Due to limited resources and unlimited wants and the fact that we can't read each other's minds, a few years ago, my friends and I decided that the best gift to give each other was no gift at all. By canceling each other's presents out, we effectively saved each other the trouble of thinking of what to get and wasting resources on something that we do no want. Instead we can concentrate our resources on what WE want, which makes complete logical and economical sense to us.
But on occasions, gifts to friends are warranted. Thank you gifts for example. More specifically for me, thank-you-for-letting-me-stay-at-your-place-rent-free-while-I-visit-the-city gifts. Getting something for your host in that case seems like the polite thing to do. But what to get? That is always a huge headache. Ideally you want to get them something that they'd want/use. Some of my ideas.
For the two times that I stayed with HG in London in the last two years, I've given her the Benefit Realness of Concealness set (left) and the Caudalie eye cream (right). Do be careful giving away concealment make-up though, because anyone not so close to you may think that you are giving them a hint about their zits and dark circles. HG and I don't have this problem, but I get the feeling that it was fun to try out but not so useful in the long term. I understand. Its hard to beat the YSL touche eclat when it comes to dark circles. Ultimately I think she liked the eye cream better since it is more useful. Something more useful and in the moment, would be just to offer to pay for something that you're doing together. For example, I treated my friend to a day at Six Flags this Thanksgiving when I visited her in San Diego (yes, I went all the way to SD just so we can drive 2 hours away to LA for Six Flags). I thought she appreciated that more than if I'd given her something like face cream- especially when I don't know which one she uses!
Even easier, you can take a page from HG and my friend T's book from when they visited me in Chicago last fall, and just treat to a meal. They treated me to my favourite thing of all- steak. A genius, clean, practical and easy gesture that is MUCH appreciated. If your host is a huge family and treating them all to steak is not economical for you, try breakfast. Any meal is appreciated.
But if you encounter a super super super nice, warm and friendly host/family who would simply never let you pay for a meal (and so probably no point trying), you can always resort to chocolates. When it comes to such a situation and there is more than one host, something that everyone likes and can be shared, like chocolate, is the best one can do. These are from See's (above). Usually I'd say go for Godiva, but their site was acting weird.
Always aspiring to be personal etc, I decided to give the more personalize gift another shot. For my weekend in Boston (this weekend), I got my friend E a black and a white kohl eye liner from Mac. I know, it sounds weird. Here are two pencils, thanks. Not exactly a very present looking present. But I like to think that they will be super useful. Who does not need black eye liner? And HG and I personally think that the Mac kohl pencils are the best (we've already converted so many of our friends to it). They go on so smoothly and it smudges less than other brands that we've tried. And the white eyeliner would be perfect to try out the white eye liner trend from last season and to just subtly open the eyes. Fingers cross she'd like it!
And those are my ideas so far. What do you all generally give as thank you gifts to people? Or am I just thinking too much about this topic?
Image Source: Sephora, Mac, See's Candies and Ruth's Chris