I’m starting this post with things you should not give, and why. I think this is equally as important as what you should give, don’t you?
1) Socks and underwear. It’s just not cool. Unless the person you’re giving this to is your sibling and specifically asked for it, I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s too personal. This is something that should be reserved for lovers, and even then, you have to be very careful what kind of undergarment you give. It has to be very expensive and very classy – or not, depending…
2) Random household tools. I don’t really know what to call this, but, some men think it’s ok to give their wife an extension cord, cutting board or hammer. This is not cool for a number of reasons. Let’s see… where to start? For one, it tells the woman that the man thinks she should be able to handle any maintenance things in the house on her own. You give a woman a hammer or pliers and it basically says. “I’m not doing this for you anymore. Se vira, mulher!” Like I said, not cool. The other reason why it’s not cool is because it’s not pretty. Unless you’re giving a cutting board that is worth its weight in gold, and to a chef or at least a wannabe, there’s no reason to be handing out such ridiculously practical gifts. Leave that for those unexpected little things you give someone because you want to make their life easier, and they’re not expecting anything at all because it’s not Christmas, birthday or anniversary. Now, if you’re the woman and you know “he” will appreciate a tool of some kind, all power to you. It’ll be a great gift.
3) Something you want. You know that person that really wants something, so they give it to their friend or loved one in the hopes that they won’t appreciate it and then they’ll take it and use it for themselves? This happens often with the handyman tools mentioned above. I hope you men reading this understand once and for all, we do not want your handyman tools masquerading as gifts, at any time, ever! If you need something, be a man and buy it for yourself. And ladies, no kitchen things for your man unless he’s a chef.
4) Gag gifts. If you want to disappoint someone, give them one of those stupid gifts that are supposed to be funny jokes. They’re not funny and they’re a monumental waste of money. I don’t know anyone who likes those things, other than children, and that’s a category where you can get away with a lot. Your friends and family are not so forgiving so leave those behind, grow up and buy a real gift.
5) Cheap gifts. I’m not talking about something that’s not expensive. You can spend your money wisely and still get something that isn’t going to send you to the poor house. I’m talking about something that screams low quality junk. If it’s poorly made, looks like it’ll break after one week of use, and smells toxic, don’t do it. Put it down and walk away now.
Here are some random things I thought of that would be great to receive. Here goes in no particular order:
1) Scarves and bandanas. They’re fun.
2) Earrings and stuff. Fun, really fun and totally cheap. No need to overspend. Just carefully choose something you think they’ll love, not something you would love, something they would love. For you millionaires out there: diamonds are a girl’s best friend!
3) Pens and mechanical pencils. Everyone always needs them and you can give something a little or much nicer than your friend would normally be able to afford.
4) Bags. Any kind. From makeup bag, to coin purse, beach tote, shopping bag (eco friendly one). It’s all good and well and extremely welcome. Keep the colors plain and don’t get carried away.
5) Note books and agendas. They may or may not receive many, so make sure you know in advance. Buying them something that is presentable in public is sweetness. Notebooks come in handy all the time and you can get something fun and different. They can be cheap or expensive. If it’s a gift, make it expensive – it won’t cost very much anyway.
6) Makeup. Some items are not ok to give out as you don’t know if the person will use it or like the color. In general, stay away from colors. Here’s what I suggest: gloss, mascara, nail polish. Depending on your budget you can either get L’Oreal, Bourjois, Boticario, Natura, Lancome or MAC. Just stay away from crummy brands. Never gift someone with funky mascara or gloss – I can’t think of anything worse.
7) Sun block. This may sound unusual, but here’s the thing; sun block is expensive, and it’s a mandatory item for everyone all year round. You can get a more affordable one, or a more expensive one. There’s one thing you can be sure of, it will never go to waste – ever!
8) Candy and Food. This includes chocolate and homemade goodies, or whatever your friend’s fave candy is. Giving someone cookies, brownies or truffles is very, very nice. You can make jams and compotes, chutney and hot sauce. Put it in a nice jar, cut out a little piece of cloth, wind an elastic band or thin ribbon in a matching color around the lid and voila, you’re good to go. You can get labels and write what it is on the outside of the jar, color it in or make a cute drawing depicting what’s inside. Handmade is the key here, so keep the writing by hand as well and not a computer print out. Nuts and assorted dried goods or caviar, you name it, if it’s chic and pretty, do it.
9) Spa. Here you can go from minimal (mani-pedi), or maxi (spa day with massage and everything). Just go to your fave place and ask for a gift card, pay for whatever treatment you want and then put it in a beautiful envelope with a nice card and a sweet message. Something like: “Your feet are so disgusting I can’t stand to look at you anymore. I’m giving you this free mani-pedi so I won’t be repulsed by you. From now on do this at least once a month, for God’s sake – we’re not cave women”. Too mean? Fine, write whatever you want, I don’t care.
10) Movies. This includes DVDs of their fave movies, or even a gift card from their favorite movie theatre. Nice.
I hope this was helpful. Now you have many options to choose from.