Giving the gift that disappears 

Hard-core habits and hard gifts hit the road

"At its core, consumerism stems from the belief that goods both express and define our individual identities."

The Rebel Sell: Why the Culture Can’t be Jammed , Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter

Pretty sweaters in the latest colours. Hipster pants that stretch like no other. Laser levels, garden shovels. iPods, pots and pans and paintings. Someone in the corner ranting that she just doesn’t know WHAT to buy for Ex, or Y, or Zed.

They have it all. So what to give?

My head is feeling like a sieve!

I want to find that perfect thing that carries the just-right love meaning.

And not get the damn thing back next year as a re-gift gone wrong.

Christmas. Here we sit in our comfortable little worlds, surrounded, nay, say some, overwhelmed and annoyed by mountains of durable consumer goods, quietly going snake at the muchness of it all. And that’s before we even get out the door.

Not one to decry the noble sentiment of giving – hey, giving is sweet, giving is grand. But as time and shopping march on, I’m all for giving the gift that disappears.

I know, I know, it’s hard to let go of the durable goods notion. Too much cultural baggage, (see Heath and Potter above). Not to mention too many family-type traditions – got to have a box to wrap, right?

But the more you think about it, the more it makes sense to find that certain someone a certain something that goes away. Or is away. Or will give something to someone else who is away. All of which add up to the ultimate in solving seasonal dilemmas. Especially this late in the shopping game.

So here are a few guidelines to giving the gift that disappears, applicable all year round.

1. Gifts that disappear down the gullet

The first and most obvious impulse is to give something that you eat or drink. Since Anthony Gismondi so nicely covered off current options in the drink department last issue (several of which have already crossed off names on my shopping list), I’ll focus on the food concept.

Buying food items for holiday gift giving isn’t new, but with a little thought, you can spin some freshness into it beyond the obvious gourmet sauce or marinade.

First of all, really consider the person and what she or he loves and likely doesn’t buy much. Then ask those in the know what’s best. For instance, if your dad, like mine, loves smoked oysters, head to Nesters Market and pick up those wonderful Deep Bay smoked oysters from Cortes Island.

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