Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Art of Giving

On the occasion of his retirement, my husband received various gifts. Of course, each of the gifts was thoughtful, but he was not able to enjoy all of them to the fullest. One of the gifts was for two nights at a local bed and breakfast. Frankly, I am not sure why someone thought we would want to drive a few miles from our house to sleep in another house--but someone did.

We have had a busy year, what with a wedding last October, and a few other things, so we didn't get around to using the gift certificate.

When we called recently to inquire about it, we learned the bed and breakfast had been sold. In fact, in a month the new owner will take over, and will not use the place as a bed and breakfast.

Somewhat chagrined, we asked if we could at least come for a breakfast. Well, the answer was yes, so last week we traveled a few miles for a wonderful breakfast. Then we got a tour of the place. Herewith a peek inside.

The stunning stone house had walls at least a foot thick, with deep windows. It is situated right along a small creek.

The table all set for breakfast. I don't know about you, but I don't usually have a silver candelabra set for breakfast.

Love the chandelier hanging from the skylight three stories up!

And the soft rosy glow of the light next to the staircase.

This is a holder for a wine bottle.

Not sure if this is a tea service, a coffee stack, or pots du creme.

The front entrance hall with a painted floor.

One of the bedrooms. Every bedroom is different. Note the "dollhouse"? That's actually where the television set is concealed.

Another bedroom with a really HIGH bed.

And, one of the bathrooms. Every bedroom had its own bathroom, also each individually decorated.

This bedroom was a favorite of a prior owner--love the faux tropical theme.

This bedroom with light and airy.

Breakfast was smashingly good. The tour of the bed and breakfast most interesting. The new owner was there, and she conducted the tour of the place. She informed us that when she takes over in a month, almost all the furniture will be sold at auction. She thought some of the pieces too large, too high maintenance, too unsuitable for what she envisioned. So we were seeing the place as it will soon no longer be.
All in all, even though the gift was well-intentioned, it failed. So, what is the art of giving. Some people have the knack of giving the perfect gift (my daughter is one such person.)
First, I would suggest, know the person to whom you are giving the gift. Selecting a gift that is misdirected is almost like not giving a gift at all. Second, don't pick something just because YOU like it--make sure the receiver will like it too. This one is hard--I am reminded of a time I bought a sweater for my dear departed grandmother. I picked a red sweater, because I thought she would look great in red. But she never wore it. When I asked her why, she said--I don't like red.
I suspect you could add your own suggestions for the art of giving.


Jayne said...

Well heck... that's really rather sad, isn't it? What a beautiful place it is and I think the furnishings are exquisite.

I have a friend who gives the oddest gifts. Truly... every time I receive a gift from her, I know it will be something I won't use and will "regift" to someone. I tend to put a good bit of thought into gifts myself. My ex-SIL once gave me this dragonfly... oh, I don't even know what it was... looked like an ashtray to me. She was the world's worst gift giver ever.

Anvilcloud said...

As a guy, I tend to see gift-giving as a function. "This is an occasion, and I have thought enough of you to purchase a gift. That is about all my limited brain can deal with."

Actually, that's not totally true. I try to do very well for my dearly beloved Cuppa, but I leave it up to her to figure what what to get everyone else.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful place. Shame you didn't spend the night there.

Greg and I are planning a "get away weekend" sometime and are trying to decide how far away to go. Of course, we live on the Monterey Bay and our options for great places to stay are unlimited. We have to balance how far we drive with how much relaxation we want. Still, it's sometimes fun to vacation right at home. :)

NCmountainwoman said...

It is the "art" of giving because so many people lack the art. There are times when I receive a gift that convinces me the giver doesn't know me at all. I no longer try to understand the logic (or lack of logic) to some of the gifts I receive. I simply thank the person graciously.

Lovely place. Is it going to be a private dwelling?

KGMom said...

@Jayne--the furniture will be auctioned some time in October. You could pop up north and buy a few things.

@AC--I can envision you buying the perfect thing for Cuppa.

@Liza--you certainly have your pick of marvelous scenery almost anywhere you go.

@Carolyn--the place will be used as a wedding setting. They have a huge tent set up along the creek. The bedrooms would be available for wedding parties only.

Nance said...

I have an insatiable love affair with beautiful old houses full of exquisite and quirky furnishings. Something from this house would be just the perfect gift for me...hint, hint...wink, wink...sigh.

JeanMac said...

I'm drooling! I love old homes.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

A very interesting place. I have been checking out B & B's lately in New England and Along the Appalachians. There are many interesting and unusual places. Much better places than motels and hotels. I even found a couple that would all my dog Heidi. :)

I have not been successful at gift giving in a number of years. I try to give my grandchildres heirloom type toys (without batteries) They invariable gravitate to the electric things.

I guess I am giving what I like and not what they like.

I have even tried to make gifts of money to charities in their name, something I would really appreciate. You can imagine how disappointed the young one are.

Mauigirl said...

What a shame they aren't going to keep the beautiful place as it is. I am so sad to hear that after seeing such gorgeous pictures, right up my alley. I guess the giver meant well, thought maybe you would like a little romantic getaway. But you're right, it's most important to think about what the person you're giving TO would want. I think many of us are guilty of that much of the time, giving things they think THEY would like so therefore the other person should too.

Ginnie said...

Isn't it a shame that the B&B went out of business? It looks like it would be a great place for a visit.
As to the gift giving... I am very pleased that my children don't expect the big price tag items and usually it's books or a gift card to Panera's, etc.