Buying Used

Ok so this isn’t exactly a cash ad but buying used sure can save you money. For example, my niece needed a car and she couldn’t afford anything new. So she looked online for a used car dealership in her town. She found this used car dealer in Burley, Idaho. They were so good with her and got her a really good car for $800 bucks.

Of course, she wrecked the next week while reserving out of a parking spot at Wal-Mart but that’s just fate teaching her she really needs a back-up camera.

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One Crazy Gift Idea

(Note from The Gifting Gal: This is a post from my friend in Boston. I thought it just crazy enough to post here.)
Because I am in the blinds and shades business, I notice windows wherever I go. One thing I see in nearly every home is that they could all use a few more blinds and shades. The convenience, beauty, and function of blinds and shades enhance the ambiance of any room in the house. Unfortunately, many people don’t understand this until they actually experience it. They aren’t aware of the function design possibilities of shades and blinds.

For this reason, I recommend custom shades or blinds as the ideal gift for any homeowner. First, they will not expect it. Secondly, they will appreciate it every time they walk in the room. It is the gift that keeps on giving, year after year.

I fully realize that most people would consider me biased on this subject. I disagree. I like to think I am fully informed. I have seen first hand the joy and gratitude of clients when they pay for shades and blinds with their own money. Imagine your friend or loved one’s excitement when they receive blinds or shades as a gift!

Stoneside Blinds and Shades offer several customized gift ideas. Check out their website for your next gift. One thing for certain, your gift will never be forgotten.

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It’s all in the presentation

I know that it is inappropriate to discuss any apparent inequality of the sexes but I am going to do it any way. I know many men who give gifts with the firm belief that “it’s the thought that counts.” When their poorly wrapped, hastily purchased gift falls flat, it is their fallback comment. They claim their heart was in the right place, even though nothing else was.

(OK. I do know men who don’t fall into the stereotype above but they are all gay.)

Most women, conversely, feel that the presentation is almost as important as the gift. The gift-wrap is crisp and perfect, decorated with ribbons and bows. They attach an appropriate card that says all they want to say. Their gift feels special even if the box were empty. But it’s not. Inside is a gift, carefully selected and nestled in tissue paper.

This is why men love gift bags. Almost no finesse needed here. Open the bag. Plop in the gift, stuff in some tissue and voila, a well-wrapped gift. They even get into the spirit of the presentation. They hand over the multicolored bag with a sense of triumph. “Look! I made it half-way pretty.” I am actually thrilled. My man came through! Then I reach into the bag and pull out the deluxe set of Rocky . . .

Seriously. Here’s site to help: 24 Creative Gift Wrapping Ideas.

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And now for something completely different

One of the coolest things about the Internet is the ability to shop anywhere in the world. I love to give unique gifts. Unfortunately, even though a good percent of Walmart’s products are made in exotic third-world countries they don’t offer the cachet I am looking for. However, on the Internet I can really shop for items that my friends and family have never seen before.

For instance, Iceland has the softest, warmest wool products in the world. They almost feel like cashmere. And since their sheep are multicolored, the wool is never dyed. They also have pottery made from active volcanoes. The finish is as colorful as the Northern Lights.

You can also go to the Internet and find rare and unusual chocolates, candies, and other confections in many European countries. My favorite countries to shop for sweets are Holland and Belgium.

Don’t take my word for any of this. Go to the Internet. Type in something like “unique gifts Australia.” Then spend the next couple of hours strolling through a virtual mall of the strange and exciting gift ideas.

The nice thing about gifts from around the world is that often it is something your favorite person didn’t even know existed and now they can’t live without it.

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A Thoughtful Gift

I recently read a comment in a relationship book about the art of giving. It made the droll observation that a thoughtful gift requires, well . . . thought. A truly thoughtful gift requires an understanding of the recipient that transcends mere acquaintance.

I have a friend who has taken the concept of a thoughtful gift to an art form. He starts working on his gifts for a few select and special people in his life months in advance. He will think about their personality, their current circumstances, their favorite colors, styles, and even on what they would least expect to find in a gift.

It can be very intimidating to attend a birthday party when he is present. When the guest of honor starts opening the gifts, there are oohs and aahs. But his gift often elicits a gasp and then tears. Many times recipients will wonder how he could possible have known about their secret desires.

Since meeting this extraordinary man I have tried to make every gift I give as thoughtful as possible. It has changed me. It has made me see that a gift can elevate any relationship.

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