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THE ART OF GIFT GIVING

GENERAL TIPS

You're might be in a jam because here comes another occasion and you are stuck with trying to find an appropriate gift. Well relax and worry no more. Here at Gone Friendly Gifts you will be able to find the ideal gift to suit your needs. When it comes to gift giving , it can be very challenging. The following are som basic steps to help you along the way. You will go from clueless to an expert and your friends and family will admire you for your gift giving skills.

Step 1: Don'd give gifts because you feel obligated to do so . Only give gifts because you want to.

When you think of gift giving as a necessity, it automatically becomes an undesirable chore. Remind yourself that giving gifts is optional. Nothing requires you to do so. While society may have ingrained this thought in your mind, it's like leaving a tip for a waiter - if nothing merits a gift, then you have no obligation to give one.

Step 2: Take notes.
Unless you were blessed with an incredible memory, keep notes throughout the year on appropriate gifts for people. If someone mentions a book that they've been dying to read, write it down. If a client made a comment about his favorite dessert, jot it down while it's fresh on your mind. When it comes time to give a gift, you'll appreciate having this information on hand, as it will make your gift search much easier when it comes time to selecting an appropriate gift.

Step 3: Celebrate the little things.
Surprise people with an unexpected gift. These days, our mailboxes are bombarded with bills and junk mail, and there's nothing more pleasant than getting a small package without reason. Don't simply give gifts for standard occasions (birthdays, weddings, holidays); celebrate events that would otherwise go unnoticed. Share a friend's excitement over a new car by mixing her a CD with songs for the road. Congratulate a client on a promotion with a bottle of champagne. Such small gestures can have an enormous impact on a relationship, showing that you take notice of things that are important to other people with no expectation of reciprocity.

Step 4: Express yourself, your recipient, and your relationship.
Remember, this is your one chance to give a gift to this person, on this particular date, for this specific occasion, so make it count. Don't waste this opportunity by giving something generic like a tie or bath products or a gift certificate. They're overdone, and appear much less thoughtful than a gift that is geared specifically toward the particular event.

Write down all of the characteristics of the recipient, of your relationship with them, and of the occasion, and begin to look for links to gifts. For example, you can link the warm, inviting personality of a friend to a unique set of tea bags and ceramic teacups.
 Gift giving is a form of art, so embrace the opportunity to add in elements of your own personality as well. Incorporate your sense of humor or sentimental side, show off your photography skills, or share your love of writing. If you're giving gifts on behalf of an organization, incorporate the group's brand into your gifts. Define a way to make your gifts stand out and represent both sides of the relationship.

Step 5: Give something they would never buy themselves.
There is nothing more satisfying than receiving a gift of pure luxury, excess, and indulgence. If you know someone loves the theater but tends to buy tickets in the back corner, allow them to enjoy a show while seated front and center. While certain circumstances may require you to give a necessity, spice it up with something fun. For example, if you give a  vacuum cleaner as a house warming gift, While it might be needed, itmay not be a gift that is really wanted, but by  adding in all sorts of fun scented carpet fresheners, the recipient could actually be excited about vacuuming.

Step 6: Keep the audience in mind.
While you want a gift to be personal, think of the circumstances in which the gift will be given. This applies to both the recipient (ie, don't give a Christmas ornament to a Jewish man in July) and those who will be witnessing the opening of the gift (don't give sexy lingerie to a woman when her parents are present).

Step 7: Present your gift well.
Like anything in life, presentation can make or break your gift. Handing a Waterford crystal bowl over in a Wal-Mart bag doesn't have the same effect as when it's wrapped in beautiful paper, tied with coordinating ribbon, and topped with a beaded gift topper. Everything from the gift to the filler to the wrapping has significant impact on how your gift is perceived, so take the extra effort to make your gift look as beautiful as the sentiment that it represents.

Step 8: Include a handwritten note.
No gift is complete without a handwritten note attached. You can write it on the back of a gift card, on a notecard, or if you have a lot to say, write it on some nice stationery, available online and at your local stationery store. Of course, exceptions can be made for gifts purchased via internet, but even in these circumstances you should type in a message to be included with the gift. Just be sure to write something personal, and more than the standard, "Happy birthday!" or "With love,..." Invest the time to write something special.

Step 9: Send your gifts on  time.
No matter how amazing your gift is, if it is received months after the fact, it tends to lose its purpose. By planning ahead, you can avoid this last minute rush.

First, consolidate all of your recurring events into a single calendar. I choose to use a palm treo 650 so that I don't have to re-enter the data ever year, but use whatever system you're most comfortable with. Then set aside one day per month to review the events of the upcoming month, and use this time to purchase, wrap and write notes. I also highly recommend creating a  gift c;oset to take care of those moments when time truly gets the best of you. Here you can keep an emergency stock of gifts to give, along with extra wrapping supplies and cards.

Step 10: Look for inspiration everywhere.
Gift giving is a form of art that is constantly being refined, and as you master these basic skills, refine your art by scouring the world for unique ways to make your gifts even more personal. Keep it in the back of your mind when searching through magazines, traveling, or wandering through a favorite store. You'll be amazed at the ideas that you generate when you least expect it. Take note of gifts that you appreciate, and think about what made that gift special. Inspiration is all around you; the key is training your mind to look at everything as a potential idea.




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