The hardest gift of all is fragrance! Unless you know what someone likes or wears, there is a good chance the expensive perfume you bought will never be worn. I'm a great example. I hate patchouli, and it's in so many fragrances. If something comes in the door with patchouli I can detect, it leaves just as quickly. I'll give it away as fast as possible.
Unless you know someone well, skin care can also be perilous. Your recipient may wonder, "Is there a message here?" On the other hand, I jumped for joy when I received a jar of Crème de la Mer one Christmas.
That said, there are beauty gifts that can delight. I know that the blockbuster color sets sold by Sephora, Ulta, and Nordstrom are a young lady's dream come true (not that adults don't love them too). My mother has always appreciated a fragrance she wears. If you know a friend likes a certain line, NARS for example, she will probably like a NARS gift set. Gift cards are always a good bet if you know someone loves beauty products, but want them to have the opportunity to select what they like. I don't think that kind of gift card is a cop out.
If I were making a list, here are just a few things I would love to receive. People who know me well could guess these.
- Chanel N°5 Eau Premiere, a lighter, softer version of the legendary fragrance
- Any Armani Beauty cosmetics or skin care Loyd Cassler picked out, knowing it was a gift for me
- Home and body fragrances and soaps that are purely floral or fruity (particularly white flowers)
- Organic anything - so many new things to try!
Over the next few weeks, I'll select one reader to receive a gift he or she identified (let's keep the price under $100, please). My holiday gift to one of you! When you leave your comment, you will also have to send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org identifying your comment. That way, I will know how to find you.
Really stuck on what to to give the person who has everything? Check out Network for Good. Your gift allows your recipient to donate to the charity of his or her choice, and there are more than 1.8 million charities from which to choose. This is a tough time for so many people, many of whom never thought they would be in a position to need help from a charitable organization. Charities are stretched thin, with returns on their endowments at an all-time low, but there are more unmet needs than ever. An opportunity to help is a heartwarming gift. You could help save a homeless family, rescue a horse, or stock a food bank - just by giving to a friend.
Update 12/6: Anna has a holiday gift winging her way. So, the promo mentioned above is closed.
Photo courtesy of wallpaperez.info