Saturday, July 20, 2013

How to Buy a Meaningful Gift

This simple coffee cup is an example of one that fits into that category. So you can see that it doesn't mean you have to take out a mortgage to achieve this goal. In fact, since this was an economical gift, it showed that the gifter put some real serious thought into it or just found the “perfect” gift sitting on a shelf telling her that this will work very well.

If you are going to continue buying a guy another tie, please just give him a gift certificate to let him get something that he might actually like and appreciate. Why are you punishing him? What did he do to deserve that on-going punishment? Ties are only good at getting into bowls of soup, they are impossible to clean and they are extremely uncomfortable right up there with cheap wool underwear.

And guys do the same for the flowers, chocolate and other quick cop out gifts. If you aren't going to at least try to be creative, then the gift certificate will actually show that you do care enough to say I didn't want to get you just another gift that you probably don’t want.

I had an aunt who has long since passed that would handle Christmas this way. She would simply ask “what would you like for Christmas” and I since learned that I could let her have some fun if I gave her more general ideas than a specific product and size. So I said a really good cookbook, or a really big bowl that I can use in the microwave or a soup stock pot.

So over the years I got The Joy of Cooking which is probably the best cookbook you could own if you could only have one. It was pre-Internet days so it really worked out well until I learned how to google for all that stuff.

And another gift was an 8-cup Pyrex measuring bowl with lid that I used to use to make chili and soups in the microwave before I discovered how to use a slow cooker. And Aunt Jean also got me a nice sized Paderno stainless steel stock pot that I used an awful lot for all manner of meals. I still chuckle when I put the lid on the pot because the lid edge has a discernible dent that meant that my aunt got it for a good price and good for her. I didn't want to break her bank so I appreciated that she could get me this great pot and not take out a mortgage to do so.

And the cup featured above came from a co-worker for the one time we decided that we would share gifts at Christmas and the budget was under $10 per gift. Well Donna managed to do a remarkable job with that one because she is right “Everyone IS entitled to my opinion” although I would more likely have said everyone is welcome to my opinion but she did know me like a book. I still have this great little smile when I think about how she just more or less just started into a full body laugh with the huge smile that showed how much she cared that I really liked it. My boss gave me an expensive shaver and brush kit (more than $10) because she was really just meeting her agenda which was trying to get me to shave more often. I still have a very light beard and only shave twice a week. I think the shaver kit went into the garbage long ago but that mug is something I use often. I am so extremely careful when I do because I couldn't image breaking it after almost 40 years.

So take some advice from Gladys Knight and for sure you really have to use your imagination to give someone a great gift but it isn't the end of the road if you didn't hit it perfectly. It is all about the effort that you took to try a little tenderness, show some respect, or treat her right. Just like the songs it comes from the soul, not the check book or debit card.

It’s better to be leaving the room singing Ooo Baby Baby or My Girl than You've Lost that Loving Feeling or Cold Sweat.

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