No, not things that cost a ton of dough. I mean, give the things that cost you very little but are of massive value to others. Starting with compliments, all the way up to giving your time to your community. You'll feel like part of something bigger, something wonderfully social.
Certain occasions do call for a gorgeously wrapped little gift, and I am always, always, always looking for a few clever ideas to keep under my hat, the kind of gifts that work in multiple situations—birthday, get well, et al. For example, I love the book The Proust Questionnaire. It's based on a century-old fad, made famous by the classic French writer Marcel Proust. Modern journalists often use the list of questions as a model for interviews; you may have seen it in action on the back page of Vanity Fair and on Bravo's Inside the Actor's Studio.
The book's a great gift for hostesses, friends and family. There are blank questionnaires in the back of the book as well. For quick infusion of sugar, grab a silver whistle and attach a note to the gift that reads: "I super-like you, I hope I don't blow it!"
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