The Garrulous Jay – Birthday Bird-table

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This week I celebrated my birthday so I hope you will forgive me the self-indulgence of writing about the wonderful gift I received from my colleagues, Fiona and James. As you can see from the photo, they gave me a magnificent new bird-table.

They presented me with the gift on Tuesday, the day before my actual birthday, and I immediately forgave them the absence of wrapping paper. On the day itself I decided to take a break from the office to cycle from Ely back home, which gave me plenty of time to consider the splendid new addition to our garden furniture.

It led me to consider what makes a great gift and why, and I came up with at least five factors which, who knows, some of you may find helpful to consider in your own present purchasing.

The first and most important is thoughtfulness. How much time has been spent thinking about what the recipient would really like. As we all know, we can learn a lot about how well someone knows us from the gifts they give us: take, for example, the books that go unread. James and Fiona are well aware of my interest in conservation and also my enthusiasm for my (rather chaotic) garden.

The second criteria, for me at least, is utility. I love a present that can be used because it extends the time and frequency with which it is appreciated. I shall be asking James to apply his lump hammer to the bird table to erect it where I can see it from my office desk, never mind the threat to my productivity, so I can enjoy it helping Haveringland’s songbird population daily.

Third on my list is effort. My colleagues could have popped to a local garden centre and bought me a bird-table but no…instead, James built mine himself! Even better, though, you will see the George Shippam Financial Planning Jay & Acorn logo has been emblazoned on the pediment of the table too: extra effort and attention to detail beyond what was necessary for an already great gift.

Fourthly, I think longevity can be an important consideration. Make no mistake, jars of olives and bottles of craft ale are always welcome, but the best presents last. My bird-table has clearly been crafted to withstand the worst of the English winter (and summer) weather by a man who knows his way around a toolbox.

Finally, a little bit of humour never goes amiss in my opinion, but perhaps that reflects back to the first of my five criteria.

Clients of George Shippam Financial Planning need look no further for evidence of some of the values we carry into our work every day. Thanks, Team!