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How to select the right gift for men and women?

Perfumes, colognes, and fragrances in general make perfect gifts. The hard part is selecting the right one, because unlike flowers - that vary with the season, shape, or scent - fragrances have an unique formula that stays the same for the life of the product.

You never want to buy a perfume as a gift on your first date - your first choice would be flowers. You really have to know a person before you present a perfume as a gift to them. There's a little spying to be done - through conversation, talking to a friend who knows, or any other subtle means - in order to pinpoint the favorite fragrance of the intended person - unless you know the person for a long time (spouse, old friends, close family, etc.)

Anniversary Gifts - Wedding..

The traditional names for wedding anniversaries go back many years in social usage and have been used to suggest types of appropriate anniversary gifts. Traditional gifts for each anniversary year are as follows:

1st: PAPER, clocks - 2nd: COTTON, china - 3rd: LEATHER, crystal, glass - 4th: LINEN (SILK), appliances - 5th: WOOD, silverware - 6th: IRON, wood objects - 7th: WOOL (COPPER), desk sets - 8th: BRONZE, linens, lace - 9th: POTTERY (CHINA), leather goods - 10th:TIN, ALUMINUM, diamond - 11th: STEEL, fashion jewelry - 12th: SILK, pearls, colored gems - 13th: LACE, textiles, furs - 14th:IVORY, gold jewelry - 15th: CRYSTAL, watches - 20th: CHINA, platinum - 25th: SILVER, sterling silver - 30th: PEARL, diamond - 35th: CORAL, jade - 40th: RUBY - 45th: SAPPHIRE - 50th: GOLD - 55th: EMERALD - 60th: DIAMOND.
Perfumes and fragrances are an excellent choice as a complementary anniversary gift.

The traditional white color of the wedding gown is popular today because in ancient Roman times, white was a color of celebration.

The tradition of the bride and groom not seeing each other on their wedding day stems from the ancient tradition of the bride not showing her face to the groom at all before the wedding.

Carrying the bride over the threshold comes from an old superstition that evil spirits collected on the threshold of the new home waiting to invade the bride through the soles of her feet, a disaster that could be avoided if she entered in her husband's arms.

The bride's veil is from a centuries-old practice of hiding the bride's face which was intended to preserve her modesty.

Groomsmen were friends of the groom that in ancient times when the bride was often captured by force, the new husband needed allies to help him fend off her family.

The bridal train dates back to the Middle Ages when the higher the bride's social standing, the longer the material she dragged down the aisle. Remember when Princess Diana got married and how long her train was.

Throwing rice comes from ancient times as well. Grains were thought to symbolize fertility, so scattering them over the bridal couple ensured they'd have many children.

The wedding ring being of circular shape symbolized endless love. The third finger of the left hand came from the Egyptians because they believed that the vein in that finger ran directly to the heart.

Tossing the bouquet - centuries ago, wedding guests would tear at the bride's flowers and clothes to share her happiness, so she tossed her bouquet to ensure she got away in one piece.

Tossing the garter - The scramble for the garter was a medieval tradition in which wedding guests invaded the bridal chamber to steal the bride's stockings for good luck. To avoid this calamity, a groom tossed the garter to his friends.

There are anniversaries of all kinds out there, too many to discuss here. Perfumes and fragrances are always a good choice for a gift, especially when you run out of ideas.

Birthday Gift Ideas.

Fragrances are part of fashion industry. The final touch to dressing up is applying a fragrance. You may not afford to buy a designer garment but you will for sure a designer perfume. With so many designers coming up with new lines every year is becoming more and more difficult to stick to one product. While you would try new scents to keep up with the times, your heart still aches for that discontinued fragrance you cannot find anymore.

Looking for birthday gift ideas for women? How about a gift box full of smellies?

Personalized Gifts - What More Can You Ask For?

How can you personalize a gift these days? Engraving the name of the recipient perhaps? Personalized electronic greeting cards? People just don't take the time anymore to really make an impression. Let's look back in time to see the importance of gifts.

Gifts were an important part of the ceremony and diplomacy of medieval Europe. Personalized gifts used to secure the allegiance of a rulers subjects and to solidify ties among princes and high-ranking clergy. Medieval Christians gave money, land, or luxury goods to religious institutions in return for prayers on behalf of the donors soul, and charity was considered a Christian virtue. Illuminated manuscripts were themselves among the most costly of gifts.

Models for giving are found in scripture and the lives of the saints. The most important scriptural model was the presentation of gifts to the infant Jesus by three wise men. A miniature from a German psalter shows the wise men offering their gifts to the child before a shimmering gold background. Another miniature shows a model for charity taken from the life of the English saint Edward the Confessor: a ring he had given to a beggar is miraculously returned to him years later--a reward for his selflessness.

In the Middle Ages, charity took new forms as individuals, like Saint Hedwig of Silesia, displayed compassion for society's underprivileged by personally feeding the sick, giving alms, and helping the imprisoned. Not all gifts were charitable, though, as giving also played an important role in political affairs. Gifts were a critical feature of diplomatic protocol, demonstrating the donors good will.

Scholars also made gifts of their literary works to powerful princes in the hopes of future patronage. Vasco da Lucena, for example, dedicated his French translation of an ancient Roman biography of Alexander the Great to Charles the Bold, duke of Burgundy--an act that simultaneously honored the ruler and elevated the status of the donor.

Illuminated manuscripts circulated among religious institutions both as diplomatic gifts and for the mutual benefit of monks and clerics. Books that served as gift objects are among the most sumptuously illuminated of the Middle Ages, and a number of service books and manuscripts of scripture were created to be given as personalized gifts to monasteries and high-ranking clerics.

The illuminated prayer book known as the Gualenghi-dEste Hours, for example, was made on the occasion of the marriage of Andrea Gualengo to Orsina dEste, a member of the ruling family of the north Italian city of Ferrara. Even today, a medieval manuscript can mark an exchange of vows..

Unique Gifts - Consider A Fragrance Gift Set.

Kisses when you’re lonely,
champagne when you’re dry,
greenbacks when you’re busted,
and heaven when you die.
Monica Convy

How come that with every anniversary, birthday, holiday comes the burden of looking for unique gifts for our loved ones? This is the never-ending story – as special occasions come one after another, after another… with no end in sight. But isn’t this what makes life a little more interesting?

When we go shopping for unique gifts we actually start celebrating in advance, anticipating the occasion, breathing in the atmosphere of the event to be. When selecting a present we subconsciously tell the receiving person – I know you’ll like this, or who I want you to try an enjoy this, this is you, or this is as dear to me as I know it will be for you.

But, finding the right gift can be a daunting challenge, and it doesn’t have to. The better you know the person the faster can pinpoint your choices. Wife and husbands – that’s easy, you usually know what they want. Friends – the list of choices can be reduced to two or three.

For married couples household items are a good idea, but decorating items are even better.
Boss and coworkers – that’s a bummer. You have to carefully select the right gift, not cheap but not expensive either - cute desk items are a good idea (this is what they’ll take home with them when they’re fired :-)

Lovers – no brainer here, perfume or cologne and flowers – nothing beats that! Perfume gift sets are great for Valentine’s day of holidays, but for special occasions a perfume is your best choice.

Valentine Gifts - A Valentine's Day Tradition.

Valentine's Day started in the time of the Roman Empire. In ancient Rome, February 14th was a holiday to honour Juno. Juno was the Queen of the Roman Gods and Goddesses. The Romans also knew her as the Goddess of women and marriage. The following day, February 15th, began the Feast of Lupercalia.

The lives of young boys and girls were strictly separate. However, one of the customs of the young people was name drawing. On the eve of the festival of Lupercalia the names of Roman girls were written on slips of paper and placed into jars. Each young man would draw a girl's name from the jar and would then be partners for the duration of the festival with the girl whom he chose. Sometimes the pairing of the children lasted an entire year, and often, they would fall in love and would later marry.

Under the rule of Emperor Claudius II Rome was involved in many bloody and unpopular campaigns. Claudius the Cruel was having a difficult time getting soldiers to join his military leagues. He believed that the reason was that roman men did not want to leave their loves or families. As a result, Claudius cancelled all marriages and engagements in Rome.

The good Saint Valentine was a priest at Rome in the days of Claudius II. He and Saint Marius aided the Christian martyrs and secretly married couples, and for this kind deed Saint Valentine was apprehended and dragged before the Prefect of Rome, who condemned him to be beaten to death with clubs and to have his head cut off. He suffered martyrdom on the 14th day of February, about the year 270.

At that time it was the custom in Rome, a very ancient custom, indeed, to celebrate in the month of February the Lupercalia, feasts in honour of a heathen god. On these occasions, amidst a variety of pagan ceremonies, the names of young women were placed in a box, from which they were drawn by the men as chance directed.

The pastors of the early Christian Church in Rome endeavoured to do away with the pagan element in these feasts by substituting the names of saints for those of maidens. And as the Lupercalia began about the middle of February, the pastors appear to have chosen Saint Valentine's Day for the celebration of this new feast. So it seems that the custom of young men.

Hundreds of years ago in England, many children dressed up as adults on Valentine's Day. They went singing from home to home. One verse they sang was:
Good morning to you, valentine;
Curl your locks as I do mine---
Two before and three behind.
Good morning to you, valentine.

Gift Baskets - Don't forget to add some perfume, cologne, or fragrance.

When you’re trying to figure out a gift basket design that will cover all bases you should consider the occasion the gift is most suited for and the person (or group) intended for. Most everyone enjoys chocolate but that’s not true with caviar.

While food and wine gift baskets cover a larger taste spectrum, products that enhance the feel of skin and the smell of the body have been highly valued in every culture. With the discoveries on new continents trade routes introduced spices to the old world the range of scents became larger each year. At that time there was no perfume manufacturing per say, but home made fragranced products were very popular.

Rose petals, mint, lavender, jasmine, lily - were added to oils to persevere the fragrance, and eventually scent the oil. The oils were then rubbed on gloves, on the skin, burned as incense, or added to soap. All these uses become very popular and the gift baskets containing such items were very well received.

With advances in chemistry in the late 19th century the modern perfume as we know it went mainstream. Everything we use today is scented in one form or another – from soap, detergents, and candles to the most expensive perfumes – and the race for the next top seller is on.

As the gift basket giving tradition was revived and actually brought to unprecedented levels of popularity for the past half century, the perfume manufacturers had to keep up with the trend and come up with their own version of gift baskets – the gift sets. Gift sets contain two or more products of the same line, bundled together at a reduced price. Ideal as holiday gifts, gift baskets, Christmas gifts, birthdays, and anniversary gifts.

Gifts - The art of gift giving.

Gift giving customs vary from country to country, and the importance placed on exchanging gifts is even more culturally specific. Gifts may normally be viewed as thoughtful gestures, generosity, and appreciation – but without really understanding the culture they can be interpreted as bribery, or payment for special favors.

In Japan for example, gift giving is very important in all aspects of life: socially, culturally, and politically. Japan is actually the country where gift making and receiving is more important than anywhere in the world. Japanese people value politeness and formality. This is a national characteristic and gift giving has existed for a long time in our society.

People in the Pacific Rim, Middle East, and Latin America are also keen on gifts, their importance and meaning. Westerners, on the other hand, appreciate gifts but not to the extent that they make an art out of gift giving and receiving – they perceive gifts more as thoughtful gestures rather than generosity and appreciation.

On a personal level it is important to know the receiver of the gift. You know the saying “Don’t bring coal to Newcastle” (Newcastle is a mining town in England); it would be like bringing chocolate to a Swiss or beer to a German. Give from the heart and put your personal touch on each gift, be it through wrapping, adding a flower, or some other form of personal gift presentation – like the classic diamond engagement ring placed discretely in the champagne glass of your fiancé when proposing.

In the workplace, gift giving is daunting task. Personal birthdays gifts are cool because everyone participates and the object to be given is discussed and approved by consensus. Holidays are a different matter, and the danger lays in turning the process into popularity contests, especially when making gifts to the boss. Lay low, and go with the mainstream: cute office products are ok – anything else may be interpreted the wrong way. Stay away from flowers and chocolate when making office gifts – reserve that for your Valentine.

Gift Ideas - Perfume and Fragrance.

Give me the luxuries of life and I will gladly do without the necessities.” Frank Floyd Wright

Gift giving has been a human tradition for ages. Now, in the modern era, when we think about making a gift we automatically go to a store or tune into the Internet to PURCHASE the gift we intent to give. It has not always been the case - throughout history gifts had meaning and natural or hand made gifts were the traditional way to go. Here's a few examples of gifts and time-honoured customs.

In Wales wooden love spoons were carved and given as gifts on February 14th. Hearts, keys and keyholes were favourite decorations on the spoons. The decoration meant, "You unlock my heart!"

In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who their valentines would be. They would wear these names on their sleeves for one week. To wear your heart on your sleeve now means that it is easy for other people to know how you are feeling.

In some countries, a young woman may receive a gift of clothing from a young man. If she keeps the gift, it means she will marry him.

Some people used to believe that if a woman saw a robin flying overhead on Valentine's Day, it meant she would marry a sailor. If she saw a sparrow, she would marry a poor man and be very happy. If she saw a goldfinch, she would marry a millionaire.

A love seat is a wide chair. It was first made to seat one woman and her wide dress. Later, the love seat or courting seat had two sections, often in an S-shape. In this way, a couple could sit together -- but not too closely!

Think of five or six names of boys or girls you might marry, As you twist the stem of an apple, recite the names until the stem comes off. You will marry the person whose name you were saying when the stem fell off.

Pick a dandelion that has gone to seed. Take a deep breath and blow the seeds into the wind. Count the seeds that remain on the stem. That is the number of children you will have.

If you cut an apple in half and count how many seeds are inside, you will also know how many children you will have.

Christmas Gifts - Here Comes Santa...

The custom of exchanging presents at Christmas is commonly linked to the Maji's visit to the infant Jesus and their gifts to him of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Gift-giving at the time of the winter solstice was also a Roman custom before Jesus' time. The custom is related to the generosity of the fourth century's St. Nicholas and the gifts that the baby Jesus is supposed to bring on his birthday. But these gifts were always small tokens, nothing like the lavish items exchanged in America. The American version began around the same time as the modern Santa with the nineteenth century commercialization of the holiday.

Christmas Gifts Under The Christmas Tree
In the 14th century, the popular miracle play presented on December 24th was the story of Adam and Eve. In this play the chief prop was an apple-hung evergreen called the paradise tree, dramatically evoking the lost innocence of Eden. German families picked up on this symbol and began bringing evergreens into their homes during the holiday season. They decorated them with fruit, candies, cookies and other items.

The association of joyous songs with Christmas dates back to St. Francis, an early proponent of religious singing. Christmas songs spread through Europe, but were banned during the Reformation of the 17th century. Many of the original songs were lost. That is why most of the carols we sing today date from the 18th century.

Christmas, in the Christian church, annual festival, held on December 25, to celebrate the Nativity, or birth of Christ. The origin of the festival is unknown. Scholars believe that it is derived in part from rites held by pre-Christian Germanic and Celtic peoples to celebrate the winter solstice.

Christmas festivals, generally observed by Christians since the 4th century, incorporate pagan customs, such as the use of holly, mistletoe, Yule logs, and wassail bowls. The Christmas tree, an evergreen trimmed with lights and other decorations, is derived from the so-called paradise tree, symbolizing Eden, of German mystery plays.

The use of a Christmas tree began early in the 17th century, in Strasbourg, France, spreading from there through Germany and then into northern Europe. In 1841 Albert, prince consort of Queen Victoria, introduced the Christmas tree custom to Great Britain; from there it accompanied immigrants to the U.S.

Meanwhile, Dutch settlers had brought to the New World the custom of celebrating St. Nicholas’ Day on December 6, and especially St. Nicholas’ Eve, when gifts were given to children, of whom the saint was patron. British settlers took over the tradition as part of their Christmas Eve celebration. The English name of the legendary jolly, red-garbed man who delivers christmas gifts to good children at Christmas, Santa Claus, is derived from the Dutch Sinterklaas, a modification of Sint Nikolaas.


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