Buying a gift is difficult.
We all know how hard it is. You want to delight the recipient. You want to see their face when they un-wrap it. You want to find something they would love and treasure. That's not easy.
Gifts divide into three categories.First one - a casual 'that will do' gift for a co-worker. Not too serious, box of chocolates or a gift card. Nothing personal.
Second one is bit heavier - a birthday gift. You should spend some time researching this one. Find what the other person wants. It is important especially if you are buying for your partner. If you mess it up and buy something they don't like, you'll be branded an ignorant, who's not listening. I imagine.
Now the third, the art in itself, the King of all Gifts - a Christmas gift. It comes with a yearlong expectation. It's a heavy load and can only be handled with the biggest care. It requires consultation with the in-laws, cousins and friends at work. You don't want to get it wrong.
Today I faced a challenge on the middle scale - a Birthday Gift.It couldn't be just any gift though. First, it had to pass a certain check-list. Airport security one, to be precise. It had to fit into my bag when I'm flying to Poland. As it's a hand luggage, the rules are strict. No after shave, no razor set, you get the idea.
Second - it is for my Dad. A man! That's a real challenge. I find it easier to shop for women - because I'm a woman. I can guess what they like. With the guys, it's a different story. I am clueless. Socks and underwear are an easy fix, and usually work. You can never have too many.
But this time I wanted to make an effort and find something my Dad would use in a 'special-me-time' way.
Challenge accepted.However small Liskeard is, it still has a decent number of gift shops. Some are better in catering for men then others. Yet their focus is home decor - coasters, figurines, fragrances, that sort. Not exactly man's cup of tea.
Still, I persisted. I was determined to find the perfect gift. Today.
I knew my best bet is to consult with the shop assistant - she knows her stock inside out. And it paid off. I hit the jackpot in the second store. Among the mosaic bowls and carved elephants was hiding a display just for Men. Ok, slightly new-age, but still men. Fragranced beard and moustache balms (they soften the facial hair), warming muscle rub and beer soaps (yes, beer!).
I liked the idea of a balm, but in the end my Dad wouldn't like the fragrance, it was too feminine. I picked the beer soap and a muscle rub - two things he'll definitely use. Both quirky, unusual and practical. Win, win, win! I visited one more shop and found a mango wood spectacle holder in the shape of a giant nose. Nose on a stand! It can be kept on the desk and hold the glasses. Fantastic. All items can fit in my bag and are not on the 'no-no' list. Job well done. Now fingers crossed my Dad will love them too!