The gift drawer is a clever invention. I cannot credit who came up with the idea or how I came to have one. But I do, and I went through it yesterday to see what I had and what I needed to restock.
What is it then? Exactly what it sounds like. A drawer (or in my case, a box) full of little things that make good gifts, the kind of thing it’s good to have around when you forget birthdays until the same day, someone gets a promotion, name days (a certain easter influence in my life and to some select people this matters) and something to give to the host and hostess if should, against all odds, be invited to dine at someone else’s house. Nothing very personal or grand but just thoughtful knick-knacks. Some are better at the art of the gift drawer then I but these are the kind of things I try to keep on hand.
- Hand creams. Look at any gift guide around Christmas and invariably hand creams are included as “stocking-stuffers” or for cases of secret Santa, and with good reason. They are useful and nowadays there are many that smell rather unisex so they can be given to men to. They need them just as much. I like the ones from Other Stories, especially the one called “Moroccan tea”. The scent is a hit with pretty much everyone.
- Fans. I’ve spoken about these before (in fact I may have written this whole post before). Usually found in Asian supermarkets but is also a great thing to stock up on trips. Such a good thing to in the handbag but people rarely think about them, until I give them one and totally change their lives.
- Books, poetry in particular. I no longer lend books because I’ve lost a few ones I really loved and having to nag to get them back is the worst. And it’s always the books I love and get excited about that I loose. So inspired by my friend Van I now by nice copies of books I love plus Penguin little black classics so that I have a few things to give away if I want people to read it. There has to be a certain trade-off between how likely it is that they have read it already and if they want to. But lucky for me I love non-fiction on diverse subjects and many of those are suitable for a surprising amount of people. I will start buying A time of gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor in bulk as it is a brilliant book that touches on many subjects and thus makes a great gift. Little books of poetry are also great gifts as it is the kind of thing that people don’t often buy for themselves and it takes up no room if they don’t read it.
- Notebooks. And pens. It’s a truth universally acknowledged that everyone loves notebooks. Moleskins can even get men excited. Not everyone uses them but they love them. Lacroix makes ridiculous notebooks that I think that everyone should have, this is something I picked up I don’t know where. But it says “Kitchen notes” on it so I might give it to someone who likes to cook. This is also a good thing to stock up on when traveling.
- Nice bags for toiletries, shoes etc. There are so many tote bags with funny things printed on the side that I don’t know where to start. And we should all reduce our use of plastic bags so give someone the gift of helping them reduce environmental degradation, and be organized when doing it.
- Stirring glasses. As I’ve mentioned before I buy nice stirring glasses when I find them in antique shops and at flea markets. They make excellent gifts and can in addition be used as decoration or vases.
- A nice set of playing cards. Or a Yatzy. Or the classic Swedish game “Throw the pig”. Cheap and fun. Everyone loves to have one of these around.
What gifts do you find yourself buying over and over again for people?