It's getting close to Christmas, the time of gift-giving. In SWTOR, the benefits reaped from giving gifts to your companions are immense. Not only do gifts grant extra reputation with your companions, and possibly unlock romantic interludes, but every new level you reach with your companion unlocks a series of very simple quests which are often just a conversation. These conversations can grant massive amounts of experience really fast. I found myself jumping through half a level in five minutes when unlocking a series of companion quests. There are multiple levels of gifts which grant multiple levels of companion reputation and you can either purchase these companion gifts from vendors in major cities or you can acquire them through crew missions from professions like Treasure Hunting. Make sure you give your companions the rights gifts though. Every companion has particular preferences. Some gifts will grant lots of reputation and others will grant no reputation at all. You will waste a gift if you give it to the wrong companion.
Gifts are easily identified in the game as companion gifts. They come with a deep purple label and a category:
For each category there area variety of different items. I discovered the hard way ingame and wasted a lot of credits giving my companions the wrong items. If you use the gift system through leveling, it will help you get to 50 a lot faster as it will unlock easy quest storylines.
For every companion I have listed which categories of gifts they each like or are indifferent to. They are listed on the Companion List pages. Check it out here.