Thursday 18 July 2024

The Art Of Present Giving

When you think about it you can tell a lot about a person from the presents they buy. We all have a relative whose efforts we truly dread and a friend who always seems to get it right. There are several kinds of present givers and curiously no matter what happens they always appear to follow the same predictable patterns.

The Art Of Present Giving

The Imagination Failures

There are some people who totally lack any semblance of imagination or creative thought. When it comes to gifts they just can’t be bothered and default to what they believe to be the safety of the obvious but inoffensive offering. These are the guys who always provide you with a new pair of socks or a gift set of toiletries that they managed to get on a three for the price of two offer in their local supermarket.

You always need to summon your best acting skills when you open these horrors in order to seem at least slightly grateful when what you really want to do is scream.

The Crafty

There is absolutely nothing worse than receiving the creative efforts of the terminally crafty. Some people are so deluded that they actually believe that you want their needlecrafts, homemade ceramics and enamelled jewellery. Staring down at the latest gaudy monstrosity you are left wondering what you did to deserve such a fate and must pretend to be lost for words at the brilliance of the piece.

You then face years of resurrecting the things from the darkest recesses of your cupboards and displaying them whenever the offending person comes round.

The Deluded

We all have someone in our lives who ignores trivia like what we might want as a present and persist in buying us the things they like themselves. There can be nothing more awkward than receiving the latest edition of Grand Theft Auto when you don’t play games or a set of screwdrivers when you hate DIY. Every Christmas there are millions of people staring blankly at absurd and entirely inappropriate presents which they may not even be able to identify.

The Blabber Mouths

We all love a surprise but there are some people who are incapable of delivering one. Not because they don’t have great ideas but because they simply cannot contain themselves. You know the ones. They drop endless hints or just tell you outright what you are getting but still waste their time on expensive wrapping and deliver your gift with a ridiculous flourish. What should have been a moment of triumph is reduced to a total anti-climax.

The Success Stories

Thankfully there are people who have the knack of getting it right. These are the guys who pay attention, make mental notes and look for opportunities. When you take up a new hobby they surreptitiously check out what you need, they know your home inside out and they have a sixth sense about what you like. They are so good that they can choose something quirky and unusual that you didn’t even know you wanted but which you love instantly as soon as you see it.

These are the people who appreciate what you are, don’t care that you are different and genuinely want to please. They never buy you socks or Grand Theft Auto or make you a hideous vase. Your only fear with these wonderful people is that your talent for present buying does not match theirs.

Sally Stacey is a keen writer and business owner who divides her time between writing and running her shop.