Curiosity Section, Gift Ideas
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“Synchronised gifting”, Cuban-style

This weekend was a birthday party of a good friend of mine. He was turning 30 and his girlfriend organised a surprise Cuban-themed party in his honour, inviting close friends from all over the world to come and celebrate together. Months of planning and a ridiculous amount of secrecy (try “flying” his brother all the way from his home country without giving anything away) culminated in a great celebration…with quite a bit of mojitos and some late-night salsa dancing.

But let me not bore you with all the details but focus on an interesting gifting concept that’s gaining popularity at the moment. I call it “synchronised gifting”. It’s a bit like synchronised swimming in essence, where all participants create one beautiful experience with everyone working in tandem to enhance the overall effect. The idea is pretty simple – it’s obviously great to get one amazing gift, but if there are other gifts that complement each other, the overall “amazingness” is far greater.

But back to our Cuban party. His main gift was a once-in-a-lifetime adventure in Cuba (now it all makes sense, right!). Two weeks of blissful living in a country that’s been admired for its spirit by many remarkable people, from Hemingway to Mandela. We naturally thought it would make more sense to theme our gifts around his Cuban adventure and prepare him for the trip ahead – it’s also far easier to come up with ideas once you have a direction (one more bonus). Having a theme made us all very organised and determined to find special little things that would make him remember us while sipping cocktails on the beach.

While others went down the tongue-and-cheek route, I decided to be more practical (my regular readers will know I like to combine practicality with playfulness when gifts are involved). These fabulous swim shorts in bright pink feature a map of Cuba – highly practical for an island with pristine beaches, but also much more fun than your regular Speedos.

closeup

I bet it will be the most Instagrammed item in his wardrobe during the trip (I wonder what hashtag he’ll use…).

And in case he does decide to explore the island beyond the beachfront, I’ve found a useful guide with Top 10 suggestions for historical attractions and places to eat, all helpfully signposted on a high quality map.

cuba map

Now for the packaging. I chose an azure-coloured gift bag with tropically-themed stickers on the tag (parrots and pineapples, in case you wondered),to offer a small hint on what’s inside.

finished bag 1

finished tag

What do you think about themed gifts? Something to try or a bit of a gimmick?

As always, happy gifting!

Ilona x

P.S. In case you really liked the shorts, find them here 🙂

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