At a loss for a unique gift item? Free your imagination, and invent something that plays on all five senses
Many moons ago, a schoolteacher had my classmates and me put together an interesting monstrosity we called Mr. Five Senses. This Picasso-esque fellow was made of construction paper and had a blocky head, a huge flapping tongue, protruding ears, big eyes, a bulging nose and big, mitten-like hands.
Mr. Five Senses was weird, but he helped us kids learn about the five primary human senses in a fun way — and I, for one, have never forgotten him. So… what the heck does Mr. Five Senses have to do with gift-giving? I’m so glad you asked.
Consider the last few gifts you gave or received. Most were limited in sensory scope, weren’t they? Let’s say you got a supply of rare gourmet tea; very nice, but how many senses can it engage? Food and drink usually limit themselves to scent and taste, with vision and, perhaps, touch as secondary considerations.
A painting is a treat for the eyes, but what about your other senses? A video game puts vision, hearing, and touch to work, but where’s taste and scent? You can give someone a golfing outing, but at the very least, taste is usually left out. A baseball game, complete with hotdogs, is much closer to a full experience.
You see where I’m headed here?
Find All Five
There’s nothing wrong with any of the gifts listed above; in fact, they’re all pretty awesome. But think of the challenge (and the coolness) of pulling together a gift that puts all the major human senses to work.
And here’s the great thing: it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. All you have to do is match components that cover the whole sensory range. How that will work is up to you to “imagineer,” as the Disney people put it, within the confines of your budget — whatever that may be.
On the inexpensive end of the scale, you might, for example, give someone an aromatherapy gift basket with some exfoliating soap, a CD of soothing music, and a side of homemade cookies. On a more extravagant scale, you might spring for a sea cruise where every meal is a gourmet experience.
The Bottom Line
So rise to the challenge! Rather than give someone a static gift that engages only one of two senses, try to find a way to get all those senses involved, one way or another. This may takes some work, but it’s worth the effort.
And hey: if nothing else, you can always give them a Mr. Five Senses kit to put together — along with some scratch ‘n sniff stickers, maybe, the kind you have to lick to stick on the paper!