Thursday 21 July 2011


Gift buying is an art. I’m serious; some people make an actual living buying gifts for people. Okay, for somewhat lazy people or people with far too much money on their hands, but the other reason is this – gift buying is not always such an easy task, and it can often induce one large Texas sized headache.

Recently I was faced with this very problem. I had to buy a gift with a group of people for someone who essentially has everything. This of course is an added complexity to the whole searching for a gift conundrum, because in short, when someone has everything, the average something suddenly seems like nothing. See what I mean? Then again, perhaps the person that has everything has always wanted just the average something cause most people overlook it and think they’ll think it’s nothing, when it’s really something.

Confused yet? :-)

So you find yourself either thinking way outside the box – an adopted camel from Mongolia, a robot that brings your tea to you (I have no idea where to get such a thing, but it sounds good), gravity boots, a weekend of chanting with a monk that promises enlightenment, etc.. Or you start opening other doors hoping that an idea falls into your lap. And fast!

Behind door number two for instance you will find the homemade gift. As I am long past the days of making a pretty little picture with pasta shells (I’ll leave that task to the King) or a mixed tape – god I used to love getting a good mixed tape - you rack your brain for the homemade gift that says, 'we went the sentimental route without appearing like we didn’t want to make much effort.' In fact, often you’ll find that it is the homemade gift that takes the most effort, time and thought and the person is bowled over by your sentimental undertaking. Which in the world of gift giving is a big fat SCORE. So if you’re buying for someone impossible, I’d suggest giving this a whirl.

Then there is the more mundane path to take. The tie, their favorite bath gel they just ran out of, a lifetime supply of their favorite cookie, a great bottle of wine…it won’t score in the flashy department but it’s a safe bet at least the person will use it. The thing is, often when you are buying a gift it is hard to separate yourself from the process. You find yourself getting people what you want them to have instead of what they may want. Or even better, what you think they need, i.e. new additions to their hideous wardrobe to improve their bad sartorial decisions, or a gym membership (not subtle and you may see repercussions from this that aren't so good), or a new wallet; cause if they whip out that tired velcro number from high school with a palm tree on it one more time, you’re going to kill them.  

You see, finding the perfect gift is indeed an art. Maybe a piece of paper with pasta stuck to it isn’t such a bad idea after all. 
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