I have at home, what I call my "gift cupboard". Only it's not the Martha Stewart variety stationed in the flower room with handmade wrapping papers and colour-coded reels of ribbon at the ready. No, no. My gift cupboard is a just a euphemism for what is literally just hidden stashes of "stuff" that I, the Chief Home Economist, have bought and put away for later. You know those "Buy 2, get a 3rd Free" signs? I'm the chump who buys three, when I only need one. And what happens to the two spares? Well, despite my utter conviction at the time that they'll be awesome for my sister-in-law's birthday, they never seem quite right when the time comes around. Or I simply just forget and buy something else.
In fact, just the other day two avocado slicers fell ominously from an over-crowded shelf in my cupboard and when I poked a little deeper and found half a dozen packets of mop slippers, it dawned on me...this whole 'buy now, save later' thing... might not be working!
The concept of a gift cupboard has merit. A quick search on Google produced this inspirational quote from one person:
"My gift cupboard is both a money and a sanity saver. Since I make a point of regularly collecting gift-worthy items while out and about on my various "treasure hunting" expeditions, it's rare that I have to make a special trip to shop for a gift. Instead, I open up my gift cupboard, and voila! The perfect item is right there waiting for me. I really don't know how I survived before I had my trusty gift cupboard!"
So next time my husband goes hunting for new batteries and instead finds the stash of mop slippers and other brilliant gifts I'm keeping for loved ones, I will have this quote memorised. Hoarding for World War III. What me? Absolute nonsense.
The reality is, when it comes to gift-giving, timing and a degree of spontaneity play significantly in how you feel at the giving end. When you find something that seems the perfect gift for someone, most often it's to do with a recent memory you have of them. If you leave it waiting too long, it can start to lose relevance. Sometimes it's to do with the season (woolly gloves in summer) and sometimes fashion can suddenly change on you (wine corkscrews, pot pourri...even plain white bath towels, once all the rage).
Regardless, people do change, and so do our relationships. A gift from the heart is always the best kind of gesture. Don't be afraid to be impromptu and give something for no occasion at all other than that you came across it, and it feels right. Stashing things away for later might just mean losing the moment.