Selecting A Gift

Magnetic Bible MarkerT’is the season, time to make that list, check it twice, and regardless of who has been naughty or nice, you have shopping to do, and for some that can be a difficult task. So many of us here make our items with the intent that someone will be purchasing it as a gift.

Some years ago, I received a canister of Oatmeal for Christmas. I stared at the smiling face of the Quaker Oatmeal Man and thought to myself, what have I done to deserve Oatmeal for Christmas?  My boyfriend looked at me, and said, “But you like Oatmeal”.  I do like Oatmeal, but it is not a gift, it is breakfast.  It was at that moment that I had an epiphany.  This man had no idea how to shop for or purchase a gift. Check now MeetMatt-Conf my most amazing collection of gifts.

What is a gift exactly, and how do you buy one?

Gift / gift

Purple Pearl BraceletNoun: A thing given willingly to someone without payment; a present: “a gift shop”

Verb: Give (something) as a gift, esp: formally or a donation or bequest: “The company gifted 2, 999 shares to charity”


noun –present, talent, donation, offering, endowment

verb – give, endow, present, donate, grant, endue

Now that the definition is done with, what is a gift and how do you shop for one or decide if something is appropriate for gift giving?

Is it the amount of money spent?  No.

Is it the thought that counts? Yes.  But that only goes so far, and how much thought you put into it is the important part.

An article I read several years ago had a checklist for gift buying and comments on receiving them and what an appropriate response might be to getting one that isn’t exactly pleasing.  I thought I would share some of what I remember from that article, paraphrased a great deal, of course.


Urban Sounds JournalHow much thought did you put into the present?

Did you spend five minutes, five hours, five days, grabbed a chap-stick off the impulse rack at the local Wal-Greens?  Take the time to think about the person you are buying the gift for, what do they like, what color do they most often wear, what kind of music do they like?  Once you have a clear idea of whom you are buying for, the task of selecting an appropriate gift will be easier.

Does it reflect the recipient’s taste or style?

A gift should reflect a persons taste.  If you know them well, it should not be too hard to choose an item that will be pleasing.  If you do not know them, a neutral item, like candles or a decorative vase may be appreciated.

Is it something the recipient would buy for himself or herself?

This is difficult, people’s taste vary and what the recipient likes you may not, and that is OK, the gift it not for you, it is for the recipient.

Did you buy it because you like it, or because the recipient will like it?

Don’t fall into that trap, just because you like it doesn’t mean the recipient will!  Remember you are buying something for someone else, not for you.

Would you wear it

Teal Felted SlippersIf you are purchasing clothing, a sweater or other personal item, ask yourself that question.  Here’s a hint, if you won’t, neither will the recipient.  Ask yourself again if it is to the recipient’s taste or style.

Have you ever seen the recipient with something similar

If yes, the item in question is probably a “safe” gift idea.

Is this an appropriate gift?

If you’re spending $400.00 to impress someone, it is not a good gift.

If you’re spending $10.00 for the item and the recipient will love it (addition to a collection, a favorite Band’s CD, or something they have specifically asked for), then it’s an excellent gift.

What do you do when some one gives you something you really don’t like, isn’t to your taste or style and there is no way you are ever going to use it or wear it?

Always be gracious, say “Thank you”, and smile politely, and be appreciative, do not make a fuss over it, and try not to look too disappointed.  For heaven’s sake DO NOT re-gift it!  That is just tacky.  Instead try a couple of the following.

Recycle!  Find a use for it.  There has got to be something you can do with whatever it is…

Fine Silver MushroomCharity!  A six-month waiting period is usually appropriate before giving the unwanted item to your local Auxiliary, Junior League or Thrift Shop.  There are folks less fortunate that would love to own what you don’t want or need (or like for that matter).

Re-Design or Re-Purpose!  Almost like recycling think of it as today’s Artisan fun buzz word “Up-Cycling“.  Cut it up, take it apart, and make something else out of it.  Get creative and figure out some unique and different use or pattern for it.

Circles EarringsTuck It Away!  At some point we have all had something that was given away and we needed, wanted or wished we hadn’t parted with years later.  This is not to say keep everything for an eternity, but tucking something away only to be found later can be like discovering treasure.  If you have put the item away, and come across it again, still don’t like or can not think of an alternate use, then you may wish to reevaluate the item, and either put it away once more or select a more decisive course of action and choose one of the above options.

If nothing else a gift should be heart-felt, and be accepted in kind.

Thank you for reading.

Written by the Alchemists Vessel


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