The last unicorn

A popular piece of gift-giving advice is that collectables (such as charms for charm bracelets) make good gifts, with – in theory – giver and recipient enjoying many happy years of new additions to the collection. It’s a convenient solution, reducing the risk of an unwanted gift.

But what if the collector gets a bit tired of it all – or hadn’t in fact set out to form a collection in the first place? It happens. Case in point: my friend Esther once bought a little unicorn figurine she admired. Sometime later, a pretty unicorn painting came her way. Friends and family visiting her house noticed the two charming unicorns and made the connection: Esther likes unicorns.

And so it began. A trickle, then a deluge, of unicorns. At every birthday, Christmas and Mother’s Day: unicorns. People even started referring to her as “the unicorn lady”. But the thing is, Esther wasn’t really a unicorn nut at all. In the end, she had to politely ask her loved ones to cease and desist: it was getting out of hand and the house was filling up with unicorniana. Plus it was probably getting a bit boring and predictable for her, receiving yet another unicorn thingamajig each birthday, Christmas, Mother’s Day etc.

So if you’re in a bit of a ‘giving habit’ (even a rut?) because “so-and-so likes [cats/ teapots/ orchids/ whatever]”, maybe check in every once in a while to see if they still feel the same way about it. They’ll appreciate your consideration. And likewise, if you’re “over” a perceived hobby or collectable, let it be known.


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