“I’m a total stationery fiend – I have drawers and drawers of lovely printed cards and wrapping paper” – Keeley Hawes
Do not judge a book by its cover. Or rather: don’t judge a gift by its wrapping. Especially when it comes from me, heheh ;)
I have a dilemma going on here: I am great in finding gifts, but horrible at wrapping them. And yes, in most stores you can have your presents taken care of for you, but just because I suck at it doesn’t mean I dislike doing it! I like to spend just a little bit of extra attention on the wrapping of my gifts. I go all the way with different kinds of wrapping paper and use tape abundantly. Why? Just because I can.
This doesn’t mean it always ends up looking good. In fact, usually my presents look like crap.
But that’s not the point. It’s what’s inside that counts. And I may not have many talents, but buying presents I rock at! And it’s really simple, honestly. There’s only three rules to follow if you want the receiver to love your present:
- Make it personal; Try listening to your friends’ stories and remember what they talk about. Work related anecdotes, talks about items they’ve seen on TV and wished they had, memories of holidays, personal preferences regarding food/candy, etc. It’s really easy, honestly. You just have to listen carefully and pick something they talk about, remember it until their birthday (or any other occasion) and give it to them. Instant happy surprise.
For example: my mother once complained about her old and beaten down coffee, tea and sugar-storage jars. She said they were in desperate need of replacement, but never once realised I’d buy new ones. So she got something she asked for without even remembering she did. (I also did the same with my running mate – pun! But her birthday is coming up and I don’t want to risk her finding out what I got her beforehand. But trust me, it’s great!)
- Give them something you know they’ll like; This one seems straightforward, but in reality it’s harder than it sounds. In case people don’t unknowingly tell you what they want to receive, it’s time you rake your own brain to see what gift would be good for them.
My best friend, for example, asked for “something for the back garden.” I knew she’d said this to everyone she had invited, so my creative juices had to get flowing if I wanted to be original. I also knew she likes to cook and she often talked about having her own herb garden one day. And I remembered my other best friend had bought her special tea herb seeds she could grow herself. Result: I bought her a massive tea-cup (including saucer) which functioned as a flower-pot. She can now grow her tea seeds in a giant tea-cup, which she can keep in her back garden! I say: amen!
- Buy them something they asked for; If points one and two failed (i.e. no inspiration, nothing came up during conversations), simply give them something they asked for. It may not be as as fulfilling, but it sure will leave them happy.
Finally, I think wrapping whatever you bought up yourself gives your present just that extra hint of personal interest. Even if it means it ends up looking wonky like the one in my picture. But that gift is for my niece who’s turning one this weekend, and she won’t mind about the wrapping at all. She only cares about the important stuff: that what’s inside (and probably about ripping the paper off and playing with that, too).