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Surprise! 5 Great Ways to Present a Special Gift

When you’ve picked out an absolutely perfect gift, simply handing it over just isn't good enough.

You've purchased a fabulous piece of fine jewelry for someone special and can't wait to see his or her face when they open the gift. While the giftee remains oblivious, your anticipation builds until that moment of surprise and delight.

But if you really want to hit it out of the park, you won’t settle for presenting your gift without a touch of fanfare. You can have a lot of fun with the “big reveal” itself, and it doesn’t have to take too much extra effort. Plus, you’ll also be giving her a great story to tell every time she shows off her new bauble.

Turning gift-giving into a happening

Anyone can make dinner reservations and deliver a beautifully wrapped gift box over dessert and candlelight. Even a surprise party follows a standard script once the guest of honor arrives. But the truly inspired can elevate the act of giving — and receiving — into an experience itself. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

1. The improbable delivery person. Your recipient might already be expecting a gift from you for an upcoming occasion and logically thinks you will be the one to present it. That’s where you can introduce confusion that leads, ultimately, to a happy surprise. Find someone the recipient would never think would give a jewelry gift — or any gift, for that matter. The obvious first choice would be a small child, perhaps your own, but the task could also fall to an obedient pet that’s not averse to having a small box attached to its collar, or a neighbor who can pretend he got your postal delivery by mistake. Have your kid or other special-delivery person approach the recipient with gift in hand. They don’t have to say much (especially if it’s a dog) except “This is for you.” Under the circumstances, your giftee will not be prepared for a piece of fine jewelry, so any expectations will be blown away when he or she unwraps this wonderful surprise from you.

2. Fake-Out Packaging. A bit of subterfuge can go a long way, particularly if you’re infamous for less-than-successful gift choices in the past. The trick here is to sow seeds of disappointment (perhaps even outrage!) that quickly turns to joy. Start with the empty box from some utilitarian, decidedly non-sexy item — housewares like office supplies, cleaning products, hardware tools and the like are ideal. Basically, you want a reaction like, “I can’t believe you would dare to get me X for our anniversary!” Of course, nestled deep within that Trojan-horse packaging will be the real gift — jewelry from you. You may have to gently prompt the person to keep digging to find it, but that won’t wreck the surprise.

3. Scavenger Hunt. This scheme takes a little more work but can also double as a group activity during a party. Instead of handing over a wrapped gift, you’ll present the honoree with an envelope containing the first clue. You can have just a few clues or go crazy with a lengthy adventure all over the house — or even all over the neighborhood. You can tie each clue to something about the person himself and your relationship or just make them fun and challenging. The final clue, of course, will reveal the location of your actual gift for him, so you should make it a tough one.

4. The Unexpected Discovery. Instead of giving a gift, you can let the recipient just happen to stumble upon it. Whether wrapped or not, put the present somewhere incongruous where you know he goes every day, such as inside a medicine cabinet, cereal box or briefcase. Other possibilities might be in a shoe or bicycle helmet you know he’ll put on and then feel something amiss before getting a big surprise. This works best when the surprise location fits into a regular routine that doesn’t vary from day to day, so your giftee is completely gobsmacked when an out-of-the-norm object appears — “There are cuff links in the soap dish!” Just be sure not to hide your gift so well that it gets overlooked or lost or slips down the drain.

5. Your Special Place. Think of the spots that have singular meaning for you and your relationship. These memory-packed locales can really set the mood when you spring the gift of jewelry on your significant other. The place doesn’t have to be fraught with serious weight either — the fast-food drive-thru where you shared your first kiss can be just as touching as the beach where you proposed. Or you could bundle your gift giving with another activity you know she’d like, such as hearing a favorite singer in concert or taking a hike that’s been on your list for a while. Wherever you go, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got the gift in a safe, secure place until the time is right. To weave in the surprise element, suggest this outing like it’s an event unto itself, no mention of presents or special occasions involved. Then, when you get there, find a moment to share your hidden agenda and, voilà, out comes the jewelry box.

With just a bit of ingenuity, you can make the giving of the gift almost as rewarding as the gift itself. Jewelry is such a precious, personal gift, and it’s worth going a step further to create an experience that matches it.

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