Choosing Gifts that Make People Happy

By Lynn Davis Post > Back to Blog 

Four Questions you can Ask to Make Gifting Easy

Here comes the holiday season. Some people thrive on the celebrations, the entertaining, helping others, and sharing gifts. Others panic. Whichever way you roll, here are some tips for how to make choosing gifts at Paradise City Arts Festivals fruitful and fun.

Whether you’re shopping for a present for a spouse, significant other, mother, best friend, teacher, or anyone else you care about, it’s helpful to give some thought to choosing gifts for your person before the show.

What are your person’s interests and hobbies?

Think about your loved one’s interests, hobbies, likes, and needs. For example, is your best friend an avid gardener? We are pretty serious gardeners here at Paradise City and we think many gardeners would love these pressed botanicals from Mireille Munnelly.

Mureille Munnelly botanicals, Paradise City Arts Festivals

Mireille Munnelly: Les Champs de Provence

Born and raised in the south of France, Mireille draws on Provence as inspiration for her two passions: art and gardening. Most of the pressed flowers, ferns, and herbs in her artwork come from her home garden.

Or, for the cook and entertainer in your family, Liz Rodriguez’ beautiful pieces make meals for both family and guests more festive.

Liz Rodriguez Ceramic Platter, Paradise City Arts Festivals

Liz Rodriguez: Large Oval Serving Platter

“The profile line of this large beauty undulates like a gentle ocean wave,” says Liz. She paints the inside design free-hand and then adds a glossy glaze over a matte velvety texture. To explore more ceramics, both functional and sculptural, see the ceramicists featured at Paradise City Northampton this fall.

What gifts would they enjoy at work?

Over 80% of Americans who work full time are tied to their desks all day. “For people who sit most of the day, the risk of a heart attack is about the same as smoking,” says Dr. Martha Grogan, a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic. An important trend to address this “sitting disease” is working at a standing desk some or part of your day.

Geoffrey Warner standing desk and owl stools, Paradise City Arts Festivals

Geoffrey Warner: Owl Ergonomic Workstation

Geoffrey Warner makes walnut and cherry standing desks, as well as owl stools that relieve back pain and ease spine tension. You may not be able to buy this as a surprise gift for your spouse or loved one but he or she will love the thought and love choosing the exact piece that’s right for them.

What experiences are most meaningful to your person?

Some people are just hard to buy for. They say they have everything they need and they are more focused on helping others. Look for a gift that simply through its purchase, helps others.

Gigi Laberge Slice-of-Life jewelry, Paradise City Arts Festivals

Gigi Laberge: Slice-of-Life GlassJewelry

Gigi Laberge’s Slice-of-Life glass pieces each include a watermelon slice which she feels “celebrates life and symbolizes good, fun, light, hope and happiness.” A portion of her Slice-of-Life sales go to Hospice programs in New England.

Quite a few Paradise City artists are trying to give back to social causes. Eric Reeves, a woodturner new to Paradise City Arts this fall, is donating all proceeds from his sales to relief organizations working in greater Sudan, a country ravaged by deprivation and suffering. Geoffrey Warner recently received a grant to research using recycled polymers from local and regional fishing industries, to help reduce the littering of micro polymers into the ocean.

What would simply give them joy?

Admittedly, many of the items at Paradise City Arts are not on someone’s – “Oh, I absolutely need this” list. But you may have observed something in your giftee’s home or something they wear, that really makes them happy. Perhaps an interest in all things Japanese? Perhaps just an enjoyment of the whimsical?

Consider these “Hodsdon Kokeshi Dolls,” made by Japanese American Lisa Hodsdon and her husband Jacob. The traditional kokeshi are Japanese dolls, handmade from wood with a simple trunk and an enlarged head, originally made in northern Japan as far back as the 1700’s

Lisa Hodsdon Kokeshi Dolls, Paradise City Arts Festivals
Lisa and Jacob co-create kokeshi which brings her Japanese heritage into their daily lives. Jacob says that “working on kokeshi has brought peace and prosperity into our lives and home.” We just think they’re really, really cute.

When all else fails, wander

Now, wander through Paradise City, keep your eyes open, and see what catches your fancy. You will find that if you give some prior thought to  your husband, sister, mother, or whomever you are buying for, you will be more aware of what they might like when you see it at the show.

Come see 250 juried artists, including those featured here, at Paradise City Northampton, October 7, 8, & 9. Click here for more information on the show, including hours, location, admission and exhibitors.