Tag Archives: giving

“He loves me… He loves me not.”

he loves me he loves me not

I love flowers. And receiving them even more. They are a simple way of making the recipient feel special, whether for a special occasion or just because you can.

You will never offend anyone by sending flowers.

I recently celebrated a birthday. My daughter raced to the florist in the morning, and brought home a bunch of magnificent white lilies. I don’t care how many people say that they expect receiving them, it still makes you feel happy.

Today, Valentine’s Day, is collectively the one day where flowers outdo any other festive gift. It surpasses even the chocolate of Easter.

So, I thought it just apt to write about flowers, and what type of flower suits what type of occasion.

Roses, red roses in particular, are the flower of love. Though all roses denote love, the red rose symbolises romantic love.

Yellow roses are to be sent to friends or co-workers. Pink roses are more about a secret love. White roses are for an innocent love, for family or family occasions, or even for funerals.

I discovered that carnations are for young love, though I’d say that it’s far less common nowadays than in the eighties, when carnations were at the height of their popularity.

Daisies are for loyal love and ideal for Mother’s Day. And giving your daughter lilies seems to denote purity and sweetness. And chrysanthemums are for the bonding of friendship, though probably not ideal for romantic loves.

In the British Debrett’s Guide for the Modern Gentleman, 2009, reprinted 2012:

Flowers are the perfect impromptu present, but follow these basic guidelines to ensure that you get it right;

MIXED BOUQUETS can look cheap if they aren’t of a decent size and well-styled. Instead, buy just one type of bloom, or go for just one colour.

GREENERY is also important – it’s there to bulk up the bouquet and complement the flowers.

DON’T PANIC and just pick the first blooms you recognise. Consider her tastes and style. Classic or contemporary? Minimalist or vintage? Talk to the florist. Explain the style you’re after and the occasion.

BE PREPARED to spend – you can never economise on flowers.

BUY HER FLOWERS on her birthday, on Valentine’s Day on your anniversary and on no particular occasion.

USE THE CARD that accompanies the bouquet to its full potential. For example, include details of a surprise date: “See you in the bar of the ABC Hotel at 7pm”; tell her something you find hard to say: “Thank you for being there for me’; state the obvious: “I love you”/

NEVER ORDER cheap arrangements online; never buy bunches from the supermarket or the garage; never buy carnations or chrysanthemums (the kiss of death); never send flowers as an apology without some verbal backup.

If you want to offer flowers to the host of a dinner or party, it’s best to have the florist deliver them earlier in the day of the event, so that the host has time to arrange them, so as not to be distracted when her guests are arriving. As to the arrangement, it is ideal to ask the florist what is appropriate. They will arrange something either by colour and/or by what is available for that season. Of course your budget also is a big factor, but these days to send a lovely bouquet of flowers, you would be spending about $100 (Australia dollars, or USD). It’s very easy to spend more than this. You can check if the florist has pre-prepared arrangements, as they will tend to be a easier for the florist to pack, rather than arrange on site, and may have a reduced price by the end of the work day.

Online sites for flowers are also becoming very popular and easy to use, and terrific for ordering flowers as gifts for long-distance or international deliveries.

Or going to the local flower markets is always fun, and something of a novelty if you get up early to see the action.

I once picked lavender in a field and was heady from the scents and had to mind all the bees swarming around the pollen. It was lovely to make my own lavender pouches for my dresser drawers.

If my partner came over with a bunch of flowers he picked himself, either from the flower market, or even just as he was walking home by the side of the road, I would be tickled pink… or red. But really, any colour would be wonderful.

Happy Valentine’s Day from the romantics at ETQT.

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The gift of giving

gifting

As we lead up to the days before Christmas, I have been asked to write about the art of giving gifts.

How many times have you received a gift and wondered, “why did I get that?”

I do believe that the giving of a well thought out gift is nearly impossible these days. People have access to everything, all the time. So, how do you determine if we’re all just jaded and spoilt, or if we can shift our perception and return to the source of giving?

It really is the thought that matters.

I recall when I was about 10 years old, my father gave my mother an iron for her birthday. I thought he was being very practical and thoughtful as he had noticed that mum’s iron was on the verge of dying. As you can imagine, mum did not find the gift pleasing at all. She actually threw the boxed iron at my father and declared him a heathen.

To this day, I don’t understand how a practical gift, or a sentimental gift, is deemed more or less appropriate? I may be a little odd, but I actually enjoy ironing. When my father asked me last year what I wanted for Christmas, I actually asked him for the latest, fancy steam iron. Go figure!

A girlfriend asked me recently if I thought it was acceptable to offer a child a charitable gift; a goat for an impoverished third world village, for example. I actually thought that it was a fantastic gift for children who “have everything”. Not only does it make the giver feel good, it should be a warming gift to the child, who can now also consider himself benevolent, but, at it’s very core, it is giving the gift of  life to the villagers. Obviously, it does show that the gift giver isn’t so close to the child, as it isn’t such a personal item. But nonetheless, they are generous and thoughtful enough to give a gift at all.

Another gift that has made me think is when my daughter was given a bunch of shares after her birth. I thought it very generous a gift, but every year receive statements telling how much money/shares she has. It has grown somewhat, and that’s fantastic, but it did always seem quite impersonal. Until recently, when the giver asked me how those shares were doing. After sharing the update, she was happy to admit that she originally gave those shares to my daughter so that when she was 18 or older, she could use that money to buy herself a car or maybe choose to use the funds as the deposit for something even more important. All of a sudden I thought this a terrific gesture. Well thought out and less practical than thoughtful.

I don’t know how personal or appropriate gifts are these days, so I thought I’d do the research. I’m about to offer one of my best friends a face cream that I’ve enjoyed because it minimises my wrinkles. Is this a no-no?

Well, after extensive checking, it seems that logic and thoughtfulness are the right way to choose gifts. The closer you are to the person, ie, your best friend or family, then the gift should be of a more personal and thoughtful nature. The further away you are from that person, the more generic can be the gift.

I’ve always thought that homemade gifts were more about the giver wanting to show her talents in basket weaving, than about the giving. But then, I have been known to knit a scarf or two and then pass them to friends for a lovely winter gift.

As to re-gifting. It appears that most reputable sources declare that re-gifting is a big no-no. I can’t think of anything more silly. How is it rude to give a lovely gift to someone that you’re never going to use yourself. It wouldn’t bother me in the slightest if my friends forwarded one of my gifts.

Giving makes you feel good. Receiving a gift makes you feel good. Does it really matter what it is as long as you feel good?

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