The Art of Gift Giving October 09 2013

I LOVE giving gifts! For me, it is one of life’s greatest pleasures.  There is so much joy in selecting and giving the perfect gift. It is a wonderful feeling to wait and watch when a gift is opened and the recipient looks with wonder in their eyes with the acknowledgement that you really appreciate them for who they are. It’s a tremendous sense of satisfaction…. sort of a quiet rush…for the giver.

Gift giving is a combination of an art, a challenge, and a game of sorts for me, but most importantly, a source of great joy all tied up with a bow in one simple package…pun intended. I love giving gifts so much that I actually owned and operated a gift shop for several years in New Jersey. It was the happiest time of my professional life. Every day I had the chance to help my customers choose the perfect gift for someone special in their life.  The occasions varied, as much as the giver; weddings, engagements, birthdays, graduations, new homes, new jobs, bar and bat mitzvahs, Communions, Confirmations, showers, a job well done, a thanks for being there, end of the school year, a get well, a thinking about you, even divorce. There is always a reason to celebrate, to encourage, to express love and affection, and therefore a need to give a gift.  It doesn’t matter how big or small, it truly is the thought that counts.

Gifts don’t have to be expensive.  The best gifts are thoughtful ones, unique ones #uniquegifts, the ones where the giver actually takes the time to think about the recipient and the occasion. Many people are intimidated by gift giving, so they fall back on the uninspired gift card. I’m not sure why.  It only takes a little thought, and a little planning.

So here are some basic questions to get you started on choosing the right gift.

What is the occasion?

What are some of the recipient’s interests?

What is your budget? Is this for a couple or an individual?

Does it have to be mailed or shipped?

What is your relationship to the recipient? Is this a close family or friend or more of an acquaintance? Personal or Business?

By taking a few moments to just think about whom the gift #gift is for and what the occasion is, you are bound to come up with something special.  Here is a story that just happened in our family this past week.  It was my 30-year-old stepson’s birthday.  My daughter bought him 2 jigsaw puzzles. Sounds a little lame right?  But here is the back-story. The family had just returned from a long weekend seeing the foliage in Vermont. While just hanging out in the cabin, they found a puzzle and stayed awake all night on a puzzle-making marathon. Great simple fun and special memories were made.  My daughter’s simple, but thoughtful gift of 2 puzzles, created an opportunity to keep that enjoyment going. Just talking about it at the dinner table made everyone smile. Now isn’t that what its all about. Go ahead and find a reason to give a gift.  It’s good for the soul…yours!