I want to be a lot of things, but I think one of the coolest things one can be is a great giver of gifts.
I think there are three (3) keys to solid gift-giving:
Quality means it’s just a great thing for the person to have. It could be useful, or it could be decorative, but either way it’s the type of thing that makes the receiver say, “Wow.” whenever they think about it.
Personalization means that the gift is customized to them, i.e. you couldn’t just buy 100 of them and ship them out to everyone you know. The more personalized the better.
Effort means you sacrificed in some way to make the gift happen. This could have been financial, or political capital, or time spent making something with your hands. It was personally non-trivial, basically.
[ NOTE: Effort often magnifies Quality, but we’ll ignore that for the purposes of this system. ]
So let’s say that 1000 is the maximum score you can get, by multiplying possible scores of 10 in each area.
Just to give some flavor, making someone a custom reading chair, with your hands, over the course of 3 years, because they like to read on their porch so much…that’s a 1000.
A magnet from a gift shop? That’s a 12, depending on the magnet.
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What I’d like to do is come up with a core set of quality gifts. This violates rule number 2 to some degree, but I’m still going to customize who gets which gift based on who they are. So I get some points there.
But I know for certain that there have been like 20 things I’ve seen throughout my life that I instantly wished I had given to someone, or that someone had given to me, because they were just so damn cool.
They’re the types of things you see and say, “Holy crap! I didn’t even know this existed!” They don’t have to be expensive. Just relatively rare, and usually useful.
I’m making a list of those, and I’m going to give them to people. It’s going to be rad.
A working list
So here’s what I’m going to start with. I’ll put this in Github soon as well.
The Thing Explainer book
A badass Timbuk2 bag, in their favorite colors
A custom letter stamp for couples / families
A large, mounted print of the Hubble deep field image
A semi/custom pocketknife by William Henry or similar
A set of top-tier copper cups for Moscow Mules
An Aeropress coffee system
An Anker USB hub
I could really use some help adding to this list. If you know something spectacular like I talked about above, let me know.