El Gato Presents....."The Art of Christmas Giving"

When it comes to guest blogging, I can rely on the words of my dear friend El Gato.
El Gato knows Christmas. El Gato knows good gifts.
Without further ado....

How To Give the Perfect Gift:
I should note that these guidelines don’t necessarily apply to everyone. These guidelines are for those people who are looking for a silver bullet- the one gift that will fill the receiver’s heart with joy.
(Note: Parents should almost always take the shotgun approach: shower their children with copious amounts of presents so it's probable that at least one piece of shrapnel will hit the mark).

We all strive to give the perfect gift to everyone on Christmas Day, but lets face it, most of us fail miserably and are forced to bear that half-smile “Oh, no I love the knit sweater” moment (aka gift-giving failure).

In my opinion there are three methods to ensure you will give a great gift...

1. Have a Great Idea and Execute.
This one is obvious though unlikely to actually happen. If you are fortunate enough to stumble upon an awesome idea that you know will fill all the voids in the gift receivers heart…then consider yourself lucky. The likelihood of this ever actually happening is comparable to seeing a shooting star at night during a thunderstorm. Now lets be clear, in order to have a truly awesome gift, it has to be original (not something the person has ever mentioned, but something you know would make their half a whole). There’s not much to say on this other than "Congratulations on knowing the person better than they know themselves," and also, "Don’t screw it up." Make sure to execute on the purchasing and hiding of the gift and under no circumstances should you tell the person what you are getting. You may however drop the hint that the gift you got them is indeed awesome (while you run the risk of raising their expectations, you also ensure that they will spend serious thinking time on the perfect gift to get you).

2. Use the Receiver as a Source of Good Ideas.
This method ultimately results in a less awesome gift than Method One, but at least is assures that your gift won’t be a total failure. This is the method to use when it’s clear you have no amazing ideas. You’ve searched gift sites on the internet and brainstormed a few potential items, but nothing that has that “Wow!” factor. So, why not go straight to the source. Here’s how: Casually start a conversation with the receiver of the gift saying that you just got their present and you think they’re going to love it (a small white lie… lets be real- its not the first one you’re going to be forced to tell this holiday season). Naturally they will start guessing what you got them….and BAM!…instant idea-generation for potential gifts. Just let them keep guessing until they name a gift that’s in your price range and that you think would be good. It’s sort of like fishing for compliments, but you’re actually fishing for any information which could direct you to a perfect gift idea. Take note of things like them sticking to the same category of items when they guess (all kitchen gadgets, all electronics, etc). This is usually a safe area, meaning you could probably get them anything in the said category and they would, at the very least, not utilize that gift receipt you included. If you can get them to guess something that spurs an original idea, then you have hit the jack pot and should resort back to Method One. An additional thing to note when fishing for ideas- At random times in the conversation tell them they’re getting too close to actually guessing the gift or just keep saying “you’re not even close” …all of these things are for the sole purpose of confusing them and preventing them from catching on to your game.

3. Give a Gift That Gives Back.
We have all heard the old adage: “It is better to give than receive.” I completely agree with that (after all, the only thing worse than giving a bad gift is to be on the receiving end of bad gift and having to play it off). I, however, would like to propose a new adage: “It is best to give AND receive” If you can give a gift that you also benefit from, it’s a win win.
Examples of these types of gifts would be: tickets to events that you would attend with the receiver, large appliance for a home you share with the receiver, toys and games that the receiver would play with you. With this type of gift its important to make sure that the receiver actually likes whatever the item is, but they don’t have to love it. If you like it and they like it then that automatically equals a love it (according to Coldstone) and thus qualifies as a successful gift.

More tips on perfect gift giving from El Gato later this week. Stay tuned....


  1. i didn't know paragraphs were allowed on this blog...


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