The quest for better gifts is governed by the law of diminishing returns

THE CITYI was proud of myself recently when I managed to get something pretty damn unique for our wedding anniversary. We’ve been married 12 years now and every year it gets harder to find something that is a thoughtful gift. This year I commissioned Rachael Smith to do a cartoon portrait of our family, which turned out really well. But that’s that idea done and done forever- as a surprise it’s not something I really do again because part of the fun is in the uniqueness of it and something can only be unique once.

It started off as something that was easy to do when we started dating about 16 years ago (16 years 2 months and 9 days to be precise, but who’s counting?) but as every year passes, I struggle to live up to my own lofty expectations.

the kids picture albumSomething else I did was rifle through around 30,000 pictures to make an annual style photobook for Mothers Day. It was a work of some considerable time and effort but, one photo of Fifi with her eyes shut aside, it was pretty much perfect.

Again though, this is something you can only really do once. This is where some of the more tailored and thoughtful offerings on gift websites  can help. Personalised mugs or cushions, something a little bit quirky or a voucher for an experience that you’d not normally do (although with my wife that’s a hard task- she’s been in airships, and used to regularly do archaeological digs!) are something a little out of the ordinary that show thought and showing thought is definitely the most important thing. When you both work and both earn money, it’s often not the amount you spend on a gift that’s important, it’s the thought and love that’s gone in to it.

At least that’s what I tell my kids after I’ve had to ask them what the latest sculpture they’ve made me for Fathers Day is anyway!