Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Birthdays and Valentines Day - Gift giving is not for the faint of heart

I take gift giving very seriously.

Very seriously.

I take great pride in finding a good gift, a timely gift, a gift that brings to mind memories, or conversations, or life experiences. A gift that honors the recipient in some way, that suits them or entertains them or is something they secretly coveted......or never even knew they wanted until they had it. I spent a good portion of our trip to Thailand finding gifts - small gifts - for my friends. Gifts that I hoped would let them know that I was thinking of them, and wished they had been with me to share in the experience.

I have been the recipient of some tremendous gifts as well - which I hope I accepted in such a way that the gift giver KNOWS how perfect the gift was, and that I love it and cherish it.

It's not about the money - you could spend nothing, you could spend everything - it's about showing you give a shit. That you listen. That you think of them. That they are special. So for gift givers and gift getters.....this one's for you. A run down of the best gifts I have given, and received. Here are some of the best:

1. Moroccan Hair Oil. It rocked my world. Seems like a weird gift, but small expensive toiletries are always a good option - something the person might not buy for themselves,. but that is too good to keep to yourself.

2. Hanky Panky thong. Dude. One size fits all. Hot as hell, super comfortable, small and lightweight in every color and pattern you can imagine. And it's a splurge - every girl needs new underwear all the time.

3. A framed picture of friends. Taken at a special event, we were all dressed up, looking at the camera, and smiling. No one looked stoned, either. Definitely a picture to be framed and kept as a reminder of a great night. Before the cops showed up. Again.

4. The perfect piece of jewelry. I am not taking about marching into Tiffany's and coming out with a blue box - though it is always a lovely gesture! I have bought a few of my favorite gifts at consignment or resale stores for less then $5. Seriously. Funky antique-y looking brooches. Bracelets. Earrings. One-size-fits-all stuff is key. And before buying earrings, make sure the recipient has pierced ears.

5. An amazing experience. A once in a lifetime meal, a ticket to a special event, renting a convertible, packing a lunch and your camera and hitting the road......get creative. One time, I gave my husband a zipline pass. Another time, he gave me a day at the spa. My latest plan is a doozy...I'll let you know when it happens, but let's just say The Sky's The Limit.

6. A day off. Don't let them lift a finger except to wipe their own ass. Sleep, eat, read, take a walk, do anything except Things That Need Doing. If they have kids, take the kids away for the day. If they have dogs, take the dogs out for a long hike.......take away their responsibilities for a morning, a day, a weekend...

7. A helping hand. Is there a chore they hate to do? Whether it's scrubbing the toilet or cooking dinner or dealing with laundry.......just do it. Surprise them. Don't talk about, don't expect to be fawned over and lauded for your amazingness.....do it because it will feel good to get it done, and it will feel great to help out. Or hire someone ELSE to do it while you go out for a movie or something.

8. Best baby shower/expectant mother gift? A gift certificate for a pre-natal massage, pedicure or a bikini wax. The mom is the one doing all the work, after all, and does that baby really need another baby blanket or undershirt? Really???

My point is, really think about the person you are giving the gift to. Their likes and dislikes.
Don't buy them a piece of jewelry in yellow gold if they wear silver.
Don't buy them something purple if they pretty much always wear black.
Don't buy them a thong if they wear briefs.
Don't spend more then you can afford.

And if you are given a gift, don;t forget to say thank you. I am guilty of this, life gets away from you, and I am the first to admit I have moved away from sending hand-written thank you notes. But I do try to send a thank-you email in a timely fashion, preferably with a photo of the gift in use, or on display, or being opened (if it was mailed to us). Just something to say "thanks, I love it and I will use it". It gives everyone a warm fuzzy feeling to give and receive a gift with joy and excitement.

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