Life is like a grapefruit

The perfect gift

Sometimes, you get the perfect gift. The gift that my wife bought me for Christmas finally arrived today, and it is every bit as awesome as she promised that it would be.

Presents are kept as great secrets in this house, and when it didn’t arrive for Christmas, she was very upset, and insisted that there was no way that ‘they’ could possibly send another. Also, she let slip that it came from Ireland. Now I don’t know about you, but thinking of strictly limited items coming from Ireland left me stumped. Unless it was a Leprechaun’s pot o’ gold. Or his Lucky Charms (that’s a North American cultural reference. I’m getting better at those). Fortunately, whatever Giants, Faerie Kings, Sober Irishmen and other mythological creatures she dealt with came through and another was sent.

When I finally saw what it was, it made me think about what it takes to get that perfect gift for someone, and hopefully how I can get there next year.

In essence, there are a few different categories of gift that can be given from one person to another. The first is the sort of gift that you buy, maybe when you don’t feel that you know someone particularly well, that you base off of what you would like to get. There’s no shame in that; it’s a perfectly good strategy when working with limited information. However, the gift is likely to be uninspired, and might even be something the receiver hates.

The next type of gift is the easy route: Get the thing that the receiver has been asking for, or dropping massive hints about, for the last 9 months. While possibly uninspired, you’re going to pretty much guarantee a happy recipient. You can also step this one up a bit by getting something that you know the receiver wants, but won’t ever get for themselves. Perhaps it’s a collectable gadget with no practical use or just something a little on the expensive side like the best watch ever.

If you’re not Mirto you can ignore this next bit: LOOK!

So how do you get the perfect gift? Well, it’s risky, but as with most risky strategies it has the greatest potential payoff. You get something that you know the receiver will love, but would never, in a million years, think of getting for themselves. That’s what Mirto is able to do again and again.

This time, she found a limited print of a watercolour of a scene from a magical kids book that I adore. Amazingly, I did not know that I adored the book until she bought it for me this Christmas. Yes, she knows me frustratingly well. The book is Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers and the print is the cover of the book. The book, by the way, is being released as an animated movie.

I would never buy art for myself. And if I did, I would never think to find a print of a scene from a book that I haven’t even read yet. Still, it is just what I wanted. I just never knew it until I had it.

Posted on 2009/01/30 in personal | Tagged books, christmas, star trek | Leave a comment

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