Mastering the Fine Art of Gift Giving
requires only one thing.
This won’t take long. It’s Christmas Eve and I’m due to read The Night Before Christmas soon.
Gift giving isn’t really that hard. I have no special tricks or hacks. I just know one simple thing about giving gifts: It isn’t about me.
All together, repeat after me: Giving a gift isn’t about me.
Here’s the secret:
To be a master gift giver, you need only to listen.
My husband and I were trolling through a resale record shop and as he’s flipping through the vinyl he said something about an album that he didn’t have but wanted and never could find in record stores. I asked why he couldn’t find it, was it so good that no one ever resold it. He wasn’t sure, he just couldn’t ever seem to find it on vinyl. We talked a bit more about the band (I don’t remember) and that particular album. He wandered off to look at something else and I made a note.
I went to my phone’s calendar and made a reminder to start searching. I had three months until Father’s Day.
It took more than three months but it was found with the help of a parent of my son’s classmate who dabbles in classic and collectible records.
When presented with the gift, he looked a bit like a fish out of water, mouth open and closing a few times. He looked at the record, then at me and said, “How did you know?”
Giving the perfect gifts has to start way before the gift giving occasion. Doing this well requires some reconnaissance, asking questions, gently probing, not interrogating.
If you listen well and long enough, you’re gift list will write itself.