There is one kind of statement I don’t ever, ever like hearing.
It is the, they-are-so-difficult-to buy-for or they-have-everything comment. Nonsense.
Everybody, even those who appear to have everything love being spoilt and cherish a gift as much as the next person. A gift doesn’t have to be expensive, overly clever or even original; a gift has to be heartfelt. A gift can be quirky, practical or even sublimely impractical but it does require thought and that is where the generosity kicks in.
The ‘generous’ part of giving is the thinking time not the price ticket.
My most loved gifts are not those bought from the most glamorous stores but those where the giving came from the heart and the giver spent time considering me.
How do we turn gift giving into an art form?
Put yourself into the shoes of the person you are giving to.
Imagine their personal style, their home and their interests. What would give them pleasure?
Think about the gifts you have received, the most sentimental and much loved presents.
Why were they so special? What distinguishes them from others?
Don’t dismiss the small everyday luxuries.
We rarely buy the “non-essentials” for ourselves as much as we would like. How often do we look at the delicious bath gel or the scented candle and leave it behind in favour of another more practical purchase?
There can never be too many.
Originality is not the key to gift giving. A box of chocolates takes on a whole new meaning with a beautifully written note and a bouquet of pencils in a fabulous glass will always draw a smile. Don’t be afraid to give the classics, they are always well received. From my point of view there can never be enough flowers, chocolates or books? Never.
The wrapping does make the difference.
Talking time with gift-wrapping and presentation can truly elevate a gift and in particular the experience of giving and receiving.
The holidays are fast approaching and hostess gifts and Christmas presents are in front of mind. Gift giving should be the ultimate pleasure not a last minute stress and “job” to be dealt with. Sit down with a good cup of your personal favourite and spend some time thinking about the gifts you want to give and the friends who will receive them. The answers are right in front of you.
And, it is the thought that counts. xv
images, vogue paris december/january 2011/2012