Wednesday, January 15, 2014



Here’s what happens when you don’t follow the rules:

            My mother once showed up at my birthday party and simply handed me a gift bag with a stationery set in it. It was horribly awkward. I didn’t know what to do with it and wondered why on earth my mother felt I needed stationery (I was living with her at the time). I wondered if she was using my birthday to ask me to move out. It eventually came out that she had been kept late at work all week, including my birthday and just happened to have the stationery stashed in a drawer. I gave the stationery back and we went out for pie on a separate occasion instead.

Here’s what happens when you follow the rules:

            A couple of years after the stationery incident, my mom saw me laugh out loud at a mechanical “Bouncing Tigger.” I said outright that I wanted one. Mom listened. She went to five different stores to find me one for Christmas. “Bouncing Tigger” is one of my favorite possessions, not just because he’s wonderful, but also because my mom really went out of her way to get him. That means a lot to me.

            Following or not following the rules is not always clear-cut. Stationery may be a great present and a toy could fizzle. There are nuances and subtle do’s and don’ts. That’s why I’m writing this blog. It’s not foolproof, but it’s a way to start thinking about gifts.

            Here are the basic, if repetitive, rules of good gift giving made deceptively easy.

Just about all the rules to a good gift involve TIME.  Any good strategist will tell you that timing is the key to success. In this case you are allowing yourself time to make a strategy and modify it as necessary.

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