Gifts For Special Occasions

Written by Sarah Provost
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Choosing gifts for special occasions can sometimes seem like a chore. With a little forethought and planning, though, it can also be a very rewarding experience. Giving a gift that is well thought out for the individual recipient is much more satisfying than buying a dozen sweaters in different sizes and colors.

Being an excellent gift giver is easy if you simply pay attention to those you're buying for. Listen throughout the year as your boss, best friend, spouse, parents and kids drop hints without knowing it in casual conversations, and set aside a section of your planner to keep notes. Does your husband throw longing glances at multi-function watches in store windows? Does your boss let it drop that he cooks big breakfasts for his family on weekends and adores maple syrup? Does your wife occasionally retreat to the bathroom for a long, restorative soak in the tub? See? You've got those covered.

Holiday Gift Shopping

Shopping for gifts for the winter holidays is particularly stressful because everybody's doing it at the same time and because you have more people to buy gifts for. If you've been listening and buying throughout the year, you're already in good shape. But if, like most of us, the season finds you unprepared, here are some hints to make the process easier.

Online shopping, of course, is a godsend during the holidays. Not only can you visit more stores in an afternoon than you could in a whole week of driving around, but you can also have the gifts delivered, either to you to give personally, or to the recipients, if they live far away. The shipping charges are well worth it when you consider the time you'd spend wrapping, packing and standing in post office lines.

If you still prefer to shop in brick and mortar stores, try to stay away from malls and large department stores as much as possible. Most years, I can find gifts for the majority of people on my list by going to bookstores, music stores, import stores, specialty food stores and even hardware stores. By keeping away from the frenzy, you can accomplish much more in less time.

Gifts for Personal Celebrations

Birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, new babies, and other life milestones call for thoughtful gifts. There has been a trend in the last few years towards giving several small gifts in a bag or basket rather than one larger gift. Gift baskets are relatively easy to put together yourself or can be ordered online.

Your basket might contain a collection of goodies such as cookies, candies and snacks. It might have a theme, such as a golf basket or a spa basket. Gift baskets also make wonderful business and office gifts, which can contain something for everyone.

Romantic gift baskets, for anniversaries, Valentine's Day and the like, make a lovely impression. A bottle of champagne, two flutes, a candle, a few excellent chocolates and some scented bath salts or aromatherapy massage oil make a memorable gift--and quite possibly a memorable evening. In fact, why wait for Valentine's Day?


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