Monday, April 16, 2007

The Quest for a Gift

There is nothing harder in the world than trying to find the perfect gift. Whether a birthday gift, anniversary gift, wedding gift or Mother's Day gift, finding a perfect gift is the top of the impossible journeys.

"Excuse me?" the Invisible Friends are sighing. "It is soooo easy to find a gift. Just buy a gift certificate! Duh! Don't you know anything?"

Well, that was the problem. In the past, I was content to simply plunk down a $20 for some crap from Old Navy, a DVD or whatever happened to be on a registry under $50. In college in particularly, shopping was a chore I dreaded. It hovered around the same spot on my list of exciting things as going to the dentist.

Now, something has changed in me. I'm not sure if it's being surrounded by and writing about boutiques that have a quaint charm, or the fact that we're officially "nesting." There's just something about these stores filled with adorable notecards, charming candles and art that you know would look wonderful on your wall--if you had a completely different house to go with it. At Anthropologie, for example, I drool over the soft table linens and adorable dishes. "I could fill my house with these dishes!"I think with excitement, imagining myself hosting elaborate dinner parties. Then, as the dreamy haze wears off, reality sets in that: 1 ) we don't have many friends here (yet) 2) I have no place for the dishes and 3) I'm not an elaborate person.

So lately, I've taken my whimsical and indulgent approach to all things cute and redirected into gifts for various people. Perhaps this is really what gifts are, after all. Instead of being for the other person, gifts might just be an extension of ourselves buying something we'd really like to have and tweaking it at the last second for the other person. Or for some, perhaps it's the idea that they place themselves in this person's shoes and think of all the lovely things they would dream of, and set to purchase those.

For example if I was buying for a chef, I'd want to buy him gorgeous dishes, rich table linens and elegant knives. It's like whenever I walk into Williams and Sonoma, I have the sudden urge to quit my job and open a bakery. I can picture myself in a large kitchen with ceramic pots and elegant table linens as I prepare all sorts of delicious creations that are of course, iced perfectly. What my fantasy neglects to mention is the disaster of ruined icing, broken cookies and my inability to figure out complicated pots. Williams and Sonoma I am not.

I haven't gotten quite into the art of wrapping yet, but I am into the hunt of finding a gift. It's this urge to find something for a person they will treasure for a lifetime and fall in love with at first sight. Like falling in love with people, this is more likely not to happen than not. But that one moment--that one brief moment when the recipient is filled with pure delight and joy, that is what I'm searching for. Maybe I'm nesting, maybe I'm just getting weird. I just don't want to give crappy gifts anymore and see that look of disappointment, that look of, "Oh, whatever, she made me a collage frame. And a candle. Whatever." I want to see joy and happiness. I want to see pure delight. I'm just not sure you can find delight at Best Buy or Target.

The search continues..................

3 comments:

Jenni said...

Well finding that perfect gift is really a tough task...and since Mothers Day is approaching people will search for that perfect gift for their mum...well on this note i'd like you to visit my blog on Mother's Day Cards sometime and check out all that i've posted there...i'm sure you'll enjoy your visit!!!

Mom said...

Shopping for others can really be fun. I love to shop for gifts, its more fun to give someone something special than to recieve a present yourself.

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