift you’ve requested because you’ve done your research and are particular about what you get. When you open a present, you may worry that you’re not showing the “right” amount of gratitude. Also, as an Eight, you don’t care so much about the novelty of gift-giving or material goods, so receiving gifts feels awkward.
Gift ideas for every Enneagram Type Eight: “Something from the heart.”
More than any other type, Eights want “something from the heart.” You want to know that you are fully known, seen and appreciated for who you are and the hobbies you enjoy. You enjoy quality time with people you love. Material gifts are far less important to you than time together.
Eight-approved gift ideas include:
- A text message saying you love, respect and care for him.
- Quality time with you, e.g. concert tickets, a day trip to a winery, fun date night.
- Money, money, money so she can get what she needs.
No-No’s for those buying an Eight a gift:
- Please don’t surprise an Eight. They’ve researched and know exactly what they want.
- Jewelry, unless you know her style.
- Clothes because he has his own sense of style and may never wear what you picked.
Reviewed by Cynthia Fisher and Samantha Martin.
Type Nine: The Peacemaker
Gift Philosophy: You don’t have one.
Nines are not in unity on how they feel about gifts, which is totally fine because there’s a lot for the Nine to consider and feel ambivalent about. Of all Enneagram types, the Nine response to gifts varies the most. As one Type Nine articulated, “We don’t want to upset someone else by giving them a gift they don’t love and we also don’t want the pressure to love a gift that we’re receiving.”
As a gift-giver, you worry that you didn’t buy the “right” gift or you may love showering your people with love so gift-giving is your favorite.
As a gift-receiver, you worry that you didn’t get the item you most (secretly) wanted and now you have to pretend you like it. You may also love every gift because it meant that the people closest to you shared their love through a gift.
Gift ideas for every Enneagram Type Nine: “Something I mentioned but don’t need.”
You deeply want to be known, but you don’t want to overtly, directly express what you need. You may not even know what you need/want OR you may want everything!
Nine-approved gift ideas include:
- Time alone, guilt-free and totally convenient for all parties.
- A hand-written note that affirms his presence, importance and value.
- Help with a project she’s been putting off.
- Comforting items like blankets, candles, yummy food, fuzzy socks.
- Any item (book or resource) that will help make the world a better place.
No-No’s for those buying a Nine a gift:
- Cheesy, mass-produced gift sets.
- Extravagant or flashy gifts that cost a lot of money, but show that you really don’t know your Nine at all.
- Big-box store gifts are less preferred than homemade gifts or something from a small business.
Type One: The Reformer
Gift Philosophy: You love finding meaningful gifts for others, but surprises stress you out.
Gifts are a great way for you to show others your love by giving them something meaningful and specific to them. While you love giving gifts, you don’t typically enjoy receiving gifts.
As a gift-giver, you keep track of what others have mentioned they’d like throughout the year. However, you grow anxious as you try to think of the perfect gift for everyone on your list so you throw in the towel and decide to give everyone an impersonal gift card. You also do your best to spend the same amount or buy the same number of presents for family members so no one feels left out.
As a gift-receiver, you hope that you receive a gift based on a hint you’ve dropped during the previous 12 months. Overall, receiving gifts is hard for you. Why? Several reasons:
- Unanticipated, surprise gifts add stress to your life.
- The gift you received may not have been exactly what you hoped for.
- And you don’t like the perceived pressure to react a certain way.
Gift ideas for every Enneagram Type One: “Get me something practical that I specifically mentioned.”
You love practical gifts that also show the gift-giver knows and notices you. For example, if you collect snowmen and love to cook, a snowman potholder will tickle you pink.
One-approved gift ideas include:
- Books. For spiritual growth books, go here. For parenting books, go here.
- A planner that he’s specifically picked and given the direct URL so you can get it for him.
- Gift cards for practicals such as gas, car washes, or groceries.
- Gift cards for splurges, which your One desperately wants but will never pay for herself because they seem impractical. Items in the splurge category include facials, massages, pedicure, or housecleaner.
No-No’s for those buying a One a gift:
- Knick-knacks or items that cause clutter or disorganization.
- Gag gifts that are meant to be silly, but hurt your One’s heart instead.
- Gift sets. Come on people, get to know your One! Plus, a gift set seems wasteful because she may only like one or two items in the entire gift basket.
- Items he’s made clear to you he won’t use or need because he hates the idea of you wasting money when those resources could go to a better cause.
To learn more
To learn more about the Enneagram One, listen to this Grace In Real Life podcast interview with Esther Littlefield or read about how this type handles anger, the pandemic, parenting, and more.
Type Two: The Helper
Gift Philosophy: You love, love, love, love giving gifts, but become anxious believing your gift may not be meaningful enough.
Gifts are a mixed-bag for Type Twos. While you love giving gifts to others, receiving gifts is a challenge.
As a gift-giver, your ears perk up year-round as someone casually mentions something they love. So when gift-giving time rolls around, you love picking out that perfect gift. You want your people to know how much you listen, love, and know them.
You do not want to get junk for anyone on your list; instead, you want each gift to be meaningful, which puts a lot of pressure on your time, resources and finances to find the most special, personal gift for every single person you love. You also don’t want to let anyone down because your gift isn’t lovely and perfect for them.
As a gift-receiver, you may not know what you want because you’re too busy being needed to have needs. You also have a hard time telling people what you want, but unrealistically expect them to magically know what to get you.
If you do know, you have a hard time sharing ideas with others because you’re afraid you won’t get what you’d like, you’re asking too much, or the gift is too much of an inconvenience for them. You’ll also share a variety of gift ideas with those who ask, keeping in mind different price points, shopping convenience, and All The Things so you won’t put anyone out.
You put a premium on the level of personal thought and effort of the gift. Any gift you receive that caused someone to say, “This made me think of you!” is a winner in your book.
Gift ideas for every Enneagram Type Two: “I have no idea what I want.”
More than any other type, Twos have a hard time sharing what they’d like to receive. So to help you out, I’ve asked other Twos what gifts they’ve loved in the past.
Two-approved gift ideas include:
- Splurge items or experiences like a gourmet food product, bath salts or massage.
- A thoughtful letter telling your Two how much she means to you.
- Snuggly gifts like a good blanket, candles, movies — and time with you to snuggle.
- Quality time where the other person plans all the details and your Two can show up and be spoiled!
No-No’s for those buying a Two a gift:
- Please don’t ask a Two what she would like. It hurts her heart that you’re not paying attention to her life, likes, and habits. Your Two doesn’t want to dictate a gift to you. Twos want to be seen. If you must ask your Two what she’d like to receive, say something like, “I have some ideas for you but is there anything, in particular, you’re really wanting this year?”
- Gift cards or cash unless it’s for a store/restaurant that you know he enjoys. Otherwise, these items seem generic.
- Gift baskets. For the love, show your Two that you know who she is and what she wants!
To learn more
To learn more about the Enneagram Two, listen to this Grace In Real Life podcast interview with Natalie Gingrich or read about how this type handles anger, the pandemic, parenting, and more.
Type Three: The Achiever
Gift Philosophy: Gifts are practical means to a goal-achieving end.
You love receiving gifts, but sometimes have a hard time finding thoughtful gifts for others.
As a gift-giver, you put thoughtfulness into the gifts you give: you want your people to have the perfect gift that demonstrates how well you know them and their goals. But sometimes in your quest for efficiency, you fail to notice those around you so it’s hard to decipher what your gift-recipient might truly enjoy.
As a gift-receiver, you love getting presents, especially those that are meaningful and show that the gift-giver pays attention to your life. It makes your heart happy when people get you exactly what you want; as in they click on the URL and purchase the specific item you’ve told them you need. Unanticipated, surprise gifts are a big gamble for the gift-giver. In order to surprise a Three, the gift-giver must know her exceptionally well.
Gift ideas for every Enneagram Type Three: “Just get me exactly what I’ve told you I want, which is something that helps me meet a life goal.”
You also love gifts that are all about doing such as time to work on a project uninterrupted or someone checking something off your to-do list. You also love gifts that focus on being such as a spa gift card.
Three-approved gift ideas include:
- Gift cards that help your Three accomplish a goal, e.g. if she’s training for a marathon, money to buy new shoes or gear.
- Money with a note sharing that the gift is for workshops or seminars he’d like to attend.
- A hand-written note of love and encouragement.
- Gift cards for stores you love your Three loves.
No-No’s for those buying a Three a gift:
- Clothing or home decor. Your Three knows her sense of style so please don’t mess with her mojo. A gift card to her favorite stores would be much better.
- Impractical gifts. Threes love efficiency not clutter so if there’s a way to combine his interests or hobbies into something a useful item, all the better.
To learn more
To learn more about the Enneagram Three, listen to this Grace In Real Life podcast interview with Rebecca Peet or read about how this type handles anger, the pandemic, parenting, and more.
Reviewed by Rebecca Peet and Dakota Rice.
Type Four: The Individualist
Gift Philosophy: The more nostalgic a gift, the better.
You love a good gift that takes you back.
As a gift-giver, you work throughout the year to notice the gift-receiver in a unique and special way. Your goal is that your gift will make your people feel seen and appreciated.
As a gift-receiver, you put that same level of thoughtfulness put into the gifts you give. You love it when the gifts you receive transport you into a time of nostalgia, joy and invoke a deep emotional response.
Gift ideas for every Enneagram Type Four: “I like my gifts to be unique, useful, fair trade, ethically-made, and personally meaningful. All in one package.”
Nothing is worse to a Four than a generic, practical gift. You want a deeply personal, tell-me-you-get-me kinda gift. You also love it when it’s an experience you can do together like going to a play, concert, or museum. And oh, yes, you love a gift that’s sustainably-sourced, non-GMO, and fairly produced.
Four-approved gift ideas include:
- Books, vintage preferred. For spiritual growth books, go here. For parenting books, go here.
- Jewelry, vintage or something colorful with a colorful past.
- A handwritten letter.
- Music, e.g. a vinyl record from a concert you went to together, a boxed set of his favorite band, or concert tickets, etc.
- Anything handmade.
No-No’s for those buying a Four a gift:
- Practical gifts, unless it shows that you heard your Four express a need and your gift meets it.
- Clothes because your Four has very specific tastes so don’t worry about trying to figure them out!
- Really expensive gifts, which can make your Four feel uncomfortable.
- Gift cards because they feel impersonal.
To learn more
To learn more about the Enneagram Four, listen to this Grace In Real Life podcast interview with Sarah E. Westfall or read about how this type handles anger, the pandemic, parenting, and more.
Reviewed by Amanda Tingle Taylor.
Type Five: The Investigator
Gift Philosophy: You love practical gifts, but truly, you aren’t really into stuff.
For a Five, gifts can feel inauthentic if both the giver and receiver don’t know each other well.
As a gift-giver, you love to give cash because you know your people will be able to get what they really want and you despise the pressure of finding the “perfect” gift. It also seems inauthentic to you to give a gift for the sake of giving a gift.
As a gift-receiver, you prefer practical (as you define “practical”) gifts given throughout the year and not because the gift-giver is obligated to buy you something for the holidays and your birthday. Also, as a Five, you’ve done quite a bit of research and know exactly what you want.
Gift ideas for every Enneagram Type Five: “Buy me something I’ll use and it doesn’t have to be at Christmas.”
Your deepest desire is for others to recognize your needs matter so gifts that address your physical, emotional and spiritual gifts are special to you. You prefer items that you’ll use such as blankets, coats, journals, or electronics. And you’re totally fine if that gift isn’t given at Christmas, but when the other person is thinking of you. Gifts such as the undivided attention of others, small items (like coffee) that you would consider a splurge, and anything practical are welcome. You love gifts that support local artists and make your space beautiful.
Five-approved gift ideas include:
- Books. For spiritual growth books, go here. For parenting books, go here.
- A bookshelf.
- Exactly what you requested, down to the brand, make, model, item number.
- Any gift that addresses comfort and basic human needs, e.g. blankets, soap, food.
- Tools that help her pursue her interests.
No-No’s for those buying a Five a gift:
- Surprises. Nothing is worse for a Five than a surprise party, social engagement, or something not on his list.
- Superfluous stuff she doesn’t need like decorations, jewelry, bouquets, makeup, or perfume.
- Clothing. Your Five thinks a lot about what she wears and how it feels.
- Gifts he’ll have to maintain by dry-cleaning, watering, dusting, hand-washing, etc. Low-maintenance gifts are much preferred.
To learn more
To learn more about the Enneagram Five, listen to this Grace In Real Life podcast interview with Loretta Gjetlema or read about how this type handles anger, the pandemic, parenting, and more.
Type Six: The Loyalist
Gift Philosophy: Gifts should be practical and meet a need.
You can take or leave gifts both for yourself and others. There are so many feelings and thoughts mixed up in gifts!
As a gift-giver, you love giving meaningful gifts you know your people will appreciate and use, but you hate the shopping and stores required.
As a gift-receiver, however, you have a hard time receiving the gifts of others for several reasons:
- You’re a minimalist at heart and find it hard to receive more “stuff.”
- You really, really, really prefer gifts that are practical and useful to you.
- If a gift wasn’t on your list, you wonder how and when you’ll use it. If you never use the gift, you feel like a terrible gift-receiver.
- It’s hard for you to let go of gifts (even unwanted ones) because you grow sentimental about the items and the person who gave it to you.
- Unwanted gifts end up as clutter, which you hate. You end up with a lot of stuff because throwing a gift away feels like throwing away the relationship AND decision-making is really hard for you.
Gift ideas for every Enneagram Type Six: “If you’re going to get me anything, please make sure it’s something I can use.”
You don’t like clutter or what you perceive as wastefulness so the best gift for you is something you’ve asked for, a gift card, or cash. You’re not impersonal, you’re practical. You can be hard to decipher so you prefer for people to ask what you need or want instead of them trying to piece it together on their own.
Six-approved gift ideas include:
- Conference admission.
- Books. For spiritual growth books, go here. For parenting books, go here.
- Experiences like theatre or concert tickets.
- Money or gift cards, especially for restaurants and coffee shops.
- A weighted blanket.
- T-shirts, mugs, or any items that support her favorite team. Your Six is loyal to the core after all!
No-No’s for those buying a Six a gift:
- No trinkets, knickknacks or tchotchkes. Show your Six how much you take note of him by giving thoughtful gifts.
- Clothes or decorative pieces unless you’re 100% you get her style.
- The “I feel socially obligated to get you a gift” gift. Your Six would rather not get a gift at all than an impersonal, mass-produced one.
- Items she didn’t ask for.
Type Seven: The Enthusiast
Gift Philosophy: Experiences! Experiences! Experiences!
No Enneagram type loves a shared experience as a gift more than a Seven.
As a gift-giver, you love finding that right, amazing gift, but you sometimes worry that others won’t like your gift. You also find shopping stressful.
As a gift-receiver, nothing makes your heart more happy than a quality experience with your people. You aren’t a fan (like most of us!) of any passive-aggressive gift designed to strengthen your “weaknesses,” as in a calendar to keep you more organized.
Gift ideas for every Enneagram Type Seven: “I WANT TO DO SOMETHING WITH YOU!”
More than any other type, Sevens want to spend time with their people doing fun things. You’d also prefer during that fun time together that no one would drag down the mood by complaining or whining. However, you can switch gears easily, wanting one gift one day and another — totally opposite — gift another day. This may drive the gift-getters in your life crazy.
Seven-approved gifts include:
- Plane tickets with three-hours’ notice for the fun vacation you planned for her.
- A surprise trip to a museum, concert, or play.
- An outing to the latest restaurant in town.
- A gift card to the newest coffee shop with a note inviting your Seven along.
- Movie tickets so you can go together.
- An item that furthers an interest he has.
No-No’s for those buying a Seven a gift:
- Passive-aggressive gifts like a planner for a Seven you believe is disorganized or a dish rack if the dishes always pile up. Focus on what your Seven enjoys not on what they lack.
- Practical items. Usable gifts don’t seem like a gift to your Seven. If he needs it, your Seven will buy it.
- Self-improvement gifts. Your Seven can smell the judgment and shame from a mile away.
Jill McCormick is the host of the Grace In Real Life podcast and the writer behind jillemccormick.com, spaces where she shares common-sense grace with the try-hard girl who wants her faith to intersect with her real and full life. Jill lives in South Texas with her high-school-sweetheart-now-husband Ryan, their two daughters, and one Vizsla (VEEZ-lah) puppy. Most days you’ll find her with a book about the Enneagram in her hand or a podcast playing in her earbuds. She’s been featured in RELEVANT magazine, Joyful Life magazine, ForEveryMom.com, and the Christian Woman Leadership Podcast. She’s also a co-author of the book, Sister, Walk in Truth. In her free time, she edits words for others through Emerald Editing + Copywriting, and is the Communications Director for her church.