to make gift giving easier and more meaningful in the coming
year? You can make it so, by initiating a new approach
to your ongoing gift-giving practices this month.
enthusiasts I know use the term “ABC” meaning “anything
but Chardonnay” or “anything but Cabernet” to
indicate their broader approach to enjoying the grape.
In this same context, here’s my “ABW” approach
to gift-giving, meaning “anything but wine.”
just a little forethought you will find countless unique
and useful gifts other than wine that you can give for
all occasions, both corporate and personal, throughout
the year. I find the ABW approach is more fun and less
stressful than rushing out to pick up a gift at the last
minute, often saves me time and money, and results in a
more thoughtful presentation of my true feelings for the
these simple steps to achieving brilliant results from
your gift-giving efforts:
Your Eyes Open: Be on alert for gifts wherever
you go. Purchase items when you see them, especially
when they are on sale. No matter where you are, the
supermarket or pharmacy, a farmer’s market or
estate sale, pay attention to the items on display.
Ask yourself: “Is this a good gift for someone?”“Would
this be a gift I would enjoy receiving?” If the
answers are yes, buy it.
ahead of time: Stop
saying, “I’ll get it when I need it” or “I’ll
get it when I can think of a person for whom I can give
it.” Believe me; in this case that kind of thinking
doesn’t work. When you need the gift, you may not
have time to go back to the store, it may no longer be
on sale, and it may not even be available. As long as
you feel it would be a nice gift for someone, buy it!
up: Periodically use your lunch break
to getaway to a nearby store, dial up your
favorite online site, or flip through a catalogue
to see what’s new. Choose small and large
gifts for all occasions, including weddings,
new babies, housewarmings, and birthdays. See
something wonderful? Buy more than one. For
business, be sure to also include thank-you
gifts (for a job well done, the order or business,
or a referral), please-forgive-me gifts, and
a list: Make a list of all the gifts
you need to purchase for the entire year,
both business and personal. Keep the list
with you for when you see an item you like.
While it is great to have a collection of
all-occasion gifts on hand, picking out just
the right gift for an individual and purpose
makes that gift all the more special.
organized: Establish a box or
designated area to store the items you’ve
purchased. Put a piece of paper on the
box where you can easily note the gifts
you have stored inside. List the specific
people or appropriate occasion that would
be a nice fit or person you thought of
at the time of purchase, such as “paperweight
for Ron’s birthday” or “picture
frame for Jill’s wedding.” My
gift box is in a secret place in my home
to keep prying eyes from discovering their
summer birthday present that I brilliantly
purchased in February.
end result is you will always have an appropriate, well-selected
gift that’s ABW—anything but wine—whenever
you need one. Instead of stressing over being caught
at the last minute without an appropriate gift, this
year expect to hear “Oh, what a thoughtful gift.” “You
always know just the right thing to give.” “It’s
just perfect. How did you know?"
do not mistake me when I talk about ABW. Bottles of wine
are a lovely gift, especially to those who enjoy and
appreciate it. My point is that some people and companies
use wine (with or without a personalized corporate label)
as their all-occasion generic gift. It is from this context
I suggest you use the more creative ABW approach rather
than always bringing that bottle of wine to every event.
view our past Etiquette Tips of the Month, please choose a
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