Ways to Win at Presents (Giving, Duh)
These are my secrets. Feel free to use them on me or others.
- •The best presents are, IMHO, as follows: 1) artfully executed inside jokes 2) upgrades of everyday essentials 3) thoughtful luxuries they'd never buy themselvesExample A: Due to an old joke, I say "tars" instead of "cheers" when toasting. One of my BFFs got me a decanter engraved with TARS on it: I was SO HAPPY. Example B: I got my t-shirt-loving friend the best version of a t-shirt: a black, scoop-neck, long sleeve version from The Row. She died. Example C: Splurging on something someone would covet but NEVER buy themselves? Priceless.
- •// Bearing this in mind, there are lots of places to look for ideas and systems to put in place so that the present-picking process is easier! //
- •Stalk their social—in a good way!Do they have a Pinterest account? Look at it for ideas! Peruse their Instagram and READ their captions/comments; much truth/many desires are revealed here casually.
- •Pay attention to what your loved ones mention and file it away for future gifts.When your BFF wistfully admires something while you're window shopping, make a note about it. Boyfriend/girlfriend complains about not having something (like spatulas) when you're cooking, make a note about it. The best part about this? People feel SEEN by you because it's proof you were paying attention. And who doesn't like that?
- •Save general/all-purpose ideas in whatever virtual notes system you have.If I read about something cool—anything from a gadget to a new accessory designer to a gorgeous book—I add it to my "Potential Presents" Evernote file. Then I always have a trove of ideas to get me started at the very least.
- •When in doubt, monogram it!Whether it's notepaper, a cashmere blanket, a clutch, a serving tray, or something else entirely, people generally enjoy a personalized present with their initials on it.
- •Have all the accoutrements on hand.Stockpile birthday cards, wrapping paper, ribbon, bags and tissue paper so that you always have options at your disposal. This makes the whole present-giving process just a tiny bit easier, because as much as I love Paper Source, I hate dashing in there frantically before a birthday party or whilst frazzled from a day of shopping.
- •Still stumped? Here's some shizz most people like!-Clare Vivier monogrammed pouches -1st editions of favorite books (most modern options are affordable; check AbeBooks.com for "vintage" options). Bonus points for saucy books like Valley of the Dolls, The Best of Everything, or Scruples. Also good: someone's favorite book from childhood, like The Phantom Tollbooth or A Wrinkle In Time. -The Row t-shirts (not cheap, but damn good) -Cashmere beanies (rando, but rad) -Le Labo Santal 33 candle (for men and women, the only luxe candle worth giving)