It's great when you're a couple or perhaps sharing a house with flatmates and your partner or friend receives a gift that the whole house can share. Welcome to the joy of 'gilded' gifts - the gift given to one person that everyone gets to appreciate. The whole premise of giving a gift of this nature is to make it appear that the gift is for the other person. It needs to be packaged and presented with a card. Clearly define that you are the giver giving to the receiver. Never let the gift receiver know that you yourself wanted this gift... badly. Following are a few clever 'gilded' gifts that you have coveted, but can cover up what is clearly a gift for yourself, as a gift for friends or family.
HOMEWARES An old favourite of 'gilded' gift givers is homewares but be sure to live in the same house as the recipient to get maximum satisfaction of your gift. Think coffee machine, blender or other appliances. A coffee machine is a sure winner because it is neatly disguised as a grand gift gesture, though you must make sure the recipient is a coffee drinker otherwise your plans will be unmasked.
Do not give: vacuum cleaners or other cleaning appliances. This is a personal affront to your gift recipient and will not be accepted graciously.
MANCHESTER (LINEN) No, not the place. Though, interestingly enough Manchester (the place) was the centre of the English cotton industry during the 18th and 19th centuries. So, probably where the word manchester originated. But, to put it in layman terms, we're talking sheets and towels. These are more of a couples gift (as in husband to wife or vice versa) and as such you had best make sure you buy the really nice stuff. Think Egyptian cotton and over 500 thread count for sheets. Try buying a comforter to make your bed super soft or an electric blanket for winter. Make sure you convey the message that you are buying these gifts because you want your loved one to have a good nights sleep... and prepare to reap the rewards my friend!
Do not give: bathmats or blankets. Nothing conveys lack of romance like these two gifts.
TRAVEL Tickets to tropical or romantic destinations are the best gifts you can give and you know what... you have two tickets! One for them and one for you! Choose a destination you know you will love but make sure it has something in it for them too. For example, if you're a massive sports fan, don't plan your trip around the event of your favourite team. Too obvious. Instead, book accommodation on the beach and make sure the main bar has a flat screen with satellite. Now that's compromise.
Do not give: tickets to a fishing trip when your partner gets severe sea sickness.
DINNER & A MOVIE An old classic, dinner and a movie is lovely gesture... and one that you don't want your partner or friend going alone. So, be the good person that you are and join them! Now, dinner can't be at a fast food restaurant - that's a big no-no. Nothing says you want to get the evening done with as quickly and cheaply as possible by a visit to one of these 'restaurants'. No, we're talking a nice place with tablecloths, cutlery, a waiter and a bottle of wine. You're paying for the taxi ride home but you get enjoy a glass or two and a nice meal. The movie should be something you'll both enjoy. Pay attention to what your friend enjoys or you could do more harm than good.
Do not give: joyrides through drive-throughs.