If you are like me — if you are like most guys — you are pretty lousy at giving gifts. Its O.K. (cleansing breath) most people have given a flop of a gift at some point in time. I know I’m guilty, but that doesn’t mean I’m a lost cause. I’ve decided to atone for my past gift-giving sins by becoming a better gift-giver —and this is how I did it. . .
During the commercials of just one football game last weekend, I devised the following strategy, brainstormed the following gift ideas, and set the following plans in motion (and who can stand to watch the commercials during a ball game anymore? Past male-centric ads for beer and sports cars have been supplanted by an unsettling number of spots promoting cures for prostate problems and everything else south-of-the-navel that men should talk to their doctors about (but don’t). Alas, I digress. . . )
First, I got organized. This meant actually keeping track of every birthday, anniversary and all of the gift-giving holidays in a format way more trustworthy than my brain. Secondly, before I set aside dates in my calendar for shopping, I scheduled creative time for research and reconnaissance. This meant coming up with a plan to give something that is A). Memorable B). Timely, and C). From the Heart. If a gift doesn’t fulfill the criteria of all three ideals, you are probably wasting everybody’s time.
Photos and Memorabilia as Gifts. Everybody has them, but hardly anybody uses them to their gift-giving advantage. You can create a killer gift for your spouse by collecting photos of your courtship into an album and calling it “I fell in Love.” Picture Frame an important photo (baby, wedding, vacation, portrait, pivotal moment) and (depending who you are giving it to) tape a poem, an old love letter, or a newspaper article on the backside. Dig a prized childhood collectable from that box in the basement and have it put in a shadow box or have a plaque and stand made for it.
Technology as a Gifts. Cell phones, iPods, computers and DVR recorders all make for great lifestyle gifts. Be sure to take that extra step and include set-up and tutoring (and even a stress-free refresher course at a later point in time) if your gift recipient isn’t too tech-savvy.
Experiences as Gifts. Some people are just hard to buy for, but everybody loves to have a memorable experience. Give the gift of a vacation, tickets to an event, or a date night. Plan everything in advance, write up an itinerary and give it in a beautiful envelope. Be sure to include at least one unscheduled surprise.
Now, in the spirit of giving, I say you take a moment to tell this blog a story about your worst gift experience. Whether it was a gift given or a gift received — give us the dish at http://awfulgift.blogspot.com. Your stories will be posted — and celebrated.