What makes a good gift giver?

What does Sofia Coppola think she’s exceptionally good at? Gift giving. I came across this statement while browsing a recent copy of Marie Claire. It made me contemplate what makes a good gift giver.

Sofia Coppola with highlights

Paying attention is at the core of being a good gift giver. Sound observation and listening skills are essential in determining what gift might best be appreciated by the recipient. What products does a person use? What do they covet?

Taking this one step further, a successful gift giver seeks to understand what makes a person tick. Tapping into someone’s inner workings gives yet more insight to work with. What do you know about their lifestyle, personality, values, aesthetic style, etc?

Using this information a good gift giver comes up with an idea, but then takes it from ordinary to special. If someone likes candles they don’t settle for just another candle (however beautiful and expensive it is). Instead they will pick out one bearing the recipient’s favorite scent or select a creative candle such as a fireplace candle, something that really speaks to the individual.

A consistently excellent gift giver really enjoys the search. They follow through on their ideas with tenacity, pursuing all avenues until they find that elusive special something.

Finally, an exceptional gift giver has the ability to bring a little magic. They have the desire to truly delight and constantly seek to exceed expectation with imaginative or meticulous presentation.

Watch out for the upcoming post on how to be a good gift giver.


Celebrating our 5th Anniversary

Presents Prose Politesse was established 5 years ago today, in 2012. And while I’ve not posted anywhere near consistently (mostly taking a long on-off sabbatical from blogging to have three children), gift giving and sending cards have remained my passion. I believe in the premise that giving is the key to a fulfilling life.

Throughout this time I’ve still been spending inordinate amounts of time seeking out the perfect presents, carefully selecting the right words to share, and developing my own brand of etiquette around giving. As you follow along you’ll come to realize that I like to do things ‘properly’ (one should always be gracious), but with a modern twist. – I take pleasure in sending written thank you notes, but I also love to be imaginative and embrace the new opportunities that the digital era offers. I believe there really is no one right way anymore. But this only makes navigating ‘correct’ manners more difficult. Whereas before you could mail a handwritten thank you card and know that you were fulfilling expectations and sharing your gratitude in the only acceptable format, nowadays you’re afflicted with indecision as to whether a formal note is over-the-top for that small token or if an e-card is just too casual.

As I continue to take pleasure in what amounts to not just a hobby but a way of life, I plan to share those ideas for gifts and to offer suggestions for the words that sometimes allude us. Along the way I will continue to evolve my own brand of politesse. I hope you will join me here and that I inspire you in your giving.