We go shopping see something we like and then buy it for the next person on the list?
Hmmmn maybe, I rather beg to differ as therein lies the first error in this “process” – did you spot it, I am sure you did “see something WE like ….” And there you have it. This is where the whole thing falls apart even before your shopping expedition is out of the starting gates.
Because our first thought tends to be “oh isn’t this lovely” as opposed to “now would she like this?” To step outside our own wants and desires and choose something based on someone else’s wants and desires is incredibly difficult and sometimes it doesn’t matter how long you’ve known someone. For many years my sister and I routinely gave each other gifts that neither of us particularly liked, even for example when it was something as seemingly straightforward as a pair of gloves. She (I think?) likes leather with fingers lined with cashmere or silk, very classical style, whereas I like mittens as my fingers freeze quickly with grip pads on the palms – do you see my issue dahlings!?!
It’s not only about personal taste either, someone gave me a lovely gift the other day of a plant, who doesn’t love a good plant? Well this one has to be popped away somewhere semi-warm for the winter, watered once a month, cut back and then planted outside in the Spring. Upon whence it will produce gorgeous flowers for most of the next three seasons. So whilst the original thought was super, the ensuing care and attention is for me, at this time, beyond the joy that may or may not come to pass in the future – in short it will most likely languish as I forget about it.
Sometimes the simplest of presents are just the best. A little while ago I was given a whole bunch of drawer liners – BRILLIANT – not the costliest item by far, but it was brilliant because I love the gentle fragrance on my clothes, I appreciate the protective nature of shooing moths away and these are something that unless I see them in a shop, up close and personal I always forget to buy!!
And then of course there’s the wrapping, which often maketh the gift! If you simply don’t have the time, patience or skill, then please, please ask the lovely people at the shop to gift wrap it for you, they will and your present will look fantastic! Because the wrapping begins the sensory experience and is a direct correlation on how much effort the receiver thinks you’ve put into their gift. Unfair, perhaps, but a shabbily wrapped gift, is like a shabbily dressed person, with all the best will in the world, one can’t help but make a judgement even if it is unconscious.
So I haven’t really given you any answers on how to perfect this particular art, but why do you think I’m writing about it so vigorously? I know over the years I have given some shockingly unmatched presents to friends and family alike and it bothers me because I love to give good gifts! Of course one can always give a SoffiaB robe, that is almost certain to please!
So answers and ideas on a postcard please, or send me an email or post a comment – I will be very grateful!
Look Gorgeous, Feel Fabulous – Sophie
P.S. If I’ve written about this before, I apologize but it certainly causes me angst!