Baby Gifts for Office Mates

20120718-002947.jpg┬áThis last April I ran into a colleague I hadn’t seen in a very long time. When last we spoke, he had been trying (with his partner) to have a child and because physically together they are unable to conceive, “trying” is really not the fun “trying” that some of us get to do. When I saw him in April, he told me they were finally expecting and then through the modern miracle that is Facebook, this last week I saw a beautiful picture surface of him as a proud Daddy cradling a precious newborn baby. I was so overjoyed for him I started to tear-up, all I could comment was “So beautiful!” And now…what to give?
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Joint Gifts: Things To Buy Eachother

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There comes a time in every relationship when you decide (hopefully together) that an upcoming holiday or anniversary gift should be a joint gift. The trick on this one is to not loose sight of the romance and fall prey to the too practical, especially for an anniversary. Understandably, sometimes the reason for a joint gift is to buy something you need as a couple or a family but try to find something that connects you both… yes even in a blender.

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A Birthday (Crab) Bash

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When I was a kid, my father began a very cool tradition for my birthday. I’m a July baby, which made me a Cancer–the sign associated with the crab–so every year we would go to a restaurant, called Sidewalkers, where they served a Maryland-style crab-bash. If you don’t know what a Maryland-style crab-bash is, you’re missing out. Basically you sit at a table covered with brown paper, then they dump a whole bunch of seasoned crabs in the center of a table (bibs are recommended). You are armed with a mallet, cracker and small fork and then you go at it.

The last time I celebrated my birthday in this way was 1997. It was the last time my Dad was alive for my birthday. I was 22. The morning after that celebration–about twelve hours later–he had a seizure caused by a brain tumor that he didn’t know he had and he passed away just eleven weeks later. It was the last celebration I had with him before everything changed and was the end of my birthday crab-bash tradition. That was fifteen years ago.

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Gifts for Theater Geeks

I have been a theater lover for as long as I can remember. I had posters of Bernadette Peters, Terrance Mann and Patti LuPone in my room along with The Bangles, River Phoenix, Ricky Schroeder (before he was Rick), Rick Springfield and Toni Basil.

I grew up in the heart of New York City so for birthdays, I could ask for tickets to Broadway shows– Les Miserables (with aforementioned Terrance Mann), CATS (with Betty Buckley), Dreamgirls (with Jennifer Holiday), The Tap Dance Kid (with Alfonso Riberio) and Into The Woods (with Peters and Joanna Gleason)–we’re talking early / mid 1980’s and my parents were theater lovers too so they were happy to oblige. I also saw my share of productions that were probably too “adult” for a child–La Cage Aux Folles with George Hearn in 1983, which would have made me eight–but when I heard him sing “I Am What I Am,” and I could listen to it again and again and my eyes would well up every single time, I just knew that…well…there was something a bit different about me. I was a theater geek.

Below are gifts that I can say, with some authority, are great options for the Broadway Baby in your life (cue Bernadette Peters’ version now…).

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First Time Gifts: Buying for a New Boyfriend or Girlfriend

We’ve all agonized over this one at one point in our lives. The first gift. You don’t want it to be too casual or utilitarian (socks is a no-no), but it also can’t be too serious either (a watch or expensive jewelry may be too much right now too). You also may not know enough about the person to be able to really nail this gift, like if their birthday, Valentines Day or the holidays are two weeks after you’ve started dating, well, that’s a tough one, but not all is lost. Here are some ideas–from, me, the Gifting Whisperer, AND my hubby–so you’re not totally hanging out there with your downtown area exposed. This also marks my mans’ debut on giftingwhisperer.com, and I hope it’s the first of many…or at least the first of a few. Hope you enjoy his romanticism, wit and humor as much as I do.

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Hostess Gift Ideas: Summer Getaways

Summers and getaways go hand and hand, don’t they? And what better way to enjoy summer weekends than with friends and family…even better, when it’s not at your house. When you’re lucky enough to get an invite for an overnight or a weekend (score!) it’s important to be gracious and show your host the same hospitality they have extended to you, especially when it includes your brood.

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Tooth Fairy Gift Ideas

When the tooth fairy comes whether it’s for the first or the tenth time, you always want it to feel special…these moments are fleeting and before you know it they will be in braces and then a retainer which you’ll then be reminding them to pack for college and…oh, gosh I’m getting misty thinking about it.

Money is always an option and there’s lots of opinions on how to handle it: a larger amount for the first tooth (say $5), then a smaller, but consistent amount for the rest (like $1-$2); or always giving a special silver or gold coin. ┬áThe ideas I’m sharing below are if you decide not to go the cash route (I’ve always preferred not to give money as a gift).

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Gifts That Say Congratulations

Last weekend I went shopping for my friend. Not just any friend, one of my very best friends (I mentioned her in my post about skulls, she’s the one who rescued me from a street vendor). She just participated in a triathlon, yep, a real triathlon. How cool is that?!? So what do you bring to a friend who is also one of your heroes? It’s a challenge. Here are some ideas for gifts that say congrats and I’m so proud to call you my friend.

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Wedding Shower Ideas

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I must confess, most of my friends are past the wedding stage–although a handful are in the second marriage stage–but planning a wedding shower is one the most amazing things you can do for a friend and today there are so many more options for revelry than when I first got married. The list below includes some I have personally tried, but first a few questions to ask yourself:
– How adventurous is your friend?
– How many other showers will there be?
– What special interests or hobbies does the couple (or just your friend) partake in?
– Are you inviting family? How open-minded are they?
– Are you trying to make this a surprise?

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Studded and Spiked Themed Gifts For All Ages

I have a daughter, nieces and god-daughters ages 8-24 (oh, and a very cool aunt but I can’t tell you her age) and although what’s considered appropriate (or “in”) varies, I’m usually impressed and often surprised that despite decades of separation the same types of trends and looks appeal to them. Studs and spikes in some form, have been en vogue for my favorite ladies for the last few birthday and holiday seasons so I’ve earned my stripes…er…spikes.

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