When you’re a successful professional woman without children, many times, people have no idea what to buy you for holiday gifts; especially those who don’t share your lifestyle. People with children imagine us going straight from the office to the spa to the restaurant. Our weekends are spent shopping at luxury label stores, clubbing all night and napping and brunching all Sunday.
While it is true that we often have gotten anything and everything on our wish list for ourselves already, there is a way to gift a gift that means something and is nice…
What do you get the woman who has everything? Well, here’s some idea of what not to give….a lot of well intentioned but really crappy gifts.
- Anything Doga: I love yoga and I love my dog… but there is no reason on this green earth to combine the two. Don’t even think I would be interested in anything related to Doga (yes this is real)… dogs don’t need yoga. Period.
- Toys: The kind of toys that children get, and apparently me at the age of 28 because my mom wants to “keep it fun.” A cabbage patch at the age of 28 is not fun, it’s just ridiculous. What on earth do you do with it when you go home? Put it on your bed? No, it goes right in the trash. Save your money.
- Desk accessories:So yes, my job involves sitting for hours on end at a desk in front of a computer …. BUT, a desk is a piece of furniture and I can tell you, it doesn’t need to be accessorized! I travel light at work and highly recommend it (everything you can pack in a box!). It seems to me that any $$ spent on these hunks of crap imported from China (or other exploited workforce country) would be much better spent donated (here are my favorite sites for that… www.heifer.org, www.humanesociety.org, or www.surfrider.org )
- The Visa Gift Card: My brother has taken to giving me (and asking for) Visa gift cards. Aside from whatever is in your wallet, can you think of a gift requiring less thought? And how annoying are they? They are for a set amount so unless I am buying something for EXACTLY 50 bucks, I have to put the rest on another card or have like $5.85 left on it – sitting in my already crowded wallet – taunting me. I propose that my brother and I just save the money and pass the same card back and forth to each other.
- Bad gifts for the cook: I’ve posted in the past about having every kitchen gadget one could possibly have. However, every once in a while, someone comes across something that I don’t have… and there is usually a reason I don’t have the gadget. Past gifts have included a cherry pitter (I hate cherries) and a jalapeno popper grill rack (doubt that will make it out of the box). Really?? A grill rack specifically for jalapenos?
- Doggie Decorations: Because I love my dog, I get a lot of dog gifts. And by dog gifts, I mean home decorations with dogs on it. Picture frames, pillows, throws, and my personal favorite – a yard sign with “Spoiled Rotten Dog Lives Here” on it. I don’t even have a yard. Owning a dog doesn’t mean I want to decorate my home like my vet’s waiting room.
- “Gifts” with advertisements or corporate logos: I have a family member who thinks that because I have a computer, I love anything that involves technology. Every tchotchke she receives from vendors that pertains to computers, I get. Think: wrapped thumb drives, cd cases, a reading light that attaches to a PC, etc.- all having a vendor’s name stamped all over them. Hello…. I know you got these free.
- Art: Let’s just say art is as personal a gift as lingerie… if you know me that well, by all means, get me art. But if you don’t, I would highly suggest you stay away from the gift of art and go for some great dark chocolate!
- Heavy, breakable items that you then have to travel with: When I say the best gift you can give me is a Costco gift card, get me a Costco gift card. Don’t give me a large, heavy gift from Costco that I then have to lug home on a plane… oh… say… huge serving platters (12 x 12 and 5 pounds each) that sit on metal stands and a 2 foot wide lazy susan with five ceramic sections for goodies. These items, while very nice, were purchased at a Costco in Tennessee, hauled by car to Florida, wrapped, and given to me. I then have to carry them on my flight home due to the 50 lb checked bag limit. Did I mention that these came from Costco? There is one less than 5 minutes from my house – I could have picked them up there… with the gift card.
- Bath and body anything: Two words: no thanks. Like art, I think the scents that you choose are very personal and just because YOU smell good in something called Vanillatini doesn’t mean I will, or even want to.
In the actual spirit of giving, we would also like to add some good gift giving ideas:
Personally, I think you are always safe with the 3 C’s: Chocolate, champagne and cashmere. – Jen
As for me, Lululemon, Athleta, chocolate and your favorite book. You can’t go wrong! – Michaela
Wine, books, and cute scarves are top on my list! – Erin
A phone call or personal email are wonderful. If you feel the need to spend money, red wine or a donation on my behalf are great. – Lori