The Perfect Gift

small giftYesterday was my birthday and gift-giving is on my mind.

Are you sometimes stymied when you select a gift for someone because you don’t know what’s right?

Have you ever gotten a gift that while it’s well-intended but has nothing to do with your interests or tastes?

Do you know that hollow sensation of pretending to love a gift you can’t stand?

Are You a Great Gift Giver?

I’ve always envied people who seem to be able to pick just the right gift. And I think I’ve finally figured out how they do it. Great gift-givers pick presents that reflect something real about the recipient rather than selecting a gift that reflects their own tastes and desires.

I’ve been wondering why I find it so hard to know what someone else would like. The simple answer is that I often don’t pay enough attention to know. I get so wound up in my own world and getting stuff done, that I only half way notice the people I’m with.

I have a hunch that if I set out to practice being more observant and attentive to the people I’m with, I’ll become a great gift-giver too.

I’ve got a lunch date with a business acquaintance today. I’m going to see if I can find the key to giving her a just-right gift.  Not that she needs a gift. I don’t think it’s her birthday. But perhaps I’ll get her one anyway just to see how it changes my thinking about her and how it effects our relationship.

Stay tuned. I’ll report.

P.S. The greatest gift I got yesterday was from my husband whose birthday present to me was a simple email describing what he loves about me. I can’t imagine a gift more perfect!

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Observe a friend more carefully today

When you are with someone you know today, try seeing them in more detail. Not judging them, but simply noticing. What do they look like? How do they hold themselves? What excites them? How have they helped you? What interests them? What are their tastes?

If you were going to give them a gift they would like, what would it be?

In the comments, tell me about the last time you got or gave the perfect gift. What made it so perfect?

  • Andrea Kihlstedt

    On my way to lunch with my friend, I stopped by some shops to find a gift for her. I thought and thought about what she might like but found that I didn’t know her well enough to pick just the “right” gift. So I picked something I myself would have liked…a small tin of lemon flavored olive oil. It turns out that she doesn’t cook! No, certainly not the right gift. But she appreciated the gesture and perhaps that’s what counts most.