Venn Diagram

It's that time of year again, when the weather grows colder and we get a little closer to the ones we love. It’s a season to reconnect, to celebrate, to show our gratitude and, of course, to mediate the inevitable family feuds. Often, the time-honored tradition of exchanging presents plays a significant role in all of these activities. Of course, this puts a lot of pressure on us to “give good gift” – especially to our spouses, lovers or significant others. A parent or coworker will readily forgive a utilitarian gift (wool socks, hot water bottle, replacement gas cap), but a lover? Not likely.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all formula for the perfect present (and particularly not in the realm of sexy ones), the best gifts, whether naughty or nice, will generally be – 1. Useful – What's the point of a gift it just sits in a drawer gathering dust, soon forgotten? A great gift will serve a purpose, be it aesthetic, productive or pleasurable. 2. Personal – One person's tchotchke is another's treasure. The better suited a gift is to its recipient, the better that gift will be received. One that says "I know the real you" is the epitome of thoughtfulness. 3. Elegant – Even a carrot peeler can be elegant, so long as it’s well designed, well made, and feels good in your hand. It's not a matter of price or of superficial styling – it's an unquantifiable combination of intelligence, construction and charm. The good news is, you’ll know when you feel it. 4. Unexpected – Unique, unusual or over the top – if it's something the recipient would love but probably wouldn't justify splurging on for themselves, you’re on the right track. Looking for more ideas? Download our complete guide on How to Give Pleasure or try our Interactive Gift Wizard to find the perfect present.