Ballantyne Magazine

FALL 2016

Ballantyne Magazine covers news, events, real estate, restaurants, shopping, health, schools and business in the upscale Ballantyne Area of Charlotte, NC.

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Thoughtful Gift-Giving How to Remember People in Ways They Appreciate By Simone McDowell WHETHER IT'S FOR A BIRTHDAY, HOLIDAY OR SIMPLY A "THANK YOU," a thoughtful gift resonates with the recipient and giver alike. The recipient enjoys the pleasure of something meaningful, and the giver receives the satisfaction of communicating appreciation in a significant way. The cliché "it's the thought that counts" rings true, but picking out the perfect gift is not always easy. The thoughtful present usually takes a bit of planning and time but is worth the effort. Here are Do's and Don'ts to keep in mind: Do think about the recipient. Some people tend to pick gifts based on what they think recipients need. I say, what about the "wants" — items people long for but may not purchase themselves? Pay attention to the things people mention that they like — objects or experiences that may come up in casual conversation, something they wish they could do, have or see. These are thoughtful gifts. Don't rush the shopping process. Remember — picking out great gifts takes a little preparation and time. Consider making a list of your recipient's favorite shops and interests before actually going shopping. Use the list as a guide. Are there similarities between your handpicked item and a theme on the list? Does the item match the recipient's interests? You should begin gathering information and making your list a few weeks before a special occasion or holiday. If you wait until the last minute, you run the risk of picking something that doesn't align with the recipient, spending more money to just end the experience or not finding anything at all. Do have a gift closet. A well-stocked gift closet is a place in your home that contains gift options for many occasions — or even a "just because" gift. Such closets help eliminate the anxiety of finding the perfect gift at the last minute. While the gift closet could be any space, ranging from a cabinet to an under-the-bed storage container, the most important part is the contents. I recommend items like candles, coffee-table books and wine as gifts that can be a great fit for many "thank you's," holidays and celebrations. I consider such gifts evergreen, that is, relevant any time of the year. Don't stop with the gift; pay attention to its presentation. Once you have picked out a gift the recipient will love, the hard part is over and you are almost done. The final step is packaging. It is important to consider the entire presentation. If wrapping is a skill you lack, consider taking the gift to a local store that provides this service. Don't be afraid to use nontraditional wrapping materials such as denim, burlap or even the Sunday newspaper. In addition, bows, ribbons or a flower stem or two can be great accents that add a finishing touch to a pretty presentation. Simone McDowell is a Charlotte-based public relations and marketing consultant who writes a blog on gift giving, www.honeebeegifts.com. Some people tend to pick gifts based on what they think recipients need. I say, what about the "wants" — items people long for but may not purchase themselves? a i m p o r t a n t t o I f w r a p p i n g i s a s g i f t t o a l o c a l s t o r e t D o n ' t b e a f r a i d t o u s e d t o Photo courtesy of HoneyBee Gifts Photo by Andi Perullo BALLANTYNE MAGAZINE 75 FALL 2016

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