Now that the holiday season has come and gone, purchasing more gifts is probably the last thing on your mind. Unfortunately, it’s only a matter of time before you’ll have to acknowledge an occasion by sending a gift, or you’ll be invited to a function where it would be inappropriate to show up empty-handed regardless of the time of year. If you have no idea what to purchase for that special someone, there is no reason to become anxious because assistance is readily available in Robyn Freedman Spizman’s ultimate gift-giving guide, The Giftionary: An A-Z Reference Guide for Solving Your Gift-Giving Dilemmas... Forever!
This informational guide’s formatting parallels a dictionary's, and it is likely the author intends it to be used as a reference tool as opposed to something you would read cover to cover. The gift suggestions center on twenty-six categories, from A (anniversary gifts) to Z (zero-cost gifts) and covers everything in between ranging from K (gifts for kids), M (gifts for mothers, grandmothers, and new moms), and T (gifts to say thanks). Each chapter sets out some general gift-giving sentiments (such as that get-well gifts (“G”) are important to make a patient heal both physically and mentally, and the need to purchase office gifts (“O”) is quite common since most of us spend the better part of our day at work.
After these introductory remarks, each chapter offers dictionary-like entries that offer a wide range of creative gifts ideas suitable for specific occasions such as a wedding, a specific recipient such as a senior citizen, or a specific category such as a gem or birthstone. The guide does an excellent job of presenting a wide variety of gifts, offering a range of prices (from no-cost to more extravagant) and a wide range of effort levels required to put together an appropriate present.
While the book is a unique and potentially useful resource, I found its ideal place in my life is as a starting point that I could modify to suit my lifestyle and relationships. Many of the ideas represent gifts I would never fathom passing along, but I did find a lot of ideas that could serve as a springboard for ideas that I would be thrilled to pass along. For example, while I agree that giving a friend who found a new career opportunity a monogrammed business card case is a great idea, I am not so keen on enclosing a note saying "I knew success was in the cards for you." Along these same lines, while I cannot see myself presenting a friend hosting a house-warming party with a plunger, drain snake, bottle of drain unclogger and tube of caulk along with a note saying “Glad you took the plunge. Here are some of life’s little necessities,” I could envision presenting them with a basket full of basic kitchen utensils to get them started in their new home.
Overall the guide does present a wealth of information and it has great potential to brighten the days of others, particularly those who truly believe it is better to give than receive. So, in the event your father has one too many silk ties, your mother doesn’t need any more bath oils, and your friends already have a fully-stocked wine rack, head to your local bookstore to buy yourself The Giftionary, and let the gift-giving begin!