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Quiz: Do you have the gift for giving?

Is giving gifts just another chore? A crashing bore? Or is it something more? Being a great gift-giver -- and a gracious gift-getter -- is innate in some of us. But it is also a core communications skill that can be cultivated. How gifted are you? Give yourself the time to take our telling test.
  1. If you only had $5 to spend on a gift, you'd most likely go for:

    A bar of really great soap from a bath boutique.
    One of those pre-boxed $5 accessory sets.
    A blowout-priced sweater or shirt that obviously looks much pricier.
  2. Your take on gag gifts, please?

    Because they're almost invariably cheaper than ''real'' gifts, they usually reveal a stingy nature.
    They can be great, good fun -- often showing more imagination and thought than more sober items.
    The alleged ''humor'' in them invariably escapes you.
  3. Your idea of a great gift-shopping expedition would be one that:

    Goes quickly, with few civilian casualties as you careen down the aisles.
    Yields lots of knock-'em-dead, expensive (or at least expensive-looking) goodies.
    Yields ''just the thing'' for each person on your list -- which will be more the result of prior brainstorming and strategizing than of pure dumb luck.
  4. Perhaps the most publicized public-offering of a present was the Victoria's Secret catalog's diamond-studded Millennium Bra, billed as ''the ultimate gift,'' and tagged at a cool $10 million. (A bonus point if you recall Heidi Klum modeled it.) Your thoughts, please (on the garment, not the girl)?

    What a wild fantasy gift. Seems V.S. found yet another way to entertain, entice and amuse its catalog readers.
    Any man who'd give this to his woman must be -- OK, riiiilly, riiiilly rich -- but also deeply and profoundly in love.
    And the punch line is ... ?
  5. OK, we've all read those Valentine's Day articles that suggest such gift ideas as taking tweezers and removing a fortune cookie's paper innards -- then inserting your own love note. Your take, please?

    Dopey! (a little Sneezy, Sleepy and Grumpy, too)
  6. How do you feel about ''just because'' gifts?

    Um ... just because what?
    They're great -- the bigger, the better!
    They're often the most meaningful, and therefore precious, to you.
  7. There's a stand-up comic whose act includes this bit about a jerk at a bar who offers to buy her a drink. ''No, thanks,'' she deadpans, ''but I'll take the three bucks instead.'' This strikes you as:

    Very amusing: She's deliberately misinterpreting the gift-offering's meaning.
    A not-unreasonable request, really. Actually, it makes sense.
    Fiscally unclear: Unless the three bucks include the tip, she wouldn't be getting fair value.
  8. You find a clever, offbeat gift for your favorite uncle at a flea market; but these markets being kind of amenity-less affairs, you're only offered a brown paper bag to tote your purchase, so before tendering said gift you:

    Cadge a box from a fancy store.
    Smooth the creases out of the bag (if they're really bad).
    Brainstorm about what kind of creative packaging would complement your unusual find (you may even have the fixin's at home).
  9. Your take on bridal registries, s'il vous plait?

    Hey, makes my life easier.
    They don't allow for gifts from the heart.
    The recipients know exactly what you paid, which really bites. You could probably get more bang for the buck elsewhere and really impress 'em.
  10. If your beloved's birthday fell, say, a week before Valentine's Day, the upside would be that it would:

    Kinda brighten the dreary month of February (and, OK, make Pooky's birthday easier to remember, not that you really need much reminding).
    Allow you to get away with a single combined-purpose gift -- one less thing for your to-do list.
    Give you the op to really dazzle Pooky with your back-to-back largesse.
  11. The office hottie's birthday is coming up, and you're considering gift possibilities. You figure silk boxers, or a silk bikini-and-camisole set, would be:

    Probably as good a choice of a gift as any.
    An excellent choice -- silk always shows class.
    An excellent choice -- if you were joining the government's witness relocation program the next day. Please, you're blushing just reading this question.
  12. Now, it's your turn: ''Happy birthday,'' trills a co-worker as she advances toward you with a festive-looking cake. You'd be most pleased to learn the confection was:

    Home-baked, the handiwork of her own dainty digits.
    From the priciest patisserie in town.
    Edible -- it could come from the moon for all you care.

-- Posted: July 11, 2001


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