Gift Giving From the Heart
Confession: I used to be a terrible gift giver. My most heinous gift-giving crime was giving gifts I would like. I never considered the receiver of the seven-hundred-plus-page Volume 1 of Mark Twain's Autobiography. And forget about shopping for my dad, or any man for that matter—unless that man happened to be George Michael and could appreciate a nice pair of diamond studs.
After one particularly ill-received gift to my mother who has a taste for bling and would not be caught dead wearing leather jewelry, no matter how "delicate" the salesgirl insisted it was, I realized I had to conquer gift giving once and for all.
I searched my soul and the internet (no, they are not the same thing), and I realized that the key to giving is the recipient. People want to know that you see them, that you know who they are as individuals and that you care about the things that make them who they are. The more personalized the gift, the more it will be appreciated and the more you will stand out.
This article by Dr. Neal Burton in Psychology Today outlines the 10 most important rules of gift giving. I like #7 because it can be expanded to including the thoughtful message on the gift! There are many psychological effects inherent in the act of gift giving, not the least of which is the stress involved in finding that perfect gift. What I have learned is that it really is the thought that counts, and if you put thought and preparation into your gifts, the benefits will be huge.
So, if that wine-aficionado boss of yours has a tendency to quote Yeats or the bride and groom will soon be toasting their union, consider using this enthusiasm and special moment to make your gift one of a kind. A personalized wine bottle or a pair of gorgeous engraved Riedel Ouverture champagne flutes can mean the difference between a polite thank-you note and a gift they will cherish forever. And remember: think ahead. I have written the words Christmas will come again this year! in my planner on the first day of every month because for some reason, those silver bells surprise me every December. It also reminds me to think about what holidays or special occasions are imminent that month. There is always at least one, and now I'm always prepared.
~ until next time,