Aromatherapy & Relaxation products from Rodco Home Essentials —Photo courtesy Rodco Home Essentials

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How to choose the perfect gift

By LISMOORE

So last week we talked all about mistakes to avoid when holiday shopping. In that said article, I touched a little bit on shopping for that perfect present. This week, our topic is about choosing the perfect gift. We all know that Christmas is not or should not be all about presents, but gift giving is a big part of it. I know it's not the gift but the thought that counts, but there is nothing worse that an inappropriate gift. This can be an easier process if we get away from the perception that gift-giving is just an exchange of physical objects, because in fact it is a form of communication... yes COMMUNICATION. Some gifts communicate different things like intimacy, your creativity or a message to take better care of oneself. Some of us are gifted when it comes to the art of gift giving, but for most of us it does not come easily. Before you go out shopping for the perfect gift this season, you should ask yourself a few questions; What do I want to say to this person? What can I get them that will communicate this? Usually all we think about is the opposite; "What can I buy them?" "How much does it cost?" and "What will they think of it?". Here are a few tips that should make your Christmas gift shopping experience easier.

Know your recipient's interests and personality

Before I purchase a gift for anyone, I always try to get to know the person and their interests; their favourite colour, scents, is that person a collector of something, or an avid reader? What type of books do they enjoy, who is their favourite author? Are they girly, elegant, eccentric? Do they like practical things they can use, or would they appreciate something decorative? In cases where you do not have that information or do not know them well, you should ask or get some insight from someone close to them about their interests.

Consider the circumstance

There are cases where you need to consider the circumstance. For example, the recipient may have just moved into a new home that needs decorating, or they may have a stressful job and need a spa day. If you are not completely sure that you know what your recipient's taste is, you should not rely on your personal taste when it comes to items like home decoration, accent pieces and so on. Yes, you may know your best friend's taste in accessories and clothes. However, purchasing pure silk hand beaded cushions or a vase for your child's teacher or distant cousin is a whole other matter. Even if you have great taste, you cannot be sure that your recipient's is the same.

Personalise your gift

Generally, personalised gifts such as foodstuff, albums, picture frames, scented candles, soaps and bath gels are always good ideas. Even if the recipient does not care for all of it someone in their family will enjoy it. You can put together a beautiful hamper filled with chocolates, assorted nuts and biscuits ( as long as you are certain the recipient eats nuts and dairy products); or you may want to give a new mother a hamper filled with relaxation products like scented candles, aromatherapy oils, bath gel and a small journal. Personalising your gifts also gives you the opportunity to be creative with your wrapping paper, style, gift tags, locally made cards and other handmade decorative touches.

Choose quality gifts

Regardless of what you buy, nothing screams I DO NOT CARE like a cheap shoddy present. Now, that does not mean you have to spend a lot. There are many inexpensive products that are of very good quality. By the same token, there are some ridiculously overpriced pieces of junk on sale. Nobody needs a toy or electrical gadget that falls apart after a couple of days, or a fountain that is defective. If you want to be a successful gift giver, make sure you purchase items that work well, and hold up to their intended use. You should make all purchases from reputable shops, and keep your bills and receipts in a safe place.

Do not overdo with spending

At times, some of us have a tendency to go overboard when buying gifts. One way of curbing this tendency is to not use your credit cards. This is not only for your own good but for the recipients. Gifts that are overly expensive or cost much more than we expected, make the recipient feel indebted, and puts pressure on them to return the favour in equal measure. Avoid causing that kind of embarrassment and do not overspend.

Gifts that are tailored to your recipient's interests, personality and style are always the best regardless of the occasion. View the photo gallery of locally made gift items and card options from Rodco Home Essentials, Adanna's Flower & Gift Shop, Sweet Cherry Cards for great ideas and inspiration... Enjoy.

Lisa Moore

Member of the Window Covering

Association of America (WCAA)

Email your questions/ concerns/comments to

cushionbead@hotmail.com

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