Christmas is less than two weeks away, and with Christmas comes gift-giving and gift-receiving!
But don’t you just hate it when people give you crap? Yes, yes, it’s the thought that counts. But what are you going to do with all the useless stuff people give you? As the saying goes, do unto others what you want them to do unto you. If you don’t want to receive useless items, don’t give useless items too. It’s a waste of money. It is a waste because the item you paid for with hard-earned money ends up not appreciated/ not used/ donated/ thrown away. It doesn’t matter if it just costs P5, it’s still a waste.
Here are some of the things I can think of that most people do not want to receive, and you might do well to stay away from:
- Figurines – unless they collect figurines as a hobby, those will just end up being given away/thrown/donated, and if they are the sentimental type, your figurine gift could just end up as clutter collecting dust somewhere. This goes for those figurines that people just love to give away as souvenirs for whatever occasion they are celebrating. Just don’t.
- Cheap-ass picture frames. See above. And by this, I mean the kind that is sold with the cheap-ass figurines in bangketas.
- Things you are obviously just trying to get rid of. For example, recycled gifts. I have seen a recycled gift that looked like it was manufactured in the seventies! I kid you not. It was a nail grooming set with a felt-lined case. Another example would be if you had an excess supply of something. Maybe you won a contest and you got a year’s supply of whitening lotion. Maybe you are in business and a product did not sell well. You might think it’s a great idea to give them away as gifts instead. And it might make financial sense to you. So go ahead, but be prepared to swallow your pride and accept what other people will think of you.
- Corporate logo items that suck. Don’t get me wrong — there are a lot of corporate giveaways that I like — tastefully done items like like Swiss Army knives, retractable tape measures, screwdriver sets, golf umbrellas, a good quality tumbler/ cup / mug, a good quality jacket, a tasteful keychain, a nice calling card case, a nice portfolio case, a stapler, a staple remover, ballpens, pad papers and post-its; but here are things I don’t like –
- T-shirts with the company logo, especially if it’s not a company you will be proud to advertise! I will not be your walking advertisement. Those t-shirts either immediately get donated to the help or become pambahay.
- Caps (headgear) with the company logo – same thing as the t-shirt – and also, because I rarely wear caps, and I would rather wear any of my other caps than this.
- Cheap-ass backpack / messenger bag / baon bag with the company logo. Eeek! I would rather sew my own bag. I might use the baon bag, though, if the corporate logo isn’t too obvious. And then, there is –
- A company-branded wristwatch! First of all, you know it’s a cheap-ass watch that won’t last two months. Secondly, would you really want to see the company’s logo everytime you check your watch? And expecting the recipient of this company logo-ed wristwatch to wear it is just tacky! I am sure people would rather be looking at Seiko, Citizen, Orient, Tag Heuer, Omega, Rolex or Jaeger-LeCoultre than your company logo.
Here are some things that people will probably want:
- Cash. Cash is king. Put it in an ang pao.
- Gift certificates to good restaurants, spas, department stores, supermarkets, etc..
- But giving cash and GCs to people you are not that close to can be a bit embarrassing for many people, so, food to the rescue! Food – cookies, brownies, banana breads, pies, muffins, cupcakes, chocolate.. whatever you can bake, or whatever fits your budget.
- Something you know they want that is within your budget. This can be as simple as a nice lipgloss, a lipstick, a cute tie. If you have the budget, you can indulge them and get them what they really want — an iPad, an Android tablet, that new cellphone, that designer bag, jewelry.
- Something useful that you can easily imagine them using often — this can be a cute pencil, a cute eraser, a nice ballpen, stationery that fits the recipient’s personality, a cute cup/mug, a traveler’s set (usually with mini soap, shampoo, etc), a nice set of spoon and fork / chopsticks to use at the office, a cellphone charm. The point is, give good quality items that people will use and don’t settle for ugly, crappy stuff just because you think you can’t afford anything nice. For example, I recently bought a few highlighters from CDR-King for P6! Yes, just P6 each! I think they will make nice token gifts and I really think the recipients will be using those highlighters at work. And they’re small, too! They don’t take up much space. Personally, I also wouldn’t mind receiving USB drives or MicroSDs as gifts, either. I mean, you’ll always find use for them, right? I would even appreciate a small bottle of hand sanitizer!
The safe gifts:
- Soaps, lotions and the like from The Body Shop, Marks & Spencer, Essences, Beauty Bar, and similar outlets.
- Food – cookies, brownies, banana breads, pies, muffins, cupcakes.. whatever you can bake, or whatever fits your budget.
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The Barat Queen
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