Shopping for the perfect gift can be stressful. We all want to be the friend that everyone can count on to give the best gifts, because no one wants to be “that girl”. You know, the one who obviously spends zero time thinking about the person they are shopping for when picking out a gift. The girl who wraps up the kitchy sweaters or socks or the necklase they tripped over in the discount bin at Penny’s. There is a definite art to becoming the perfect gift giver. Rule number one is to know the person you are shopping for. Think about that person’s likes and dislikes. Is there something that person is constantly making reference to as something they need or want? Rule number two is shop for them, not you. Just because you see something that speaks to you doesn’t necessarily mean the reciever of the gift will be as thrilled as you are especially if it is a pair of sterling silver earrings for a friend who has a silver allergy or a super cute cat shirt for your friend who loves dogs, or a new set of grill tools for your husband who isn’t that in to grilling- even if you wish he was. I’m sure you see where I’m going. Rule number three, make the gift personal. Nothing says, “this gift was meant for you and you alone” like a sweet wooden handled pocket knife with his initials engraved into it, a birthstone necklace (with their birthstone) or a fantastic new leather journal with their name or favorite quote or a love note written inside. Personalized items let people know that you took time to shop specifically for them.
With Valentines Day quickly approaching, gift giving is in the air. Whether you are shopping for your sweet-heart or a friend, here are a few pretty sweet gift ideas for guys and girls that wont collect dust in some dark drawer or be… re-gifted!!
FOR THE CHEF:
A sturdy cutting board is always an appreciated item in any cook’s arsenal. Grab a board made of durable and easy to clean bamboo, so it will last for a long time. I recommend Fred THE OBSESSIVE CHEF Bamboo Cutting Board, which can be found at Target. It has detailed guidelines for different size and angled cuts, which allow you to slice and dice with precision. Also, the lines are not printed but burnished, so they won’t wear off. To complete the chef set, you can throw in a detailed cheese chopping board as well. Similarly, it includes engraved patterns, which is perfect when serving cheese platters. This gift is anything but cheesy, and the chef in your ife is guaranteed to love it.
FOR THE ORGANIZER:
One of the best gifts you could give to your well-organized friend is a good label writer, such as the fantastic DYMO LABELWRITER 450. Though thier home is probably already as neat as a pin, things can sometimes be difficult to find even in the midst of perfect organization. The label writer prints out self- stick labels quickly and easily, so labeling folders, food jars, office supplies, photos, pantry containers, garage boxes and anything else they can imagine is easy as pie. Just type, print and stick.
FOR THE ALWAYS PREPARED:
For that friend who likes to have anything and everything on hand- just in case, consider a bag organizer like the HANDBAG PURSE 13 POCKET ORGANIZER BY BORN TO ACCESSORIZE. These handy items line the inside of a handbag and hasveplenty of pockets in various sizes that will ensure all items are kept in place and readily accessible. Plus, there is no wasted time reorganizing stuff when switching from one handbag to another –simply remove the organizer with everything in tact and place it in another handbag, which can be a real lifesaver in a hurry. And for the guy in your life, check out this PARACORD EMERGENCY SURVIVAL KIT BY SAINT SURVIVAL. This handmade kit includes: knife, foil, compass, fish hook, fishing line, paracord, flint, striker, so you are prepared for anything!
FOR THE NOT SO ORGANIZED:
Most of us know the struggle of trying to unlock our front door for 15 minutes because there are so many keys on our keychain, we have no idea which one opens what. Instead of resorting to the usual technique of marking them with nail polish (and probably forgetting which color means what), a much more sensible solution is the KEYSMART CLASSIC KEY ORGANIZER that holds up to 14 keys. These handy little accessories allow easy attachment of all keys and then stows them all away much like a swiss army knife. This allows for easy access without the jangly mess of a traditional key chain.
FOR THE FASHIONISTA:
What do you get for that friend who is always on top of the latest fashion trends? Consider a ZULILY gift certificate. Zulily is the perfect go to store for grabbing the cutest fashion finds for amazing prices. They offer brand new deals on fresh finds every day, so you (or your friend) will never run out of options. The best part is that you can download the free Zulily app right to your phone and shop whenever and wherever you want.
Happy Gift- giving!
Isabel F. William is a consultant and lover of literature and philosophy.
She believes that sometimes it is just enough to enjoy a really good book, smooth jazz and a cup of coffee to travel somewhere else.