Friday, July 8, 2016

fabulous friday // gifts (and yes I'll come to your graduation party!)

Recently I've been to four graduation parties (five graduates.) Yay, congrats, guys! You rock. Go forth, conquer the world.

Or whatever you do after graduation.

One of my favorite summer activities this year has been wondering where everyone will be, say, ten years down the road. What job will they have? Will they be in the career they want to be in now? Marriage? Kids? Will they still be living here? 

How will those guesses match the result, though, I wonder...

Some of these people have their lives in order, down to a science. Others are going free-style, but have a lot of direction. Others are playing it by ear.

and I kinda wonder who will succeed? and then I wonder what counts as success? Good job? Good marriage? Stay-at-home mothers (they're all girls)? Traveling the world? 

or just plain happiness? and I guess in that regard I can bet at least four of them will achieve success (and I don't mean there's that one who's a loser, I just mean, chances are, at least most of them will end up pretty happy. Who knows which four?) But then I wonder how different their paths will be and once they've started to go their own ways, will their connections slowly melt away til they're just names? 

eh, probably.

but isn't that the fun part of life? you never know. and you get new friends all the time.
hey guys now that I've gotten all faux-deep on you, let me talk about something practical. gifts. I do a lot of gift shopping (not so much for graduation parties, but you'd better believe we have a lot of birthdays around.)

and let's be real: gift shopping is so darn hard. Especially if you need to be at the party in an hour and you're shuffling through target racks like uhhhhhh?

and I've bought too many mugs now. I'm pretty sure almost every friend I have has a mug I gave them. if not two or three.

and lemme tell ya, it's not because the mugs are so dang awesome.

Moving to kentucky brought out quite a few things I was not aware of before. One is how you give gifts. People here give a lot of gifts that are like a huge jumble of stuff. girly-girl? she'll get flower clips, flavored lip balm (2008, much?) a notebook, cool pens, maybe a purse... It's like they pulled off everything they saw at Claire's and stuffed it in a bag.

and I don't mean to sound rude, I don't mean to be rude at all (I'm guilty, too!) but it feels impersonal and slightly frustrating because like, why can't we get this person an awesome thing and maybe even save money instead of a million and one things that may or may not be her taste (not) and she may or may not ever use (not.) 

But my main point being: mish-mash gifts are a thing.

and let's be honest: generic gifts are sometimes needed because we don't know everyone like a best friend. It happens. 

But let's do it well, guys. It's called World Market. (not sponsored!)

I have an inspiration board, called, *cough* Gifts.

Since we're going to do a little bit of everything in the gift, let's do it right. We don't have to know everyone like the back of our hand. but hey, we can have some tricks up our sleeve, right?

hey, it's from YOU
Give something that reflects who you are, too. Keep it personal. I don't mean necessarily something you'd want to get, but hey your reputation as a gift-giver could be at steak (IS at steak) with every gift you give. make it worth it! 

The closer the gift is to something you like, though, the more interested you'll be in picking it out and  you'll be able to be way more creative because you relate.

and everything else rides on this. This is probably the weakest link in people's gift giving. So make it strong.

Let's play stalker
if they're female, you'd better believe they have a pinterest account. if not two. Go stalk. It is probably one of The Best tools when finding the perfect gift. and I don't mean just check out their "I wannteee itttttee" (plz no) I mean really look at what they like. (and find something in common!)

Experience speaks louder than words
(Uhhh, what's the phrase?) When you come to your wits end give them something you've enjoyed doing. 

I'm not saying a trip to broadway, but what about your favorite album (like coldplay or andrew mcmahon in the wilderness *coughcough)? 

Keep it contained, creatively.
If you're going to give a mish-mash of gift please at least stick to one genre. Why give a pen and a notebook and hair clips, like no. and this is where I shine: think of something that the person likes/is (e.g. bookworm.) and then follow some rules. a book is great. how about a fuzzy socks and a pack of tea to go with it? It doesn't have to be book + bookmark. Get creative with it. Again, go for experience!

Kick it up a notch
A book is a great idea... How about a hard-bound from bares & noble? They're beautiful. and also, make sure it's one YOU loved. then bingo, you have something else in common with them. right off the bat.

Recent gifts I've given...
lounge pants, chocolate, and one of my personal favorites : Tuck Everlasting.
next up : this was for a semi-bookworm who enjoys writing. It's like my go-to mug, but dressed up. yes, please.
A mug with a tea strainer, an adorable can of honey (ahhhh) and a pack of four teas. Oh, and I baked a mini-loaf of lemon-poppy-seed tea cake (I baked four and gave her one. I did NOT give her one already cut. ha!)

What your favorite go-to gift? What's the best gift you've ever received?

1 comment:

  1. Oh picking out gifts for friends or strangers = one of the hardest things in the world to do! I know I wasn't the only one. Great tips, Lottie! I find that knowing the person well enough could help someone pick out the perfect gift. Even if you just find out minor details about the person, it could certainly help you.

    It's like brainstorming: I list the person's characteristics, likes, and dislikes and I start from there. Then I browse website for possible gifts. I would try to see if local stores have it and if they don't, I try to order it online as quick as possible.

    If it's a last minute gift (oh boy!) then extra effort must be put in. Either I make the gift myself or I try to look for specific stores in the area. Or I start by just browsing a store and asking myself "would he/she love this?" (keyword: love) SO HARD!

    Great post, Lottie. I hope you're well!

    Ron | Nearby Wanderer