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The art of gifting

Updated: May 8, 2021

One of my favourite things has always been those special days I celebrate with special people in my life. Birthdays and Christmas were always a big deal in our house growing up and these family events along with a great summer wedding, are still among my favourite.

Gifts these days seem to have taken a bit of a back seat though. No frills gift cards and even cash seem to be the easy option. So, ok this may be hassle free but really what it means is: no thought, and no effort.

I get that time is not a great luxury for many of us, but an ill-thought-out gift just does not let someone know what you mean to them. What happens to that priceless moment of watching surprise and joy in the eyes of your loved one when you take the easy road? Surely that happy smile, the misty eyes, those little ooh and aahs and a big hug, make the effort totally worthwhile, right?

It’s about making it personal and showing that the person is not far from your thoughts.

So where do you start?

Gift giving is an art form for sure; the buying of a present for someone does take time, thought and consideration.

When I think about the best gifts I’ve ever received, they are not usually things that I would have put on a ‘wish list’, but they are tokens from someone who knows me well enough to think beyond that and buy with a little imagination, which of course makes for the bigger surprise.

So, if you are buying for someone you know well, our first tip is to spend a few moments thinking about all the good times you’ve shared with that person over the past year or the conversations you have had over a coffee or glass of wine, to see what gift suggestions this might spark. We guarantee that a gift means more to a person when there is a story behind it

Maybe you had countless conversations with a friend about always wanting to try something but have never found an excuse to actually buy it for themselves. Buying something someone would never buy themselves and showing you listen makes for the perfect gift.

The classic debate

People often tell me that classic gifting ideas like a scented candle or luxurious bath product can often be thought of as a ‘lazy’ gift, but there is a simple way to change things up - if you add a card with a note saying how ‘this reminds me of sitting in an orange grove on our trip to Italy trip together’ makes it personal and shows that the person is not far from your thoughts. Have a read of our Scent your Space journal to help you on your way.

The gift of time

We are big believers in the gift that encourages a few moments of quiet and relaxation. A bath rather than a quick morning shower, a brew and biscuit with a good book or an indulgent bar of chocolate or your favourite drink that you don’t have to share. Let’s face it, just putting aside an hour of time for yourself is a gift in itself, so anything that gets you to do this, is definitely worth giving in our books.

Equally for some, food gifts fall firmly into the other camp so are perfect for sharing on a Friday night camped out on the sofa, binge-watching Netflix with your loved one.

With all that said, these classics are also ideal if you are buying for someone that you really don’t know so well. Whilst these are always going to be the harder gifts to choose, small and practical gifts are always a safe bet. If nothing else, these can always be discreetly ‘lost’ within a home or even better, re-gifted!

What often makes any gift that extra bit special are the finishing touches. I love watching the sheer anticipation of loved ones carefully and slowly unwrapping their gift, so picking beautiful handmade gift wrap and some simple cotton ribbon to add that little extra love is well worth while!

Image by Katie Leamon

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