- Anything from the Iomoi website. I especially love the Lucite paperweights (I recently selected "urchin pattern sky" for a friend). I also enjoy the cupcake return address labels for birthday cards I send to friends.
- A subscription to a magazine, from the New Yorker to Vanity Fair to UsWeekly. The gift that keeps on giving.
- Kate Spade iPhone and BlackBerry cases. Live colorfully!
- Liz Victory cosmetic cases and totes. Because you can't have too many totes — and every girl is in need of a fresh, non-stained travel case.
- A custom yoga mat for those friends who have the gall to be healthy. My favorite color combo is pink and preppy.
- A commissioned sketch or personalized note cards by Inslee. I adore her work so much that I have her sketches on the homepage of my website and also framed in my office.
At this point in my (very) late thirties, I don’t necessarily relish the anniversary of my birth, but I do confess to loving a beautifully wrapped, satisfying gem of a gift. My dearest friends certainly delivered last week, cushioning the cruel blow of thirty-nine.
As I opened one particularly thoughtful gift — a pair of fine cotton, drawstring pajama pants and a lovely-scented travel candle from two gal pals who know how much time I spend in hotels — I thought of what makes the perfect gift: an indulgence that you are thrilled to receive but probably wouldn’t buy for yourself.
Here are five specific gifting tips:
- Buy in advance — or at least take notes. How many times have we found the perfect card months before our cousin’s birthday? Or heard our best friend muse in a department store that she really “needs” to spice up her underwear drawer? Seize these moments and either buy in advance, allocating a drawer or shelf in your home for the collection, or record the idea in a “gift” notebook. An extreme example: I recently bought a darling Sweet Sixteen card for my Goddaughter who is only seven — but I know I will be grateful to have it in 2020!
- Gifts aren’t just for birthdays. I have two friends who always gift me upon the publication of my novels. An engraved bookmark, a bouquet of fresh flowers, or a sweet token that coordinates with my book jacket art, e.g. a tiny bootie for Baby Proof with a 2006 penny inside (the year that book was released). I cherish these gifts and love the generous spirit in which they are given. So go ahead and celebrate your friend’s new home, job, or car (or help ease the blow of a bad break-up). She will never forget the gesture.
- Try to avoid the generic candle or bath product and choose something that reflects your friend’s personal style. Having a gift monogrammed or personalized will show you thought of her way in advance of her day. And if you simply can’t resist the candle-bath product route — be sure to pick the perfect scent or color.
Editor's Note: The following is a guest post written by Emily Giffin, author of Something Borrowed and four other best-selling novels. For more from Emily, like her on Facebook.
Last Fall, I was in a coffee shop, trying to write, when I struck up a lively conversation with a charmingly suave, but not too suave, guy on an adjacent fireside couch. He had nice hair, warm eyes, and was wearing satisfyingly distressed Levi’s paired with manly boots — part cowboy, part John-Varvatos cool.
Through our chat, I learned that he was single and looking for, in his words, "a kind girl." I swooned in a married-girl sort of way, and then, on a whim, snapped his photo with my phone. Later that afternoon, I posted it on my Facebook fan page, sure that there would be some takers in the 404. Within an hour, there were over two-hundred comments from girls in Atlanta and all over the country. Parker Estep became an instant cult figure on my page, and my moonlighting matchmaking career was born.
Find out more below!
As a writer of popular women's fiction, including Something Borrowed and Heart of the Matter, and a lover of all things pop culture, I am thrilled to be a guest blogger for TrèsSugar. I look forward to sharing with you my girly pursuits — from my latest must-read books to all the relationship advice that comes my way as the author of five best-selling books about love and friendship. I can't wait to hear from you as we go along; please keep me posted on your latest obsessions, too! Stay tuned for my first post, going live tomorrow.