I have recently enjoyed another birthday – not a spectacular one it has to be said but then I don’t go out of my way to advertise their arrival. So it is always really pleasing when a relative remembers and provides a little gift – I do spend time every month sorting out what I like to think are appropriate gifts for everyone else. This used to be a bit of a chore – racing up and down the high street in the lunch hour, and getting increasingly frustrated at the lack of imaginative ideas.
These days however, I have the world of gifting at my feet – I am a super surfer in terms of knowing exactly which site I like for any given person – some prefer the gardening end of it and others like the fluffy house filling gift. Fluffy bedroom attire and perfumery – available all beautifully packaged and within budget. Win win!
There are times in any year when there are more celebratory dates than others – and this period leading up to Christmas is just such a time. There are neices and nephews with birthdays in each month, two wedding anniversaries and then at the very end of October, Halloween. This never used to feature a great deal for us when I was a nipper. We were of the ‘penny for the guy’ brigade. Dad would ressurrect the old barrow made years before from two orange boxes and the wheels off a pushchair long abandoned, on would go our Guy dressed in Dad’s old cast offs, much to his distress sometimes, and we would knock on doors to get pennies for our fireworks. These days we have armies of youngsters coming around on 31 October Tick Or Treating. I have to remember to get in the treats by the bag load. I can’t bear to offer tricks, it’s not in my nature!
Oh how the seasons are whizzing by. It seems no time at all since we were celebrating the end of a fairly standard winter – I don’t recall anything too brain stressing about the cold and wet December to March – except it was just that, cold and wet.
The spring was very variable – one day quite hot and promising to be followed by more rain and very cold frosts even after Easter. Lots of the gardeners amongst us were tricked into putting out early tenderlings, only to have our hopes for colour and form in the borders totally dashed! The summer has been even more unbelievable – June was cold, early July was boiling hot – so much so that it affected the players at Wimbledon. Then back to cold and unseasonable storms. Very complicated for anyone thinking of presents to the home and garden when the weather presents such challenges!
I am forever going into my garage and clambering out again in an exasperated fashion because it’s so crowded now with all the things I don’t actually use or need now, I can’t find the things I do need. Since spring last year, when I was persuaded to let go of my battered old shed from the sunniest corner of the garden, I’ve had to put everything that went in it into my garage. My ideal gift for home and garden would definitely be one of those neat racks for the hundred and one tools and implements. And possibly a useful wardrobe sized cabinet for plant pots and assorted carrying trays that ‘might just come in useful’.
Apart from the gardening stuff, I own masses of unused camping equipment from years ago when we used to take off for the Isle of Wight for 3 weeks of glorious relaxed camping. Hmmm. Make that two cabinets!
I have a relative who had a baby late last year. We knew last year that baby was going to be a girl and much joy and celebration heralded the little princess’s arrival. All those fantastically cute and itsy bitsy lacy and flouncy cardigans and dresses were going to be the order of the day.
Not a bit of it. Eight months down the line the youngest member of our female line has quite definite ideas about what is her kind of clothing and what isn’t! Rompers and a tough T shirt are the constant choice. Yikes, Panic. If no little girlie things are required, what sort of presents can doting uncle get for each birthday and Christmas. Salvation came when browsing this site that offers absolutely every unusual giftware idea and theme for adults, little girls and their pesky little brothers. It is a miracle site for me these days and I am never left wanting.
Whilst visiting a heritage property some miles away, I was just beginning to flag, in need of that all important cup of tea and a rest for the poor old legs. Looking around the tiny visitor centre – actually a smartened up garden shed, I chanced upon a battered sign pointing to Teas / Toilets / Shop . . . . . It was amazing, the number of gorgeous gifts – aimed, it could be said, more towards the ladies in one’s life. I didn’t have a need at that time to avail myself of many of the beautiful items, but talking to the volunteer behind the till, I managed to illicit the name of the web site from where all these fab items has been supplied.
So if anyone out there – and I’m thinking chaps needing that special present for the VIM or VIGM (very important mother or grand mother . . ) who loves gardening and all things florally based. Get browsing !
Having looked through my yearly log of birthdays, anniversaires and other notable dates, it hit me like a brick that the majority of the list seems to be for the ladies in my life. I should be rejoicing that I have that many, but sometimes the anxiety level of ensuring I get exactly thrigh gift for the right lady can be overwhelming. We all know that. As each event approaches, there is that franatic haring up and down the local high street, no particular idea of what to get, and usually we buy something in sheer desperatation and have the disatisfied feeling that well, we could have done better.
This year however I have eradicated this annoyance. No I haven’t rid myself of all the ladies. I have been browsing sites that dedicate themselves to the purloining of the most exsquisite gifts for my most favourite ones. It has revolutionised my life entirely.
Golly, where on earth does the time go, we all ask ourselves. It just doesn’t seem possible that Christmas and new year have been – all that getting ready with preparations for food, presents, decorations, folk coming to stay over etc. etc. Then after that came the half term holidays with a break away from school for the children and all that.
March brought Mothering Sunday – one of the favourite present buying occasions in a year – but possibly one fraught with anxiety for one or two of the chaps around – there is nothing worse than getting the wrong gift for a bloke’s mother, well apart from no gift at all. The most sure fire way of success in this critical area, and that of her birthday and maybe the wedding anniversary she celebrates . . . . would be to browse the site of a dedicated gift sourcing online site. Perfection every time!
There can be few occasions in someone’s life when getting the perfect present is more important than for Mother’s Day, or Mothering Sunday as it should really be called. The dear romantic, and somewhat commercially inclined victorians in their desire to raise every occasion to the heights of properly orchestrated gift and card giving opportunities, managed to turn a simple idea of giving a bunch of spring flowers to our mother, into a full blown extravaganza.
But fear not young man . . . . . there need be no anxious moment as the day approaches and you sit at the desk on the days before, worrying about the suitability of the new playstation game console for mama! There are some fantastic online gift sourcing sites around – nothing need be left to chance and you will succeed this year and be king for a day. Or maybe two.
Now that the anxiety inducing Christmas period has gone, the present buying getting more complicated every year, you can relax for a little while. But can you? The even thornier problem of Valentine’s day looms large. It can be a problem if the receiver is hoping for something substantial, like an engagement ring but the giver isn’t quite at that level of committment yet. This is when the ideas for the most exquisite gifting ideas are to be employed.
There are lots of gift sourcing and review sites out there. Available 24 hours a day, 52 weeks of the year. No need to go trundling down the local shopping mall. Get online and browse the amazing range of ideas – from experience days, spa days, rolling down the hill in a very large balloon days – so the list goes on. But the essence of this is, there is a perfect gift there waiting to be snapped up.