Whose birthday is it this week? It's hard to manage the never-ending deluge of gifting obligations. So we offer an array of presents for your listees.
"I think the important element is the giver's thought process," says Peter Zia, owner of the Old Town Alexandria Chinoiserie boutique. Zia likes the gift-as-packaged-concept route.
"My favorite gift idea is a set of well-designed cordial glasses, paired with two sample size liqueurs and truffles with beautiful wrapping," he says. It's a gift the recipient can put away for a celebratory moment -- or rainy day. And it works for all occasions. "I've given it as housewarming and New Year's Eve presents," says Zia. And it's gender-neutral.
But simple is okay, too. Something as uncomplicated as a pair of really cool shoelaces can go a long way with an accessory-minded 6-year-old. Or a bottle of bubble bath for a stressed sister.
Another way to wow 'em is to think outside the box, says Zia. "For a newborn-baby present I never give onesies or blankets. I favor alphabetical wood blocks, colorful prints, items of keepsake value which will be treasured when the baby is a child or adult. The most recent one I gave to a friend is a Calder silk-screen print, something this baby can treasure for the rest of his life."
Remember, you don't have to set the bar too high -- birthdays come every year.
-- Janelle Erlichman Diamond