How hysterical we are with presents, indeed. But do not get too intellectual and anti-consumerist about it, we are all sensitive to a bit of attention, a nice thought and a proof of friendship. But if you are tired of it, you might have a break and decide all of you not to offer yourselves presents this year.
However, if you do decide to make gifts though and do not make an effort either by spending so that it hurts a little or by getting through a bit of trouble then the person is not worth it. How do you know you chose a good gift? Well, it is not that difficult, presents must be thoughtful, valuable or hard to find. Or at least practical. To keep it safe, it is all about empathy and attention, of course. And about always unwrapping the presents with a full stomach, in the middle of the soirée, when everybody is just tipsy not drunk to avoid dramas.
Artists or writers that offer you their work as gifts... books, photos, films, paintings...other than that they really know you want something or like their work or they are Picasso (so you can quit your job by selling it), well, no. Offer them back an Excel report next year. Framed, mais oui bien sur.
Always check, doublecheck what your parents are buying your partner. Better buy the presents yourself and get reimbursed. Make threats, knee but do not give your mother the chance to destroy your marriage or holiday. Sizes, taste, colours, value, do not let anything to chance. This is what love is about. Care, restraint, being thoughtful...
To a passionate antique collector couple you do not offer teacups from Zara House.
Hermes scarf for your intellectual mother-in-law who always makes stances on how brands manipulate your brain and football wives etc. What a gaffe!
Do not buy books to a philistine. It is about them, not about you. If you wish they read more then change friends.
A yearly boats magazine subscriprion for your father who is into hiking? Exactly, my thought as well. Or exquisite cashmere jumpers when you know he does not care and he will wear them when hiking?
Now do not get smart when it comes to intimate things, perfume, jewellery, watches, soaps, bags...people are faithful to their tastes and make very particular choices.
We all know some men are so difficult to be offereed presents but come on, make an effort, a lighter, cigars, wine, is that all you can come up with? Now that you mention it though, with the tobacco prices and all, we do not mind a carton, better dull than garbage.
A new pair of ski trousers hoping he will finally get rid of his old loved ones? Nope. It is saint, a present from his mother and no, buying him a new pair is like throwing it...
Do not offer table coffee books you bought in sale for all your friends. We all knew about the sale...
If you are on a budget, make something; striped knitted wool socks, home liquor, sew some kitchen towels out of cool fabrics, etc.
Nothing more boring and impersonal than flowers and alcohol and sweets! Jesus. What did I do wrong to get flowers?
Better buy small and good than big and cheap. (A Chanel lipstick versus a supermarket brands cosmetic kit).
Funny bagatelle chinese stuff? They do not call it rubbish for nothing.
Ebay, etsy, online invoices... Because you did not forsee shipping they are stuck in customs, they are on the way, you know how Italian post office is...good intention is not enough.
Teenagers girls love Topshop and there is nothing you can do about that. For now, that is. They are 13, give them a gift voucher and they will be happy even though they will throw the clothes away after 2 weeks.