Heart to Home's 5 Don'ts for Giving the Perfect Gift
For a start, remember the gift is not for you. So don't fall into the trap of buying something just because you'd be delighted to receive it yourself. Don't be like the little boy who thinks his mum would love a Lego set for Mother's Day, just because he's fixated on getting one.
Instead, begin by thinking about the recipient - their values, interests, age, taste and circumstances. Everything that makes them who they are.
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Don't be too concerned by gender issues per se, but be aware of the social conventions that regulate the giving of gifts between him and her. It's rare for a woman to give flowers to a man, for example, so if you're considering it, you'll need to do so with confidence, knowing that in his case, he'll be thrilled that you alone understood how much he would appreciate the gesture, while others were too stymied by convention to be so daring.
Loved my men and women alike
There is some division of opinion over whether you should buy a gift that no one would ever buy for themselves. A box of chocolates is a good example. Pound for pound, you can probably get a lot more chocolate for a lot less money if you buy your sweets from the supermarket shelves. So does that make a fancy concoction of exotic truffles a poor gift or a perfect one?
There are many who believe that gifts should always be fripperies - fun or decadent items that are reserved for special occasions. And there are those pragmatists who think that a gift isn't worth its salt if you wouldn't have bought it for yourself. But the truth is, both sides are missing the point.
Don't be concerned with your own values and prejudices. If you want to be successful at giving, you should always think of the recipient. If you think the person to whom you're giving the chocolates will feel like a VIP when they open the box, then how can you put a price on that feeling? By contrast, if you suspect they'll be thinking "I wish you'd spent your money on something that won't be gone in five minutes," then you wasted your money.
They won't be expecting one of these
Having said all that, your own taste and personality is a very important part of the giving process and must not be neglected. Giving is a two way street and the gift has a special meaning because you are the one who has given it. Flowers from an aunty are very different to flowers from a husband. The flowers themselves are the same but the gift is completely different.
Think about the best gifts you've ever received and what made them so special to you. Of course, it might be the monetary value that made it memorable. There's no point pretending that you can't turn someone's head by being generous with your money. But assuming that you have a more modest budget in mind, the only way to be sure of success is to select your gift thoughtfully.
If you're reading this, well done - you've started already.
With due deference to point No.2
Make every gift as special for yourself as it is for the recipient. Done right, giving is not a burden but a pleasure. Because when you do it well, you will be rewarded with a smile that money couldn't buy. Alternatively, waste your money and you're missing an opportunity for a memorable moment, an exchange between two friends, relatives or lovers that both will always remember.
Of course, it's never wrong to buy something practical. At Heart to Home, we don't sell consumable goods, so everything in our collection is designed to be both attractive and useful, gorgeous and long-lasting. We only sell things with a purpose. Sometimes they're as practical as they are decorative and occasionally they're indulgent and decadent, but they're never entirely fanciful.
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Why It's Like Christmas Every Day Here at Heart to Home
When we choose something new for our collection, we go through a process that's a lot like choosing a gift for a loved one. As we develop our range of quality kitchen and dining room linens and tableware, we have to ponder a similar set of criteria by considering the values and tastes of you, our esteemed and beloved customers.
First, we ask ourselves if you'll love it as much as we do.
Second, we are constantly checking our ranges to maintain a fine balance between the luxurious and the practical.
Third, we need to ensure that we never forget the menfolk in a business where feminine taste often overwhelms the masculine.
Fourth, having considered your tastes and requirements, we ask ourselves if there's something that makes it special. There are a thousand tea towels and aprons that could be part of the Heart to Home collection and we reject most of them. We wouldn't want to stock any product that failed to meet our own high standards for style and originality.
And fifth, we test each and every new product to make sure it is worthy of the Heart to Home range - is it both practical and pretty, desirable and decorative, lovely and long-lasting? Or, put another way, does it put a little heart in your home?