Gary Brown: Finding that perfect gift ... made easy
Do people sound insincere when they say “just what I’ve always wanted” after receiving your gifts?
Have you heard your share of lukewarm “oh, what an interesting gift” observations on Christmas morning?
Do relatives sometimes simply hold your presents up after unwrapping them and ask, “Got a receipt?”
Has any participant in a gift exchange ever denied being the person written on the slip of paper you drew?
Then you might not be buying your Christmas presents from what the “Seven Basic Gift Groups.”
Shopping from the “Gift Groups” assures you of being able to offer, without discernible thought, a variety of believed-to-be-meaningful gifts for each special person in your life.
HANDY AND DEPENDABLE
“Basic Gift Groups” are:
1. Things that smell good. Perfume. Cologne. Maybe mouthwash or deodorant. Other than risking sending the message, “I think you stink,” you can’t go wrong with a good smell. Anybody who has known me for long probably has a collectible number of scented candles that they can treasure by regifting or selling them on eBay.
2. Items that look expensive. Jewelry. Knickknacks. If it’s shiny, colorful, or breakable there is a chance recipients will not completely comprehend, without a costly and inconvenient appraisal, that this particular watch was purchased from a guy who kept his inventory in pockets inside his trenchcoat.
3. Gifts they can eat. Fruit. Candy. The former can be purchased in baskets at a grocery store, allowing you to buy a dozen or more thoughtful and nutritional gifts in a single trip through the checkout line. The latter, while requiring a little more thought ‹ “Honey, for no particular reason, did you say you liked dark chocolate or light?” ‹ sends a message of love and caring, especially if you scribble a little personal note on a card, such as “Sweets for the sweet” or “Hope you don’t have a nut allergy.”
4. Gifts that make noise. Music boxes. Clock radios. Drum sets and brass instruments. Dolls and stuffed animals that make funny statements when you pull the string at the back of their neck. Noisemaking gag gifts that you can bestow in some embarrassing way. If they’re laughing, it’s easier to believe they like it.
THOUGHTS THAT COUNT
5. Gifts that really are for yourself. Tickets to a professional sports game. A romantic weekend at a noted golf or fishing resorts. A naughty nighty. Be careful with such gifts. You want to suggest that you recognize the intimacy level of your relationship. But you don’t want to recognize this at the time of the gift-giving by smiling, winking and wiggling your eyebrow.
6. Sentimental gestures. This is standard fare for female gift givers. My sister once delighted siblings by gathering in book form our family’s favorite recipes. I was less successful with a cheap but shallow gesture to “try to call and e-mail family members more often, when I can, if I think of it.”
7. Anything red. A gift bought at the last minute doesn’t have to be this specific color, of course, Simply determine your loved one’s favorite hue, rush to a department store. Grab a clerk, and order desperately, “She likes red. Give me anything in red.”
Reach Canton Repository Living Section Editor Gary Brown at (330) 580-8303 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org