It’s long been mooted that giving gifts brings individuals greater happiness than receiving them. While we’re not sure we agree entirely with that, we do know there are a number of traits the greatest gifts all share. We are referring to the ones that resonate for all the right reasons. Of course, bad gifts (see souvenirs from places never visited) can live as long in the memory as their counterparts, but that’s a blog topic for another time. Instead, with the sound of sleigh bells getting less distant by the day, we are considering the art of gifting. Read on for eight great tips on how to master it, and ensure that Father Christmas’ presents aren’t the only ones putting smiles on faces this year.
1. Gift-giving is as much about storytelling as it is about the gift itself. The very best gifts marry intrinsic and emotional value. We suggest finding something that has an interesting story behind how it came to be, whether that’s how you came across the item or how it was made. This consideration and intrigue add emotional impact to the gifting experience.
2. For birthdays, christenings, anniversaries, weddings, and, of course, Christmas, gifts act as a manifestation of significant moments in time. If you’re marking an important event, like that rare Christmas you manage to get the whole family under one roof, choose something that will easily evoke it in years to come. These types of gifts can turn into long-standing traditions, becoming part of something larger and deeper-rooted than a one-off gesture.
3. Gifts are the stones that pave the path of a relationship; tokens of togetherness, forgiveness, love, and thanks. They embody memories made, bonds shared, and, of course, in-jokes. Choose a gift that reflects your unique bond with someone special. In our experience, personalised pieces always make the right impression.
4. Actions speak louder than words. If you are receiving someone’s hospitality this Christmas, express your gratitude with a gift separate to their main present. Staying somewhere for the weekend? Say thank you with a gift. Going over to a friend’s house for lunch? Ditto. Remember, not everything you give needs to be a bank-breaking gesture. Gifts can and should be a part of the everyday language of life. Explore our edit of Little Treasures here.
5. Never combine birthday and Christmas presents. This pointer will resonate particularly with those born in the wintry stretch between November and February. Even if you opt for one large and one small gift, the gesture of ignoring a birthday or Christmas (or an anniversary for that matter!) for someone you’re close to can rankle more than they might let on.
6. Think about who you’re buying gifts from. When you’re shopping, choose companies with the right values who are helping their local community. We have all, rightly, become increasingly concerned with provenance and sustainability. Ensure you’re buying from somewhere reputable with genuine concern for people and the environment.
7. The wrapping of your presents does matter. The first impression of your gift should be one of care and consideration, building excitement from your recipient. Luckily, with our gift wrapping service, we can do this bit for you adding signature paper and packaging for a beautifully presented gift. Say goodbye to hunting for scrap paper after those first few glasses of champagne on Christmas Day.
8. Our final, most succinct piece of advice is this: You are never too old for a stocking.
Each Halcyon Days piece is specifically created to encapsulate and enable great gifting experiences. Not only are they made to last, making them gifts that keep on giving, but they represent a continuation of English craft excellence with our artisans using techniques largely unchanged since their conception centuries ago. Our workshop in the West Midlands has represented the beating heart of the enamelling industry for over five decades since we revived the long since dormant craft in 1970. Otherwise, our fine bone china, meanwhile, is made by hand in the West Midlands, a stone’s throw away from where the material was invented by Josiah Spode around 1800. Finally, our enamel accessories and 100% silk scarves are all crafted and decorated by artisans in England.
Our products already tell an authentic story, now it’s time for you to imbue them with your own.
Do you have any gifting tips of your own for us, or feel that we’ve made any glaring omissions from our guide? Let us know in the comments below, or over on our Instagram page @halcyondays_uk