It is the Constanian* School of Thought that gifts should not be reserved for only big occasions, but we are here: it’s Noël soon, so if you have not been closely observing your adored ones all year, now is the perfect time to start.
Do not slouch! Be poised. Put a hardcover book on your head and a ribbon in your hair, and walk down the hallway, one gracious foot in front of the other. Let’s talk about gift giving.
For your relaxed friend who showers in their jewellery, pop to Mister Minit and get a dog/cat tag (which are stainless steel!) engraved with something they always say like: “always a pleasure, never a chore”.
They have heart-shaped ones, and they do it all on the spot. Your recipient can wear this attached to the rosary they always wear.
You stayed at their house last night? What are you doing? Get up! Go to the bathroom, and take a photo of their electric toothbrush so you can get a fresh four pack of heads that will do them for the year. While you are in there, peek at their shelf. They are still hopelessly devoted to La Roche-Posay Anthelios Invisible Fluid Facial Sunscreen SPF 50+ ($32), aren’t they? We all are, that is a safe gift. A pack of good hair ties also goes down a treat, especially if they are in their two-braid season.
If they are trying to cook at home more: a jar of Lao Gan Ma Crispy Chilli in Oil ($5), or a 1.4kg tub of Maldon Salt Flakes ($52). For the one who cleans on a Sunday: a Scrub Daddy, De-Solv-it (I bet they reuse glass jars), or a bottle of CO Polishing Oil (it’s their 100 year birthday this year, and they still make it in Wellington!) would go down a treat.
Oh, they commented on how much they love your wicker laundry basket? File that information away, in your notes app if you do not trust your memory. That is your op shop goal.
Another great op shop goal is a photo frame. Maybe it is a hand-made Rimu one (like the set of drawers they bought recently off Marketplace, and love), or a red frame that is reminiscent of the MAC Ruby Woo lipstick they get on the edge of your glasses when they come over for spicy Bloody Mary.
Now you have the frame, it is time to truly secure yourself in their under-bed memory box. Print a photo of you together for the frame, but do not stop there. During bed-phone-time (we love that time of day) make an album of photos you have taken of them.
The app Fotofinish allows you to upload the images and they print instantly at the Warehouse Stationery nearest you. You can even print personalised calendars with your images on there too. Twelve months of your darling being a perfect, funny angel. Voilà!
“Can we take a photo on your phone, my storage is full.” PERFECT. Get them an Apple Gift Card for iCloud storage for a year (2TB for a year is $204 NZD).
Did they cut their finger on their mandolin while slicing cucumber? It is deliciously close to summer, and therefore, summer salads. Get them a metal chainmail glove, à la Jeanne d'Arc, so they can take their vegetable spiralizer out of the dark corner of the kitchen cupboard, and feel like a martyr.
Now is your time to be taking notes. Anticipate their needs! Engage recall!
*Yes, as in me, Constance.