YOUR ULTIMATE GIFT GUIDE

January 15, 2017


Giving gifts is both satisfying and tricky. Satisfying when the recipient likes what we give and tricky when the recipient cringes and smiles politely when opening it. I consider myself a great gift-er (yes, I made that word up) yet I continuously get lousy gifts. It's not that I'm complaining, but no one really succeeded on giving me something that are all sentimental, useful and considerably me. As you all know, Valentine's Day is near and I'm here to give you the ultimate guide on gift-ing!

First, I wanna talk about the most frequent gifts people often give. No matter the occasions, either birthday, anniversary even wedding, these gifts never fail to show up. Here they are :



1. Flower Bouquet. This type of gifts are everywhere during anniversaries, mother's day, valentine's day and graduation day. This is the type of gifts that rarely fail, because it is beautiful no matter what, people know that it is not cheap and although lacking of usefulness, drying them out is considerably timeless. First thing to point out is always do your best to give fresh flowers. Artificial is good in terms of durability, but it is lacking on sentimentality. The latest trend of paper flowers is also cute, but come on ... why on earth would you give origami-like flowers to people. Another thing to point out is that you can never go wrong with roses, as only very few people dislike it. Of course there are people with flower preferences, like tulips, carnations even lilies. Asking someone what is his/her favorite flowers is easy. You can just ask blatantly out of nowhere, trust me. It is like asking what their favorite color is. Another thing to add is style preferences. There are many styles nowadays, from elegant to rustic. It is your job to find out what style belongs to the person you're giving flowers to. It is super easy! If they are glamorous, red roses with gold/black wrapper and a little pearls here and there never fails. If they are outgoing, sunflowers with brown paper wrapping is a go to. If they are simple, down-to-earth, rustic style arrangement might just be the answer. Furthermore, always mind the wrapper and the embellishment like ribbon, additional flowers like baby's breath or leaves. You can always leave it to the florist to arrange it for you, but a little sentimentality like yellow ribbon to symbolize friendship is very thoughtful. Last but not least, the color. It is very important to know what color to choose for the flowers. It can be based on the meaning (like red rose means love and desire, etc) or it can be based on that person's preferences. Again, do your best to find out what color they like.


2. Chocolate. This type of gifts may not be given just as it is, except on Valentine's Day. Giving chocolate is easy. You only need to differentiate the flavors. For instance, if someone dislikes sweets and you always see them order iced coffee, dark chocolate is your answer. For the brand, you can always choose the popular ones, like Lindt's or Godiva. The embellishment is also very easy, just wrap it with ribbon and you are good to go. However, always keep in mind if the recipient has diabetes or dislikes sweets in general. 


3. Cake. This type of gifts is usually accompanied with other gifts, especially on birthdays. Cake may come in lots of variety but you can never go wrong with it. Chocolate cake, opera cake and strawberry shortcake are your safest option, although you can always go for others. If you want to be more thoughtful, you can find out the specific flavors your recipient likes, for instance carrot cake, cheese cake, etc. The sweetness and nutritions contained in the cake can also be customized, depending on how your recipient likes it, especially when your recipient has allergies or special needs. 6 inches whole cake is preferable, but you can always go big or go less, depending on the occasion. Lastly, be thoughtful with the garnish and/ fondant. For instance, you can order a custom car-like cake if the recipient likes car or bag-like cake if the recipient likes bag. Cupcakes and macarons are your other options, but you can never go wrong with a cake.


4. Jewelry. This type of gifts is both easy and tricky. Easy when you simply buy a type of jewelries that looks beautiful and give it to someone. If they don't like it, they can always sell it or custom it. Tricky when you want it to be sentimental and meaningful, like for anniversaries. How thoughtful? Well, you have to mind if the recipient prefers silver gold, gold or rose gold. Do they prefer diamonds or stones or nothing at all? You also have to think about the cut (for diamond), the style (also for diamond) and the consistency. You then have to weight the value and the types : does the recipient prefer ring or necklace or earrings? Does the recipient prefer specific brands like Cartier or Tiffany? Lastly, the size. It is mostly applicable for ring, although bracelets might have sizes too. Finding out ring size is hard. You can not just measure their finger or borrow their ring for sizing. Well, I can't give you tips on how to get a ring size of your significant other. You have to find that out by yourself. Hahaha.


5. Watch. This type of gift is very easy but expensive. They differ only in straps, mechanics, styles and brands. I am sure your recipient has a watch. My tip is to buy something similar like what they own. For instance, if he likes an automatic chrono with black leather straps, you can always buy an automatic chromo with dark brown leather straps. For the brand, try to go with another brand which lies on the same price range. Last but not least, you can always engrave a message or initials on the back of the watch.


6. Tech. This type of gift is the easiest of bunch but really expensive. You can always give the latest iPhone and your recipient will cheer for it. Always keep in mind about their need; if your recipient needs a camera, buy a camera. Needs a laptop? Buy a laptop. The personalization is the lowest in here, only colors. Fortunately, you can never go wrong with black and silver. 


7. Shoes. This type of gift is tricky, especially for guys. You will have to find out the size, the preferred brand (this is important, because some feet are comfortable in certain brands), the style and the level of comfort it offers. Finding out the size is easy, you can always jokingly say about how big or small his/her feet are or take a peek under their shoes. You can always buy the same style of shoes with different colors or materials, or if you are very thoughtful or happen to know what shoes he/she wants or does not have, you can always buy them. Last but not least, the brand. It is easy to find out the brand, just ask where they usually shop for shoes.


8. Books. This type of gift can be very thoughtful if executed well. There are a lot of aspects you need to keep in mind, from what genre is preferred to which edition. Buying a first edition of someone's favorite book is the ultimate gift, but it can be really expensive for some. The trick is to find out what kind of books he/she usually reads, then browse Goodreads/Barnes&Noble/Amazon for the best-selling ones in the genre, but you have to make sure he/she does not already own it.


9. Toys. This type of gift is easy, because a lot of people tend to tell about what toys they are eyeing on or based on what characters are their most-wanted toys. If all else fails, you can always shop for the best-selling ones. 


10. Bag & Wallet. This type of gift is tricky. First, you have to know the style and color the recipient prefers. Eventhough you can find out by looking at the bag/wallet he/she usually wears, you have to know the size. The difficulty in size lies on whether particular size is needed in their collection and fits for their usual use. Next, you have to mind the durability, especially when it is not a high quality fabric/leather and is not hand-stitched. Lastly, some people prefer certain brands and if you don't have a budget, it will be nice to give them their favorite brand.


11. Clothes. This is the trickiest gift of all, because fashion is always evolving and not all style looks good on everyone. First, you will need to know their style and favorite colors. You can easily judge by their everyday clothing, but with dresses and suits, there are lesser clues. Then you will have to find out their size and fit, and it is extremely tricky, considering every brands do not follow the same size. The easiest for women will be tops, especially the less fitted ones. For men, shirt is your go to, as most men shirts carry the same sizes and fits in every brands. My tip is to buy their usual brands because the size will be the same, buy the most basic colors like black and white and always keep the tag on, in case they need to return it. My advice for you is not to buy clothes unless you are the bestfriend or the significant other and know where they usually shop and what size and style they usually pick in that very store.


12. Gift card. This type of gift is considered a life saver, especially for the clueless. Your friend is a frequent shopper at Sephora? Buy a Sephora gift card! It is versatile, as they can shop what they want, what suits them and what they need. However, you have to really consider the appropriate value you are giving in that very gift card so that it will not offend the recipient. 

After we've been through those twelve above, let's get to the list of gifts that I find .... inconsiderate and lazy. Here they are :

1. Doll. Unless the recipient is under 12 years old, do not wrap a fucking teddy bear. A special character doll, like Monster Inc.'s Sully might be thoughtful if the recipient likes Sully, but ... it is just useless. Unless they specifically ask for it, do not buy dolls for heaven's sake.

2. Hampers. It may look expensive, but not everything in that hamper is usable or needed. For instance, you buy a baby hamper for a baby shower, with towels and stuffs that the recipient already owns. USELESS. 

3. Ballpoint. I might be bias here, because some people may appreciate a Mont Blanc with their name engraved on it .. but come on.


Although the most important part on giving gifts is the intention, it would not hurt to supply the occasion and the interest of the recipient. For example, if the recipient is a chef, a set of expensive knives will be thoughtful, elegant and useful. If you are giving a wedding gifts, always ALWAYS stick to the register. Another thing to add, always pay attention to the wrapping, embellishment and notes, because that's where you can get personal. Happy gifting!

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(this part is strictly requested by a dear friend of mine only for fun)

MY ULTIMATE GIFT LIST :

Flower
   - 13 sunflowers with little leaves, brown wrapping paper, brown string
   - white peonies with little leaves, brown wrapping rustic cloth, brown string
   - white tulips with little leaves, brown wrapping paper, brown string
   - white carnation with little leaves, brown wrapping paper, brown string

Chocolate
Lindt's swiss thin extra dark chocolate

Cake
a classic 6 inches round coffee cake with dark chocolate fondant and filling, less sugar,
     non fat milk

Jewelry
nah

Watch
 You want to buy me IWC? Of course not.

Tech
nah

Shoes
   -US Size 11, preferably velvet, black, strappy heels/strappy gladiators/pumps/flats

Books
   -fiction-dystopian/romance, US edition, preferably Hachette, Bloomsburry, HarperCollins,
     Scholastic and of course Penguin

Toys
nah

Bag & Wallet
nah

Clothes
nah

Gift Card
Amazon, JUST AMAZON
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