The Reason for giving a gift is to endear one's self to the recipient. Thus, the recipient's needs and lifestyle must be carefully considered. The risk of giving a bad gift has many ramifications. Example:
Giving somebody a parrot, and the cleaning and care responsibility that comes along with a parrot. Of course, if a gift is to lavish, it makes the recipient uncomfortable, and might well make them suspicious of your intentions! You must want something, I wonder what it is? Will I be able to fulfill the giver's needs? If you really hit the mark you could endear yourself to someone for life! Or, you can impress them to the point where they will never forget you! It really doesn't matter how lavish or pricey the gift is, unless the recipient is a knavish swine, but rather the charm is matching the gift to it's recipient to an exten that is flattering. Prior to getting married, my wife bought me a pair of custom-fitted sheepskin seat covers for my Rolls Royce. When I asked her what made her think of them, she said, "I know you love your Rolls, and how concerned you are about the leather upholstery. I thought this would make the car more a pleasure for you to own". She couldn't have given me a better gift, there's nothing I wanted more than that. She did the same thing for me last Chanukah!
Not because I'm in the jewelry business, but when you're buying a gift for a woman, you can never go wrong by giving a woman jewelry. Best of all, it doesn't have to be expensive. Unless she's a mindless twit, she should have a vague idea of your finances and not expect a Donald Trump-level investment. A strand of pearls, a simple pair of inexpensive diamond earrings, become lasting monuments to your thoughtfulness.
Too often a gift is a bribe. Sometimes an acknowledgement of a persons' kindness or help is just as appropriate. On my birthday recently, a number of people acknowledged it, via cards and letters, and I was very pleased. To have another human acknowledge you is a gift in itself. To acknowledge another humans presence on this lonely Earth is quite a gift in my opinion. Giving of yourself is always an important gift. What else do you have?
The bottom line is, when you a give a gift, that gift is reflecting how well you know the person. If the gift is wrong, you don't know squat about the person! How important is the recipient to you? And just how generous are you?
Different occasions all call for different gifts. Here are some occasions with matching, appropriate gifts.
Of course, the price and quality of the gift should be determined by how close you are to this friend. If it's a modest relation (daughter-in-law, son-in-law, et al.) you can't go wrong bringing some high quality (a la Nieman Marcus), gender-correct baby clothes. Tiffany's has a sterling silver teething ring and silver spoon set that is always appropriate and quite inexpensive. In any event, this does not call for any kind of lavish gift giving.
Here is where the most errors are made and a lot of hard feelings come out of it! More than often, money is the proper gift, unless the couple is well fixed for funds. Ashtrays, Toasters, and Vacuum Cleaners are bullshit and are to be avoided at all times. This is a once in a lifetime event for your friends, and the gift should reflect that. A fine piece of glass, such as Lalique or Steuben are can't lose selections. Now, occasionally, in many cultures, a gift to the parents of the groom and the bride is appropriate. Then again, the gift must match the stature of the recipient. A stainless steel Rolex watch, or cheap Cartier watch, in this case, could result in a lasting vendetta against you! They'll think my son-in-law took our wonderful daughter off our hands, and this is what he gave us? Wow. Expensive clocks also make wonderful, lasting wedding gifts. A delicate porcelain sculpture is also a great gift. Of course, as we'll learn, in later paragraphs, somebody may not know what a Lalique is! They may not know that a Desirable Lalique bowl cost upwards of $300. And they will forever not think much of you because of that. At one of my weddings, a very wealthy couple gave me a Home Shopping Club tarnished silver champagne bucket! Whenever his name is brought up, I always think of that champagne bucket. When it comes to wedding gifts, today's wedding costs are never less than $200 per couple! So, the gift should really match the bride and groom's outlay. Be very careful giving art. Remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And if the beholder is a blue collar person, steer clear of the Artsy and Fartsy!
The more intimate the relationship, the more thought has to be put into the gift giving process. If it's a birthday gift to your wife, fourty and fifty are great milestones in most women's lives. The loving husband should put some thought into these things, as well as some bucks! Of course, jewelry is very appropriate for all of these occasions. The gift of jewelry cannot ever be ignored, because it is so close to the person, likewise is a bad choice. Through several billion dollars worth of marketing, America's Sultans of commerce have tied together gifts and love. In other words, if the gift isn't right, I'm not loved and appreciated as much as I thought I was. With Christmas and Hanukkah coming up, My Wife, Son and Mother-in-law have bent over backwards to accommodate me from my recent illness. The gift they get will very much reflect my appreciation for their ongoing efforts. In my family, we are kind of barbaric, and openly display our displeasure if the gift ain't fitting to the occasion! Others might just grin and bare it. But they won't ever forget the schluck you gave them!
If it's going to be a catered affair, and they are good friends, you better pony up $150 or more. A nice watch could be appropriate, if it's a really close occasion (Sister-in-law, brother-in-law). Even Tiffany's has some remarkably inexpensive gifts and they all come in the blue box with the beautiful ribbon for the big show. I try never to give a gift out of my own inventory so people don't think that I just grabbed something on the way out of the shop. It's the thought that counts. My wife is a dog lover, so if I find any dog jewelry, I put it aside. Don't ever buy a dog for somebody, it's too personal, the dog might not like it! The gifts of jewelry, if your budget allow, that are really meaningful, are a Diamond Tennis Bracelet of around 4 or 5 Carats, something tasteful. Ear Studs are a sure thing, at least 1 Carat total weight. Pearls are De Rigueur to any well dressed woman, and make for a very inexpensive gift with good show.
What is your wife doing for a living? Mine is on the go 24 Hours a day, either at the gym or with her two monstrous dogs, or Working. So, when picking a watch for a gift for her, it has to reflect her lifestyle, a woman on the go. Of course, many women in my wife's bracket have many watches for all occasions. When your budget does not allow for a multiplicity of timepieces, your knowledge of your wife's lifestyle will definitely help. Many years ago, I had a long time girl friend, and not a lot of money. I didn't know what to get her. I bought her a sterling silver coffee and tea set. I got a lot of Oohhs and Aaahhs as it was unwrapped, but everyday that silver got blacker and blacker. A totally useless piece of crap that fit no one's lifestyle! Remember, buying a gift takes deep thought and if you care about the person, it's not simply and unpleasant chore that needs to be attended to. In my case, gift giving becomes very, very difficult. My wife has a lot of stuff! Clothes are an impossibility, whatever I buy her wouldn't fit her, and she wouldn't like! Jewelry and Watches.... forget about! My wife would have to get more limbs to wear any more of it! I usually end up in Nieman Marcus on Christmas eve frantic! So start early, like Christmas Eve (for next Christmas!) and remember, it's not the cost, it's the thought that counts. When a woman turns 40 or 50, the pile up of those years end up in insecurity, so make it lavish!
Christmas of course is always the big one. Jewelry can't fail! Put it in a big box so it will surprise the opener. For a man who has a small collection of Automatic watches, Watch Winders for self winding watches are becoming wonderful inexpensive gifts. Many of them are finely finished wooden cabinets, and work from Battery power or AC, to ensure that the watch gets it's proper exercise. They are wonderful for the budget, and wonderful for the receiver. If you are into the chips, and your husband loves watches, one of our people can definitely help you! Another good way to pick out gifts is asking the sales people for help. If we can't make you happy, we can send you to someone who will! Happy Holidays! Call us if you need us!
I hope that some of our philosophy and hints for living are a help to you in your daily life. If not, I at least hope that you found some amusing, and were not bored. We have gotten enough calls, and letters to validate these passages. If you have read enough and are ready to move on, that is ok. Get your checkbook and click here to visit our main menu. Hopefully by now you have realized that we are a different kind of company.
My very best regards,
Carl Kenneth Marcus
PS. Remember, proper nutrition, get plenty of sleep, exercise, drink lots of water, and spend some money on your self! Remember, life is not a dress rehearsal. Shalom.