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A perfunctory thank you for a practical gift is pleasant if lacklustre. If you really want someone to light up with gratitude this season, get a little carried away with holiday giving. What exactly do I mean? Read on.

Instead of giving 'em socks, give rocks. Socks serve a purpose, but they get holes in them and get lost in the dryer. Jewels, on the other hand, won't easily be forgotten and don't lose their shape. If you don't have a ruby budget, try semi-precious Canadian stones such as blue sodalite, pink dolomite and iridescent labradorite. Instead of flannel, give silk. Flannel is cozy and cute until it pills. Silk fibres are as strong as nylon, as warm as fleece and as light as air. Banana Republic has stylish silk shirts for women and Harry Rosen carries sexy loungewear for men.

Instead of soap, give perfume. Soap just turns into a slimy, deformed puck. Even the tiniest bottle of fragrance will ensure that he or she thinks of you with every spritz. For her, Chanel's Coco Mademoiselle is forever young. For him, why not a bottle of nineties nostalgia from Tommy Hilfiger?

Story continues below advertisement

Instead of a sweater, give fur. There's nothing as toasty as a little fuzz next to your skin. If you must give a sweater, make sure it's soft and light, not scratchy or heavy. Feel your way to the finest fibres, such as angora, cashmere or, if you're feeling really extravagant, vicuna.

And instead of a gift card, give crisp, clean, stipulation-free cash. 'Tis the season, after all.

This story originally appeared in the November 2014 issue of Globe Style Advisor. To download the magazine's free iPad app, visit tgam.ca/styleadvisor.

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