Friday, November 23, 2007

Gifts

Christmas, for many, is fraught with indecision – what to buy a loved one? If you are poor, I imagine the process is quite simple – a bucket of KFC and a packet of ciggies would probably suffice, but for those in a more genteel social category, the art of finding The Perfect Gift can be difficult to master.

Regarding a certain birthday present, commenter Whaleoil provides this sound advice;

The first is the Rule of Reciprocity. So if someone gives you an iPhone valued variously between $690 -$1100 depending on where you get it from then you need to spend at least that on their reciprocal present. That then leads to … (the) Rule of Escalation. If someone spends $690 on an iPhone for a present for you then you have to add at least 20% to up the ante.

How very mathematical and clever! I confess to counting on my fingers, so for those who are similarly numerically-disabled, here are my rules;

Good presents

Gift Rule #1; Buy something either very large, or very small. This sounds odd – but true. The best things in life are either very large, or very small. Mercedes – very large, diamond-encrusted thingys – very small, etc.

Bad presents

Flowers. Flowers are perfectly lovely for everyday, apologies, and Valentine’s Day, but otherwise should never be given unaccompanied by something with a bow on it (refer to Rule #1). “But why?” men cry, “Women like those flower things!” Here’s Gift Rule #2 – Anything that can be procured at a petrol-station does not make for a pleasing gift. It reeks of minmal effort.

Practical things. Gift Rule #3; Anything really useful makes a rotten present. Does the person really need it? Don’t buy it. A good gift should be entirely unnecessary - that's the definition of luxury.

Apparel and perfume. Actually, potentially really fabulous things to receive, but an area that is a veritable minefield of wrongness waiting to blow off the giver’s limbs. A dear friend once received lingerie for Christmas – size large. If a lady is large (the Dear Friend wasn’t, which made it worse), I don’t think being reminded of it before Christmas luncheon would be very nice.

And perfume is a very personal thing – not something to guess at. But if one insists on traversing this dangerous territory, make sure it is:
a. V. Expensive,
b. Has a pleasing name.

Perfume is a gift of intimacy, thus, getting a perfume called ‘Alien’ (Thierry Muglar) wouldn’t be at all flattering, but ‘J’adore’ (Dior) would be.

18 comments:

Lita said...

Mmmn, KFC and ciggies - great, now I'm hungry and resentful that noone I know has enough money to get me both crispy skinned chicken and smokes. Sigh.

miss_seph said...

I have placed my duty free order of a new bottle of j'adore, but I've given him a choice (gasp...), I've told him he can choose if I get the normal Eau de parfum or the summer scent. I like either, but I do truly hope he chooses the summer edition, because I do still have some of a 100ml bottle of the normal j'ador left, and a miniature in my makeup bag. Also, I think the summer edition will look better in the inevitable artsy black and white Perfume / Shoes / Rings / Jewellery photos come wedding day...

Miss Prozac said...

The best gifts are of course the ones that you have hinted about or eyed longingly and thought no one noticed how much you wanted it, and voila! it turns up in your Christmas stocking/birthday bash. And of course being spoilt rotten...

Lita due to the rule of reciprocity, and the rule that crispy chicken creates thunder thighs you should thank your lucky stars for poor friends.

theysaywordscanbleed said...

I hate to agree, but yeah, especially during the holidays or if you have given them in the past a really expensive present, I do expect them to at least balance them out or give me a better and more expensive flowers, although giving flowers for a random day doesnt hurt to be given as presents.

miss_seph said...

On a completely unrelated note, I spotted a certain Mrs Kirkpatrick in the throng of groupies last night at JT... Shoes similar to the Christian Louboutin's new "Miss Fred Taco" patent leather booties, but different (or was it the peach ankle socks that made them look different?). After appearing quite nonchalant and bored, she eventually got into it, and by the time the show ended, there were arms in the air, and it appeared that she was having fun! Good on her!

Mark said...

Gift Rule #1; Buy something either very large, or very small.


So I should take that Cuisinart back to the store and buy her a thimble instead?

Anonymous said...

Miss Seph: Was the Octogenarian with her? Or one of her "fag hag we cling to the rich" groupies like David or Ric?

unPC lesbian said...

I do totally agree that gifts should be frivolous and not practical, has always been my rule....HOWEVER.....I would break that rule for the Cuisinart. Mark please send to me immediately!

Cactus Kate said...

What on earth is Cuisinart?

Randominanity said...

What about a present that is both small and big?

For example a Lotto ticket. It's a small item but carries loads of potential.

(sorry, sometimes my Scottish heritage overwhelms me)

Oswald Bastable said...

For small gifts, I buy from here:

http://chocolatetherapy.com/Schoc/schoc%20chocolates.html

How to spend a small amout of money, without appearing cheap!

Anonymous said...

Cuisinart = brand of kitchen appliances see http://www.cuisinart.com/

Mark said...

Unpc - Yeah, I know that golden rule of gift-giving well, and only break it when it is specifically requested that I do. And I always back it up with something frivolous.

Cuz I'm that way...

Mrs Smith said...

Mark - see, not all anonymous commenters are rude duffers (re your comment on 'Stare-Bears). There is this one that crops up occasionally with sage advice and definitions of Cuisinart (for which I am thankful, as I didn't know what it was either).

Mrs Smith said...

Miss Seph - any photos? One of Mrs Kirkpatrick smiling/having fun must be worth something for rarity value alone. Hope she got back in time for her curfew. Daddy would have given her a telling off, and sent her to her room if she didn't.

Mark said...

Yeah, I stand corrected. All but one commenter named "Anonymous" are assholes!

You should have just asked your personal chef what a Cuisinart is. tomorrow's lesson will be "toaster".

NO GOOGLING!

Cactus Kate said...

Mrs Smith - given our propensity to spend time in the kitchen it is little wonder we have absolutely no idea what they meant throwing in that unusual word.

There is a swanky hotel in Anguilla that desperately needs a make-over with a similar name.

Mark said...

That's because the Cuisinart people own it, apparently.

However, it is an incredibly vapid name for their establishment.