How to select a gift for the women in your life

Oh my hat and furry coat! Less than a month to Christmas!

It’s present picking time again! Whether obliged to gift or willing to gift, there is angst because we don’t always know what our female relatives and friends want. Store promotions are full of ridiculous and unsuitable suggestions. Read on, unless your shopping is all done.

For daughters of any age, top up their airtime and rainy day investment… you do of course have some long-term savings for each daughter! For sisters, aunties, nieces, cousins, bosses and friends, let their habits and hobbies dictate. Also decide if they are a girly-girl, a tomboy or somewhere in between. Books, pot plants, craft sets, and magazine subscriptions, are great items to consider. Each one can be custom picked for age, taste and price. For an added touch, you could personalise items by making, painting and/or decorating it (e.g. greeting card, photo frame, scarf, belt, pot plant holder, candle holder, jewellery box, bird feeder, wind chimes).

Don’t be colour blind with gifts. Her favourite colour may not be the same as her home’s colour scheme. You may notice that she often wears blue for example, but her lounge is decorated with shades of green and her bathroom is decorated with shades of peach.

Sometimes we are tempted to re-gift when we believe that a gift will be appreciated by a particular receiver. Do it, except for your life partner! Add a handwritten note briefly stating why you believe the gift is correct for her. If anyone gets offended, family will always be family, true friends will forgive you and your boss may realise you need a raise!

Lingerie, perfume or jewellery is generally only fitting for your significant other and to be selected with caution. Most lingerie items may not be exchanged or returned therefore be absolutely certain of the size. Buying too small is not a compliment, it’s just annoying. Buying too big will land you in the proverbial dog box.

Your special lady may use only one signature perfume and by perfume, I do not mean Eau de Cologne. The latter would only work if you both fully and frequently agree on being thrifty. Bear in mind that past or onetime budget talk may have actually referred to other people’s gifts, not hers.

A gift of jewellery is a true test of a lover’s powers of observation. White or yellow gold (you weren’t considering costume jewellery, were you!), depends on her preference and possible skin reaction to different metals. With earrings, small bejewelled studs are more believable as genuine gems. Does she have pierced ears or bellybutton? What is her birthstone? What colour are her eyes? What does she have already? For bracelets, bangles, belly chains and ankle chains, go for a medium thickness That is to say, not too chunky and not too delicate. For rings, the bigger the genuine stone the better, dah!

It is one of life’s challenges to know what women want. Thought will count when applying some of these tips to maintain the spirit of giving. Let it be a festive season and not a silly season, and let us not be gimme-pigs, but be gracious receivers and joyous givers.

Larna Anderson, Artist, Innovator & Change Leader

Managing Director at The Art of Learning (Pty) Ltd

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