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Gifts with an Edge

2004-12-22

Category: philosophies

I often have the television on as a source of background noise. It?s easy to ignore the thing, given the crap that comes through. Every once in a while, though, something catches my attention. The most recent was a razor commercial.

In this particular ad the announcer explains why the razor in question would make a wonderful Christmas gift. Apparently, any real man dreams of getting one of these devices but is incapable or unwilling to purchase one for himself. I?m a man and I shave (to shape my beard) and I can?t really understand the benefits of this gift.

So I start thinking and I remember commercials from my childhood. For as long as I can remember another razor company, Norelco™, has shown commercials with Santa Clause sledding through the snow-covered mountains on an electric razor in an effort to convince people that razors are good gifts. It didn?t make sense to me then. It makes even less sense to me now.

All I can figure is that in some families no one knows the father well enough to know what an appropriate gift would be. As a result, these families fall prey to any advertising that purports to help them give to the father. The razor manufacturers know this and pounce.

I know it was difficult to buy any sort of gift for my father. He had no hobbies and worked all the time. He is a carpenter who will not buy himself tools unless he really needs them. I knew this when I was younger, so I would buy him tools on gift giving occasions. Now that I have done carpentry myself and have a better understanding of things he enjoys about woodwork, I can buy more appropriate tools. At least, I hope I understand him well enough to buy appropriate things.

Never during any gift-giving occasion has it ever occurred to me to buy my father a razor. During winter he wears a beard. In summer he shaves it off. I always assume that he is fully capable of buying a razor on his own.

It?s not just razors that don?t seem gift-like. Any time you give someone a grooming related gift there is a good chance that person is going to take it as a hint. The receiver will thing, ?They gave me this grooming item because they think I need to improve my grooming.? Unless you really do think they need help in the grooming department, you may want to avoid such gifts.

Once again, we have marketing people telling you things that don?t make sense. Please keep that in mind as you go around buying gifts for people. Don?t think about the commercials; think about the recipient. You still may not get the best gift, but at least you?ll have given a thoughtful gift.


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