SURVIVE: My Ultimate Concierge’s Favorite Present

By Susan "Honey" Good

For many of us, shopping for the perfect gift is not a simple matter. And that, dear readers, is a truism. It is challenging to find a thoughtful gift in your price range with the ideal message. I say ideal message because most gifts have some sort of symbolic meaning.

The next few months are a busy season for gift-giving between weddings, graduations and many birthdays.

I love to shop. You may be surprised to learn that I prefer the entire process of shopping for others far more than for myself.

I began giving gifts as a little girl — picking dandelions as I walked home from school to give my mother a bouquet. I remember seeing the joy and surprise on her face and feeling good.

Buying a gift is like writing or telling a story. The thought is the beginning, the shopping is the middle and the best part, the giving, is the end. When I present my gift, my goal is to have the person’s eyes light up with pleasure. Shopping for the perfect gift does not just happen and it is oftentimes not easy, so I think of it as a project.

One should consider many things — personality, taste, favorite colors, the occasion, the lifestyle and price range when shopping for a gift.

 A Story of Gift-Giving

One morning several years ago, before the thought of writing entered my mind, I sat down at my desk to compose a poem for my ultimate concierge and husband, Sheldon Good. His sixtieth birthday was a week away.

I had no idea how to write a poem, but you would have thought I was a natural poet because the words just poured out of me. In less than 30 minutes my poem was complete and I had captured my husband to a tee. 

A few days later, I placed the typed out poem with my handwritten signature in a sterling silver Tiffany frame. This completed the first two steps of my project and I could hardly wait for the final step… giving the gift. 

At his 60 birthday dinner party, I made the presentation of his gift an event by reading it out loud to all the guests.

What made my gift so special?

It was personal and 95% of the present was an expression of my feelings. The poem was not about love, it was all about him and I must say, I nailed it. It was not a material present, but rather it had meaning. That is what your goal should be, a gift from the heart.

To this day it is his favorite present. He continues to tell me, “Your poem is the most important gift I have received in my life.” 

Just words and a frame, dear readers, made his eyes light up. To this day they still light up because it sits on a prominent shelf in our den. 

Here are some gift ideas:

  • Give a gift that has a memory attached whether it be tickets to a play, a sporting event or a concert.
  • Give something they can use such as a candle, a bottle of wine or a book. At a luncheon, a friend gave a group of us a small, yellow, ceramic colander that I use to rinse blueberries and blackberries for breakfast. Who would ever think of a colander? I think my girlfriend was very creative.

Use your imagination and make shopping a wonderful project by using your creative energy.