Nifty Gift­ing

Sure, it may be the thought that counts. But when you have some­thing cool, quirky and mem­o­rable un­der wraps, it counts just a lit­tle bit more

Business Traveler (USA) - - TALKING POINT - By Yvonne Yorke

As the Earth runs her course about the Sun for another year, the North­ern Hemi­sphere slips into shorter days while south of the equa­tor, the tan­ta­liz­ing rays of spring are break­ing through. In many lands the tra­di­tional sea­son of gift-giv­ing is upon us. Although we’ve been taught to ap­pre­ci­ate the gift-giver, it’s nonethe­less im­por­tant to con­sider the na­ture of the gift and the way it’s pre­sented. After all, it can have a di­rect bear­ing on how the gift is re­ceived – and per­ceived – by the re­cip­i­ent.

In an ever-glob­al­iz­ing business world, it’s prob­a­bly a good time for a quick, and by no means ex­haus­tive, list of some cul­tural do’s and don’t’s that em­bel­lish the art of giv­ing and re­ceiv­ing.

In much of Asia, red and gold are lucky col­ors. Choose wrap­ping pa­per ac­cord­ingly. That oh-so thought­ful gift will lose some of its charm if it’s stylishly wrapped in white or black – those are col­ors as­so­ci­ated with fu­ner­als.

Send­ing flow­ers can be a thought­ful ges­ture. But in Europe, send an odd num­ber. Don’t send red roses of any num­ber (too per­sonal) and never send chrysan­the­mums (they’re used for fu­ner­als).

Re­con­sider the lux­u­ri­ous leather ap­point­ment book for your col­league in In­dia, where Hindu tra­di­tions re­gard cows as sa­cred.

Go out and buy another tum­bler to add to the 4-piece crys­tal set be­fore you send it to your Chi­nese friend. Four is an un­lucky num­ber in China, and four of any­thing is a gift-giv­ing gaff.

Thought­fully cho­sen gifts that be­speak your own cul­ture and na­tional her­itage can make mem­o­rable im­pres­sion. A pack­age of high-qual­ity Cal­i­for­nia cit­rus fruit could be deeply ap­pre­ci­ated by your Ja­panese col­leagues, and bot­tles of South­ern bar­be­cue sauce travel well prac­ti­cally any­where in the world.

Gifts for business col­leagues are one thing. But when it comes to pick­ing some­thing for fam­ily, close friends or some­one spe­cial, spot­ting the gift that has just the right touch can be a daunt­ing task that seems to ab­sorb much time and at­ten­tion this time of year. To help out, here’s our eclec­tic guide to a fes­tive string of whim­si­cal and won­der­ful must-have prod­ucts and new col­lec­tions from the prac­ti­cal to the fan­ci­ful.

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