The Art of Gift-Giving

In Uncategorized on October 23, 2006 at 5:58 pm

So I got the most amazing birthday presents from my boyfriend yesterday. Click here for the story. And, I got a wonderful birthday package from my dear friend Wenni, consisting of: a cute neon-pink pillow that says “Sleeping Beauty” (she knows I don’t sleep much or maybe she’s concerned of my getting older), a bright red tank top (she knows I need more color in my wardrobe) and a mug with my face and hers printed on it (this is pure her thing: a bit of vanity). How thoughtful!

Anyway, I got great birthday gifts this year!

Which led me to wonder: why are there such thing as bad gifts and bad givers? I mean, isn’t it really easy to find a gift? Be it Christmas, Birthdays or whatever the ocassion is… giving gifts is a wonderful activity. And I love doing it. I love looking for stuff that I know would make somebody go: “Oh my God, I love this!” I love taking them to professional wrappers and carry the most amazingly wrapped to give to somebody who really deserves it.

A friend of mine once said: “I hate birthdays. It means I have to give a gift to somebody and I just hate looking for the right present.”

How can you NOT like looking for prensents?

First of all: it doesn’t have to be expensive. To me, thoughtful gifts are the ones that really matter. It is not how much you spend on it. A perfect gift is something that shows how well you know the person you are giving it to. How well he or she would appreciate the gift you give.

A male friend of mine once consulted me on giving gifts for his girlfriend’s birthday.

Him: “Flowers? How about flowers?”
Me: “Do you specifically know what her favorite flower is?”
Him: “You girls like roses, right?”
Me: “Whoever gave you that idea?”
Him: “I saw it on TV. Girls melt if guys give them flowers!”
Me: “No kidding. See, that is what’s really wrong about TV. They make men assume that ALL women love flowers. Mainly roses. I’m sad to tell you this, but unless a guy gives me a LONG stemmed dark red rose, I’m not a really fan of flowers of any kind.”
Him: “So what do you think I should get her?”
Me: “What does she like?”
Him: “She likes everything! That is my problem!”
Me: “How long have you guys been dating?”
Him: “Six months.”
Me: “SIX MONTHS and you haven’t figured her out yet? You men are unbelievable.”

I wanted to brush him off and say “Sorry, can’t help you there mate” but I felt a sudden compassion for this friend of mine.

Him: “Okay what about accessories?”
Me: “What kind of things does she wear?”
Him: “She wears necklaces. And rings. Like you!”
Me: “Okay stop looking at me, and picture her. What does she really wear on a daily basis?”
Him: “Necklaces. Um… and I guess a pair of earrings…”
Me: “Right. So get her those.”
Him: “No ring?”
Me: “Are you thinking of proposing?”
Him: “NO! Geez, why do you have to scare me like that?”
Me: “Am not scaring you. I’m just saying that you should never give any kind of ring to any girl unless you intend to marry and therefore you have to have the right ring.”
Him: “How about perfumes?”
Me: “What is she wearing right now?”
Him: “I don’t know. Maybe Thierry Mugler”
Me: “If you’re in doubt, don’t.”
Him: “Oh man, you’re not helping me getting this any easier.”

I looked at him and smiled, “It is difficult because you are searching for something you don’t know. Instead of talking to me, why don’t you take her out and see if you can get to know her better tonight. You’ll figure what to give her in no time.”

The main problem of male to female gift-giving, I think, occurs when a man asks his female friend what to give his new girlfriend. The female friend, usually, thinks she knows the guy better than he knows himself… therefore often leading him into false decisions. I’ve been through this experience all my adult life and just recently I realized that I have absolutely no say in giving gifts for anybody’s girlfriend. Why?

Because it has to be personal.

I’m not saying that I am the best gift-giver of all time, but I do have some tips on how to make your recipient’s face lit up when they receive your gift.

1. Observe.
If you claim to know the person, start observing his or her behavior. Forget about their “interests” and focus more on what they do on a daily basis. Are they the ones who are ultra-concerned about their appearance? Are they the ones who love working? How do they drink their coffee? How do they take care of their belongings? Even the smallest stuff can be your source of idea.

2. Talk.
Talking to them and relating to them are the key to successful gift-giving. You don’t ask what they want, because it’s really not that creative. Some people even find it rude. Fish for your information wisely.

3. Forget Yourself.
Dude, it’s about THEM. Not YOU. So focus on what THEY like and not what YOU like to see them have.
Well that’s about all on how to get ideas. On to the next level: Presenting your gift. Now this one might seem like a “nothing”, but how you present your gifts are AS important as the gifts themselves.

1. Wrap It Good.
“It’s the thought that counts” I said that cliche earlier in this post, but come on, we can’t deny that a perfectly -wrapped gift brings appetite to the receiver. Never attempt to wrap it yourself if you can’t do it really nicely, especially to kids. Kids -and those who are still a child at heart- love how presents look like. And to make your present look fab, seek professional help. Especially, if you are a busy person.

2. Right Place, Right Timing.
Yes, WHEN and WHERE really counts. Again, be creative. Deliver it to their office and let them get attention from their co-workers. Make them feel special for just one day. Deliver them personally to their houses and wow them with your effort. Give it to them when they’re least expecting it. Whatever! They’ll be glad you think of them so deeply.

Hooo boy. So this is how it feels to be Martha Stewart.

All I’m saying is: You can’t be that bad a gift giver. Because the moral behind giving presents is: to really care about somebody.

And I am ever so glad that I have lovely people around me who really care for me. Cheers to you all 🙂

  1. don’t ever surprise me by sending gifts to my office… it will draw attention… hehehehe j/k. Happy birthday, beb 😉

  2. yeah. sending you gifts to your office would be terribly expensive anyway 😀 i’d rather show up unannounced like usual and enjoy your surprised face there and then 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: