When whiskey just wonít do


Itís a thought that Iíve considered before. One Iíve probably shared. But itís a common problem. An ongoing problem. A problem you may have faced yourself. (And one we can visit again.)

What to get for the person that doesnít fit the mold.

I waded into the waters recently for Christmas. I wanted to get a couple of gifts sent out, and honestly couldnít think of anything new or different that might be a bit fun. And, well, maybe we need to back up a bitÖ

One of the difficulties in gift giving is that most people can fall into two scenarios: (1) When they really want something, they buy it, and therefor donít need anything (or even have anything sitting on their want-to-get list). (2) Even if they do fit into some group, or have some particular interests, it can be hard to avoid giving horrendous gifts associated with it.

In the end, you get left with three lovely outcomes:

1 - Even when you try to be thoughtful, itís far too easy to end up giving some of the most thoughtless and hideous gifts.

2 - Everyone gives them the same thing, or theming it the same way, so you end up adding something tacky or stupid to the pile.

3 - Beer. They drink beer. We buy them beer.

Donít believe me? OkÖ find someone that loves giraffes and ask them if their friends and family know they love giraffes. When they say yes, have them explain how much they love everyone knowing they love giraffes. Chances are good youíre going to hear about the most amazing giraffe gifts ever given. Yes, that means some really cool giraffe gifts. It also means some of the craziest knickknacks you could ever blankly star at with disbelief. (And, it means far more moments of disbelief.)

Now, letís face facts. If someone loves whiskey, and makes it clear which whiskeys they like, this can work out wonderfully for them. Most people know the brand or two they prefer, have shared that with family and friends, so plenty of that coming in. A small and trusted handful of people get told what they look for when tasting new brands, so every holiday and birthday can bring in a bit of something new. It can work out wonderfully.

But if you think someone loves barbecueÖ and you head out on the internet and search for best new barbecue giftsÖ umm. Letís just say a person only needs so many personalized branding irons, aprons, thermometers, and effectively useless multi-use tools. At a certain point, theyíll probably still be kind and smile when they open it, but they wonít be getting much use from the latest stainless steel this-or-that. Mainly because if they truly are that serious about their craft, they already have all of their preferred tools within reach. They donít care what you saw on television, at someone elseís house, or while you were out.

Still, it never fails. The holidays come around, and you donít want to send yet another basket of muffins or pasta or popcorn or cheese and summer sausage. But then you do, because you care about the recipient and want to send something.

Itís not that thereís anything wrong with pastries and assorted goodies. Theyíre fine. And it is the message that youíre thinking about them that means the most. I just think the majority of us really have a desire to find the perfect gift and we often end up a bit lost in the pursuit of perfection.

So, hereís my little piece of advice. Start now. Donít wait for the rush to be on to begin thinking about what you might do. And this isnít some new way of saying to shop early. But if you think the most fantastic of gift ideas is going to come to you at the last moment, I assure you it wonít. Find it now. Write it down. Order it later. (Just make sure you consider demand and shipping concerns in your delivery timing.)

Itís either that or surround yourself with whiskey lovers. (And honestly, thatís not too bad a situation if you decide to go that way.)


If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at Bob@inmybackpack.com