In an online survey by gift website www.itsinthestarsonline.com, respondents were asked about the last gift they sent interstate or overseas and how people thanked them.
Most people (35.7%) were thanked by a phone call, or text message (20.5%). An equal proportion of respondents were thanked by email or weren’t thanked at all (12.5% each), followed by those who received a card or note (9.8%), or a shout-out on facebook (8.9%).
Baby Boomers (those aged 46-64) were most likely to have been thanked in writing (30.8%) and twice as likely to see a handwritten card as meaningful (60.7%). Is this because they’re older and more likely to get them from their peers?
While only 3.7% of Gen Xers and 3.2% of Gen Ys received handwritten cards, surprisingly, and somewhat poignantly for these technologically advanced times, they were 15 times more likely to prefer being thanked in writing (48.5%, 48.3%).
Gen Xers were the most likely group to nominate phone calls (34.5%) as a meaningful way of saying thank you AND they were the only group to select SMSs (6.9%). Gen Ys thought it had more meaning to be thanked on facebook (15.2%) (is this because more people would see their thanks – interesting!) while Baby Boomers sought emails (14.3%).
An overwhelming 97.5% of respondents said they would feel appreciated and willing to making a bigger effort with the recipient’s next gift if they were thanked with a handwritten note. Baby Boomers who are not thanked are most likely to feel sad (45.8%) while Gen Xers and Gen Ys who feel unappreciated won’t make an effort again (56.4% and 48.4% respectively).
The generations have quite different reasons for why they would thank someone interstate or overseas with a handwritten cards. Gen Xers believe gift-givers really appreciate handwritten notes (55.2%), perhaps not surprisingly, Baby Boomers say their parents taught them to send them (26.9%), while Gen Ys send handwritten cards after a particularly nice gift (27.3%), or when they have the stationery to do so (18.2%). Perhaps nice stationery is a gift in itself!
So when do manners start?
Six in ten Baby Boomers (60.7%) don’t believe today’s parents teach their children to say thank you, Gen Xers are sitting on the fence on this one (50% each) while Gen Ys do think today’s kids are taught manners (65.7%).
Overall, either Gen Ys don’t seem to expect children should thank people via calls, cards, email, or SMS – or they don’t believe kids can do so from a particularly young age – compared to Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.
Most respondents (78.2%) said kids five and under could call (of course, the parents can dial the number for them!), or write (even paint) a thank you note (49.6%), while those children aged eight or more could definitely thank them via text (77.3%) and email (63.9%).
Counterintuitively, Baby Boomers seem to think kids may be more technologically advanced than they really, with this generation stating that those children aged eight or more can send texts (82.1% compared to to 69.7% of Gen Ys who believe this) or emails (67.8% vs 60.6%).
Most Gen Xers believed children aged under five years can thank them on the phone (93.0% vs only 61.6% of Gen Ys) and write thank you cards (59.7% vs 30.4%).
It’s In The Stars at www.itsinthestarsonline.com has been delighting couples and parents with tis beautifully designed astrology reports as gifts, helping them to understand each other and their children. The company regularly conducts gift-related surveys.]]>
You’ll need to keep a watchful eye AND the receipt if you’re ordering (or selling!) any gifts between early June through to early August.
Mercury is the planet of communication. Four times per year, it appears to “go backwards” or retrograde in the universe for about three weeks, but he also slows down for about two weeks prior, and then takes a further two weeks to fully retrace his steps, creating up to seven weeks of projects going AWOL.
You might encuounter problems with your car, mobile phone, landline phone, printer, laptop, computer access, emails, postal deliveries, couriers, contracts, customers, agents and suppliers. Of course, these things also happen when it is not Mercury retrograde, but here, they can happen on a near-daily basis for weeks.
Mercury doesn’t muck about and like an Indian goddess has endless ability to do several things at once. When Mercury retrogrades, the possibility of mistakes across a raft of projects snowballs. Clearly, you could have a lot of “fun” with a wedding gift registry. Or not.
During this time, you may play phone, email, text, contract and/or meeting tag with people who are sick, on annual leave, unable to get approval, complete or proceed until the day Mercury turns direct.
During Mercury retrograde, you must triple-check information to the point of embarrassment:
As a gift-giver, you are much more likely now to make mistakes in selecting the wrong size, style, colour, dimensions, or quantity, or entering the wrong name or delivery address, resulting in returns, refunds and exchanges.
Customer service assistants may hastily scribble your phone number, so the “6” looks like an “0”, for example, so your number has become non-existent. At best, you will call back the website or store annoyed that they haven’t rung you.
However, Mercury retrograde IS actually very good for gift-giving research.
Start asking people their favourite colours, designers, artists, fabrics, foods and scents (they’ll forgotten you’ve asked by the time their birthday rolls around). Look through your old receipts to see what you bought them last year. Surf through your gift recipient’s Pinterest or facebook pages for inspiration, looking at what they liked or pinned.
Mercury retrograde occurs June 26 through July 20 2013 the planet will start slowing down on June 10. You won’t really be in the clear until August 4 when it has fully retraced. Be prepared for a much higher customer return and refund rate than usual and please folks, keep your receipts!]]>
One way is when the retailer increases its prices. For example, a $20 might get you 4 cups of coffee this year—but if you decide to use it only next year, you might end up getting only 3, or worse, 2, cups for it! Inflation is a deadly thing, and you might end up on the losing side if you neglect your gift cards.
Fees can also bog down the worth of your gift cards. If you let it go unused for a long time, the retailer or merchant might impose inactivity fees, dormancy fees, maintenance charges—practically any other kind of fee that you can think of and that can make your gift card less valuable than its actual worth.
If you are from the US, there’s a federal law for gift cards sold after August 22, 2010. The retailer can’t impose inactivity fees unless the gift card has not been used for more than a year, and even then there can only be one fee every month. This means that if you don’t want to be hit with that fee, you better use the gift card within a month.
The same law states that gift cards sold after the same date cannot expire for at least five years from the date of purchase. The worst that can happen is that you forget you even had a gift card for a good five years—and discover that you can no longer use it.
The bottom line, really, is that gift cards are given as gifts. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t go treat yourself to something you like from the retailer store. That is, after all, what your gift-giver intended.]]>
You might be disappointed, but there’s no grand reason behind these anniversary gifts. None other than Emily Post perpetuated these traditions back in 1922 by releasing an etiquette book on the subject. It only contained suggestions for five key anniversaries at that time, until the American National Retail Jewelers Associations filled in the gaps for certain anniversaries like the second and third years.
According to tradition, for the first wedding anniversary, something made of paper is the ideal gift. On the fifth and tenth anniversaries, wood and tin/aluminum respectively are the best gifts. For the 15th anniversary, crystal is the traditional gift. The 20th year is usually marked by china. The 25th and 50th years are celebrated with a bit more glamour, as silver and gold are the traditional gifts.
As you can see, not a lot of these gifts don’t make as much sense now in the 21st century as it probably did back in the early 90’s. Just think about it: where can you find a gift made of aluminum that’s remotely elegant?
That’s why there are modern traditions that can mark the celebration of anniversaries. For the first anniversary, a clock is the ideal gift. The 5th anniversary can be celebrated by silverware. Going into the 10th anniversary, diamond jewelry is the best celebratory gift. For the 15th anniversary, watches make for great gifts. The 20th anniversary is best celebrated with platinum. As for the 25th and 50th, the silver and gold respectively remain the best gifts.
Traditions change with the times. Should you get invited for a 5th wedding anniversary, you don’t want to get stuck with the early 1900’s mindset and arrive with something made of wood, do you? You better update your checklist, and keep up with the changing times!]]>
Thankful Registry takes its name from gratitude to the gift givers—a starting point that aims to make wedding gifting through registries more personable and meaningful.
Thankful does this by overhauling the traditional design of other wedding registries. While other wedding registries almost feel like a shopping list filled with items that guests are simply supposed to buy and go, Thankful makes an effort to make the registry look more welcoming. This starts with a cover image that the couple can personally pick from their engagement shoot or a lovely vacation in the past.
To add to the personal touch of the wedding registry, Thankful will also allow the couple to add gifts from virtually everywhere through a simple bookmarklet.
And because it recognizes the versatility of modern lifestyles, couples can add categories from Delicious treats to exciting Journeys.
What’s great about Thankful is the hospitable vibe and thoughtful design that aren’t found in other wedding registries. But the question still remains: does it really change the transactional nature of wedding registries that most people complain about?]]>
Gftr, which was launched by a group of entrepreneurs based in New York, promises not to be your ordinary, run-of-the-mill group gifting service.
While other crowdsourcing gifting sites impose a minimum amount for a gift contribution, Giftr allows for gifting in varying amounts through Facebook. A distant friend can give as little as $5, while a closer friend can contribute $300.
There’s also a social awareness angle to Gftr—if the value of the contributions exceeds the gift’s worth, the excess can be contributed to charity.
Currently, Gftr is compatible with Facebook. Its founders, however, are planning to branch out to other social networking sites like Twitter.
There’s not much that sets Gftr apart from other similar services, but it’s certainly trying to make a difference. What else are you looking for in a group gifting site that Gftr can possibly bring to the table?]]>
Surprise your friends with fun and amazingly accurate astrology readings as part of your special event!
Let me know your friends’ birth details ahead of time and I’ll come prepared with everyone’s charts, so we can have fun discussing your personality traits and what’s coming up for you in the future. All we need is a quiet spot for chatting!
I’m based in Melbourne, Australia but will travel interstate by arrangement.
Everyone adores hearing all about themselves and it could make your party the one everyone talks about! Book me now!]]>
Honeymoon Pixie adds a personal touch, too. Engaged couples can record videos that can be sent to the guests, sharing their enthusiastic plans about the upcoming honeymoon. The video will then be uploaded in the web so guests can view it easily from the Internet.
The problem with gift registries cited by most people are their lack of personal touch; that’s what Honeymoon Pixie wants to address by letting the couple speak to the guests in a warm, more direct approach, allowing them to connect with their guests through the lens.
What do you think of Honeymoon Pixie’s unique twist?]]>
This isn’t groundbreaking technology. There are test-grading equipment that does just that. But many teachers have smartphones, which is why teacher Walter Duncan created Quick Key, an app that uses a smartphone’s camera as a test-scanner.
The app compares the correct pattern of answers to the answer sheet corresponding to the test-taker who is identified by a QR Code. Checking with Quick Key takes no more than a few minutes—compared to the hours that a teacher would usually spend on the same task.
With Quick Key, your teacher can spend more time working on his study plan and less time checking paper after paper. The best gift you can give your favorite teacher and his or her future students, if you ask me!]]>
1. Make it all about the bride
You might be tempted to steer the attention from the bride every now and then. Well, the bridal shower is not one of those times. The wedding day is about the bride and groom, but the bridal shower is the only occasion that puts the spotlight on the bride alone. From the colors to the guests, make everything about the bride.
2. Go for the unconventional
Don’t be afraid to color outside the lines and put a little modern flair on the celebration. The guests must have probably gone through several other bridal showers that are exactly the same, so why don’t you make this bridal shower a bit different?
3. Explore the possibilities
Don’t be afraid to go for the unconventional. You can hold the party in a typical tea room. But it can also be a garden and even a bowling arena.
4. Be simple
Find the balance between perfectionism and simplicity. Don’t obsess over the details and learn to put first things first.
5. Invite the groom in
In the recent years, grooms have been made appearances in bridal showers. If the guests of the bride aren’t personally acquainted with the groom just yet, this is the perfect opportunity.
6. Delegate, delegate, delegate
Try to do everything by yourself and you’ll soon find yourself burned out with all the responsibility. Planning bridal; showers are supposed to be fun, so invite all the bridesmaids in!
7. Don’t forget to thank people
It doesn’t have to be something expensive. In fact, a simple and short note of thanks on a stationery is enough to let the guests know how grateful you are for their presence – and also for their bridal shower gifts.
8. Document the event
The bridal shower will go down as one of the most memorable events in the bride’s life, so you better have a great photographer who will capture the moments .
9. Enjoy the party
An easy enough rule, yet most people forget to do this: enjoy the party! This is your time to relax, so loosen up a little and celebrate the occasion!
Enter NeverMissGift, which proudly describes itself as a gift management system that allows gifters to match the perfect age-apporpriate gifts for kids.
It is especially made for professionals who don’t have children and are often out of the loop regarding what’s hit and popular among youngsters. All you have to do is register a child’s details—the likes and the age among others. Next, enter your budget and the delivery information.
The gift will then be matched weeks ahead before the actual occasion. You can select the top pick from two choices. Once you’ve made your choice, the gift will be purchased and delivery to the birthday kid will be done.
What’s most interesting about this new gifting service is how specific its niche market is. Other gifting sites try to cast the net as wide as possible, while NeverMissGift knows who its target audience is.
If you’re a professional yourself without any children, would you use this gifting service?]]>
Have a night out, just the two of you
Treat your mum to an elegant dinner at a local restaurant. You don’t have to spend that much, there are local restaurants that offer discount coupons. Use these to your advantage, and treat your palate to great flavors within your area.
Stick to tradition
If for years you’ve been getting your mum flowers or chocolates for Mother’s Day, you don’t want to break that tradition to your mum’s disappointment. The best you can do is prepare beforehand by ordering online or getting the same item at a daily deal site. This way, you get a discount relative to the price you usually pay.
Try a new activity
Your mum could use a breath of fresh air, meet new people, and perhaps revive her zest in life. The solution? Get her to try a new activity or hobby that is within her sphere of interests! You can even join her, for more bonding time together.
Perhaps you can put a new spin on Mother’s Day and start a new tradition by donating to charity. She’ll surely appreciate a donation in her name for worthy causes within the community. You can check out Groupon Grassroots for some amazing ideas.
Let her enjoy her hobby in a different way
Does she love reading? Get her a ebook! Does she love talking to you, but often can’t reach you through the telephone? Buy her a mobile phone or a tablet.
Treat her to designer goods
If you can afford it, you can scout for clothing, jewelry, and shoes. You can’t go wrong with fashion!
Find inspiration online
There are websites like Groupon that can help you find awesome gift ideas for your loved ones.
So my fiancee and I are getting married in October this year in Sydney. We live in Melbourne. About a third of the guests are flying in from overseas or interstate which means we have to get our wedding invitations printed earlier than usual to allow people to RSVP by September.
It’s pretty common now to include a card for your wedding gift registry – if you’re having one – with your invitation, which is why we’re doing this five months ahead of our wedding.
I have had to traipse around David Jones trying to identify the mysteriously named item and product number in their bridal registry printout only to find it’s out of stock.
I have also had to guess what they would like when they haven’t included a gift registry – and for the record, most couples really, really want you to select what they’ve included on their registry, because they’ve taken many, many hours to compile it.
I am not personally a fan of wishing wells where you give couples money. A honeymoon fund, a renovation fund, even a baby fund is different, but even then I prefer to buy them something specific, such as a beautiful dinner, a scuba dive or a wine-tasting tour, not just hand over $100 or whatever to wonder what they did with it.
And we’re renovating our little house. So it made sense to use a universal registry – MyRegistry.com where you can add items from any website.
This weekend we’ve been discussing what we’d like to add to our gift registry and that was quite time-consuming. We’ve added items that will need to be incorporated in a few months in our extension, including a mailbox, a ceiling fan for the outdoor deck, and a door viewer (a screen the size of an iPhone to let you see visitors at your front door). We’ve also decided we’d love to upgrade our toaster, kettle, juicer, microwave, electric frypan and everyday wine glasses and dishes.
I’d also like to add some decorator items like new tablecloths, linen napkins, a vase and some high-quality pillows for the guest room when Andrew’s parents come to stay with us immediately after the wedding.
We’re currently at 24 items, ranging from a gingham napkin for $3 (asking for a set of 8) to a Weber gas BBQ for $719. This registry lets people contribute towards an item too as a group gift, if they can’t afford it on its own.
Stuck for ideas? Here’s a tip: find a gift registry website, enter a very common surname and first name and click on the couple. You can check out what they’ve added. One couple with a 55-strong gift registry, has added eight – count ‘em! – different types of Calphalon pots and pans and all of them have been snapped up.
However, I know from my friends’ experiences that you can end up with a hodge-podge of purchases, especially if they come in multiples or ideally need to be bought as a set. This means you end up having to supplement the five crystal wine glasses that have been bought from your registry with another three glasses, or they buy the pillow cases and the sheets but not the valance.
If I could be sure guests would buy them in the next eight weeks, I’d be awfully tempted to put the towel rails, soap dish and taps from Masters for our new bathroom on the gift registry, too.
In fact, I just might. There’s always someone who’s quick to choose something off your gift registry.]]>
1. Hand down the family cookbook
The family cookbook is more than a compilation of your family’s favorite recipes. It contains years of rich family history—reflecting dishes that have kept generation after generation of your family lineage interconnected. There’s no better way to show how welcome a new member in the family is than by trusting them with this invaluable heirloom.
2. Their Favorite Collectibe
Do they collect stamps or china? You can give them a warm welcome with a gift that appeals to their personal taste and preferences. Even better, you can give them something to add to their personal collection. This will show just well you know them.
3. Old Photographs
Take your son-in-law or daughter-in-law to a lunch out, and bring with you old photos. Sifting through these photos and recollecting the fun moments of the family will make new members feel as if they’ve always been part of the family all along.
4. A Nostalgic Memorabilia
Do you have a cherished memorabilia that reminds you of the past? It can be a favorite toy or book growing up. Stuff like these make for great gifts for new babies—just make sure they’re still safe for use!
5. Engraved Gifts
From mgs that say “favorite brother-in-law” to jewelry boxes, you can’t go wrong with engraved gifts. You might also want to include your family’s favorite quote to make it more personal.
Dress your mum to be the prettiest and classiest lady in the room by gifting her cocktail dresses, glitter party dresses, designer tops, and evening dresses. Many clothing stores deliver same-day if you’re running out of time.
You can’t disappoint with jewellery (well, you can if it looks cheap). If you’re feeling extravagant, there are diamond designer pieces that will surely appeal to her taste, whatever her age is. You can also get her personalised rings, earrings, bracelets, and charms if you start looking now.
Get your mum a designer handbag decorated just the way she likes it—with sequins, crystals, rhinestones, or beads. Make sure it fits her lifestyle, too!
4. Beauty products
Pamper your mum with the best beauty products—fragrances, eye palattes, hair styling tools, makeup, and gift sets—that she doesn’t know about just yet. Organic beauty products are getting quite popular. And with its health benefits, your mum will surely love it!
5. Fashion accessories
Your mum might be the type who just loves accessorising. Expand her collection of hats, sunglasses, shoes, and scarves by giving her the trendiest and most fashionable in your favorite high fashion boutique store.
6. Tech gadgets
Don’t let your mum get behind with the latest in technology. She’ll surely enjoy an iPad mini, a Kindle, or a smartphone as much as you do, and she’ll appreciate looking in-the-know. Plus: it will allow you to connect and bond with each other even more.
Perk recently introduced its premier web browser based on loyalty rewards. By downloading the browser over at Perk.com and using it for surfing, shopping, and searching, you earn loyalty points.
These points are then redeemable for actual gifts—gift cards, tablets, and other gadgets to name a few. You can even use the points to donate to charity or to accumulate airline miles.
Perk has partnered with over 2,000 merchants, including Dell.com, Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters, iTunes, Amazon.com, and eBay among many others. If you make an online purchase in these website using the Perk browser, you will earn loyalty points. These merchants partner with Perk in order to boost their traffic and expand their sales.
The ratio of loyalty points per dollar spent depends on the retailer. For example, if you spend a dollar at PetSmart, you earn four Perk Points as opposed to 14 points for every dollar you spend at 101inks.com.
For now, Perk is available in Windows and Mac computers. There is no mobile versions just yet—which can be a real deal-breaker for many who use their mobile devices when buying online. The iOS version, on the other hand, is slated for release on 1 June. The Android version is expected to follow soon thereafter.
If you sign up now, you get 50 points to start with, just by using your email address. You get another 50 points if you use your Facebook credentials. If you use the search engine bar, you get a point for every search. However, to prevent abuse, Perk has a search limit and doesn’t allow keywords that don’t make sense.
The points won’t show up until 90 days later. The 3-month waiting time is to make sure you don’t go buying something just to accumulate points, only to return them after the points have been credited to your account.]]>
Do you feel a warm tug at your heartstrings whenever they dedicate their artistic efforts just for you?
Their creation might be no Picasso painting, but you probably want to transform it into something less perishable and more memorable.
Especially now that Mother’s Day is just around the corner, wouldn’t you love to see your children’s art works on note cards, note pads, and even notebooks?
PrintArtKids.com will make it possible. You can select your kids’ best creations, and show it for the entire world to see by transforming them into a variety of products.
They can incorporate your child’s work in note pads, note cards, holiday cards, post cards, notebooks, gift labels, return address labels, photo notebooks, photo note cards, and photo notepads.
These make for great personal items and mementoes of your child’s innocence and creativity. They’re also great gifts for aunts, teachers, and other mums who are close to your child. And, of course, the products are made of earth-friendly materials and recycled paper.
Finally – you can leave the fridge for party invites!]]>