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X-mas brainteaser

10.12.2009 | Yevhenia Kraskova

Kyiv designer Kristina Bobkova and an etiquette expert Halyna Yatsenyuk guided Weekly.ua on a shopping spree for Christmas presents

A nice gift gives the person who chose it much greater satisfaction than the one who receives it. But choosing a present is always a brainteaser. Every Christmas you scratch your head thinking what to buy for your relatives, friends and colleagues at work. In this issue Weekly.ua decided to make this task a bit easier for its readers

Photo: Shutterstock

For successful
business people
If you dont know a person that well there is no need to be so original when it comes to gift-giving. In this case, you are better off presenting the person with a classical gift such as a crystal paper weight for the office desk or a set of expensive pens. In short, the gift should be practical.


Halyna Yatsenyuk
Expert consultant
on etiquette
Presenting a woman an alcoholic beverage or smoking accessories, even if she smokes, is considered improper. Sweets are not an appropriate gift for a man, unless he is intimately close to you. Presenting a stranger toiletries, lingerie and clothing is taboo. House pets are also not an appropriate gift without the prior consent of the person you are presenting them to. Naturally, avoid giving gifts with an open hint at a persons flaws that may offend them.
A bouquet of flowers is not the most appropriate gift on New Years Eve. In Europe presenting Christmas flowers in a pot is customary. If you celebrate New Years Eve at somebodys home, you should present the homeowners a gift. It should be elegantly wrapped and presented to the host in their living room, not in the foyer. If you are going to someones home as a couple, the proper etiquette is for the man to present the gift to the hosts. Properly educated hosts should immediately unwrap the present, admire it and show their gratitude.
If you are invited to celebrate some occasion in a restaurant, you should bring a gift for the inviting host. Since the host would feel uncomfortable unwrapping the gift on the spot, all you need to do is attach a personal card with your name on it. This way the recipient can call to thank you for the gift.


If you know the person closer, the gift can be more original. Today presenting easels and a set of paints is in vogue. Such a gift would be suitable even if the recipient never held a paintbrush in their life. A pair of pointes and a season ticket to dance lessons make a popular gift. After all, these days dance and painting are the in thing, Bobkova recommends. A smoker would be thrilled by a classy lighter as a gift, while a digital photo frame is a suitable gift for anyone. If a person is into collecting anything, you can supplement their collection with some object of their passion. But in order to not go wrong, you would be well advised to consult a specialist and find out what your collector doesnt have, but have always dreamt of having in their collection, Bobkova advised.

For your co-workers
To create a festive atmosphere and add an element of intrigue, buy a bunch of small souvenirs, put them in an aesthetically appealing X-mas bag and pass it around the room for everyone to pick out a surprise gift. This will be fun for all, especially since New Years presents from management are usually predictable and boring.
Calendars with the company logo are considered the universal New Years gift for employees, says etiquette specialist Halyna Yatsenyuk. The second most popular gifts are daily planners, calendars and pen sets with the companys logo. The only way to diversify these gifts is to present them in an original wrapping, says Yatsenyuk.

For lovers
Perfumes are an appropriate gift for spouses as long as you choose the right scent. Exclusive toiletries or clothing are also appropriate gifts, but only for those close to you. Such intimate gifts would be inappropriate for strangers.
A cell phone is one of the most popular and practical gifts for the New Year. Young couples that just began a relationship cant go wrong with jewelry as a present, as trite as it may seem. An out of the ordinary gift is an orchestra performing a song under your lovers balcony accompanied by dozens of balloons, Bobkova recommends.
Spouses often expect from one another a practical gift. They should not be as expensive as a birthday present, but more expensive than gifts on February 23 and March 8 (Mens Day and International Womens Day respectively). You can present your wife a jewelry item that bedazzled her or a fur coat, Bobkova added.

For the parents
The gifts you present to your parents should show how much you care about them and bring them a feeling of comfort and warmth. For example, a warm and cuddly blanket, arm chair covers or a nice tea set are perfect gifts for mom and dad. If you feel your parents have spent too much time at home, buy them a tour package to some warm and exotic country, where they can relax and forget about their everyday troubles.
You can present your parents a blow-up portrait photograph of them. Generally speaking, elderly people prefer more practical gifts such as household appliances, curtains or a good book, says Bobkova.

Photo: Shutterstock

For friends
If your friend is an intellectual, present him or her a chess set with crystal figures and a mirrored board. A brainteaser is also in vogue. Girls love brainteasers in the shape of a heart, while guys prefer them in cubic form. If your friend is an adventurer present to them a flask, a watch in the form of a compass, a huge globe or a can with his name on it or a watch with compass or a large illustrated encyclopedia.

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