For Our Olympic Hosts: Union Jack Themed Gifts

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Like many others last night, I watched Opening Ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics, actually according to Matt Lauer it was “billions” of people–not very specific, but did give a ballpark–and was I the only one wondering why Meredith Viera was co-hosting, but I digress. In honor of our Olympic hosts here is a list of Union Jack themed gifts.

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Gifts For Moms & Grandmas

July 4th Lobster Bake: Three Generations
From left to right back row: my grandmother, mom, aunt
Front row: my son (2) and daughter (4.5)
I am behind the camera

My mother’s birthday is at the end of August–sometimes falling right in the middle of Labour Day weekend (if you want further proof of this, see my earlier post on her Summertime Tea Party). What’s really interesting, or at least it was for me, is when you see your mother in action as not just “mom” but as “grandma”… particularly if this is to your children, and in my case since I was my mothers’ only child this was the only way that was going to happen. Putting on my gift-giving hat, this is a very cool challenge because I get to think about different kinds of gifts for her from my children and work with them on the selecting and assembling.

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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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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A Summertime Tea Party: Favor Ideas and More

I love having parties and gatherings celebrating special moments and it’s so fun when activities can be fun take-aways along with thematic party favors. Last summer I threw my mother a 65th birthday party. I wanted it to feel intimate and draw on themes that felt special to her so, of course, I looked to her likes and interests for inspiration. She loves tea, she’s an artist, a little quirky (in a good way) and her birthday usually falls right before Labor Day–the last official weekend of summer. I had the start of something good, I thought…now I just had to pull these pieces together and create a memorable event for my mom and our guests.

Monogrammed Gifts: Jewelry

Jewelry_GiftI’m obsessed with monograms. Maybe it’s the timelessness or that they feel so precious because they are made just for you. Regardless, I think a monogrammed gift can feel oh-so-special because it can mark a new initial (wedding), a new arrival (baby), a new milestone (graduation), or a new year (birthday) with someone special (anniversary). No matter what occasion you’re celebrating, there’s lots of options to consider.

10 Gifts Every Woman Wants From Her Mate

Guys, I know buying for the fairer sex can sometimes feel like splitting the atom so I thought I would put together this handy guide of can’t-miss gift items most woman would love to open… And bookmark this list…these are ideas you can come back to time and again. I’ve also noted some suggested occasions, this is only a suggestion, you’re free to go your own way as it were. But just a helpful hint: for an anniversary, always go with jewelry.

You’re welcome 🙂

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