Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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The Perfect Present?

So Your Fabulous Gift Idea Doesn't Fail...
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(+5, -1)
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This idea is a little late for christmas, but birthdays happen year round, so its still good...

The worst thing to happen on any gift giving occasion if to give (or receive) an unwanted gift. The false enthusiasm is usually transparent, and neither party ends up being happy (and the giver is out usually quite a bit of cash). Well now your problems are solved!

This device would be a sort of database where everyone in the family would answer a few simple questions (the test would take no more than 15 minutes) to determine what sorts of things they may like as gifts. The prospective gift giver would then enter their idea into the device, and if it matched up with what the person may want, it would inform them (and vice-versa).

This would have several obvious advantages over typical other strategies. It would maintain an element of suprise for the gift receiver, as opposed to him/her just saying outright what they want. It would be far more personal than gift certificates, which are limited in use anyway. And, although it would be far from foolproof, it would maintain a good level of hapiness on both sides.

The database could get product info from web sites of major store chains (Circut City, Best Buy, Electronics Boutique, etc.) to evaluate what the receiver may want, though rather than a seperate device, this would more likely work better as a program.

NeverDie, Jan 04 2002


       100 pound bag of $100.00 bills for me please.
thumbwax, Jan 05 2002

       But there's a possibility that someone may come up with a wonderful gift idea for me that I would absolutely love, but it didn't get listed under my preferences because: 1. I never thought of it. 2. Inever thought I'd get it anyway. By checking my list, they'd think I wouldn't want it.
TeaTotal, Jan 05 2002

       Well, it wouldn't be a list as such. More like an assesment of character to see what you would proabaly want. Not fool proof, but then again, what is?
NeverDie, Jan 05 2002

       Our mother would never, ever give us any hints whatsoever as to gift-giving ideas for herself for birthdays, Xmas, etc. so she would usually get the weirdest collection of junk we could find. Eventually things evolved to the point where she would go out and get what she needed/wanted for herself and we kids would buy it from her to wrap up. Her surprise was in guessing who would give her which gift. (Now you know why I am the way I am).
Canuck, Jan 05 2002

       I thought you were going to refer to yourself only in the Third Person this year Canuck.
thumbwax, Jan 05 2002

       What's to stop everyone checking the program and then buying you the same thing when it recommends the same thing to each person? True, there are ways to get around this. I find giving jokey/rubbish gifts dramatically decreases the possibility that the person will already have such a thing.
pottedstu, Jan 05 2002

       My friends all decided to buy everyoe really silly presents this christmas... I ended up with a bottle of perri perri hot sauce and around 8 individualy wraped tic tac boxes all tied together with ribon.   

       I doubt they would have been on my list... although I did like the tic tacs...
RobertKidney, Jan 05 2002

       Pottedstu: I don't think he means 'create a computerized list for yourself', he's talking about setting up a 'would this person like this' database. You decide what you want to give for a present, then ask the database if the recipient would like it.   

       My brother and I rarely know what to get for our mother, so what we do is go to the mall, wander around until she picks something up and expresses interest, then one of us distracts her while the other buys it. A transparent ruse, but it usually works...
StarChaser, Jan 05 2002

       bet she was on to you years ago star
po, Jan 05 2002

       I really like this idea, however it would be difficult to keep track of what people already have (listing my possessions would take ages - read packrat!).   

       Some websites such as Amazon have a wish list where you can list books and music that you have a hankering for. You can then refer friends/family to said list.
madradish, Jan 05 2002

       Po: We all know what's going on, but this way she doesn't get ten gallons of perfume that can strip paint. "It cost almost a quarter!"   

       If we were being clever, we'd wait a store or two away then haul ass back and get it...
StarChaser, Jan 05 2002

       Could be fun. I'd suggest one of the questions be:
How many decibles can your gift emit and still be perfect?
› 10 - 40
› 40 - 60
› 60 - 80

       and so on, so even the rock stars of your inner circle can be happy at their gift exchange.
reensure, Jan 05 2002

       Baked. Every family comes equipped with at least one device fitting the description - commonly referred to as 'Mom'.
adhib, Feb 08 2002


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