I have this crazy idea about gift-giving that’s pretty radical, apparently, and that’s to give that special someone something they’d actually like to have, and not what you think is good for them.
I know, I know—but hear me out.
Once my good friend showed me what his girlfriend had gotten him for his birthday, and it was a teddy bear inside a clear balloon sitting on a mound of confetti and I couldn’t help asking, “She’s … met you, right?” I mean, I’m sure it was an adorable gift for someone out there, but there are a lot better gifts for my friend than a stuffed animal.
But then, who wouldn’t? A knife as a gift is just about perfect for a variety of people.
Now, there are a lot of knife superstitions out there:
- If you put a knife under the bed of a woman in labor, it will cut the pain in half.
- Keep it there because a knife under the bed scares away evil spirits.
- Cut your bread with a knife instead of breaking off a piece, or you’ll end up with a broken life.
- And the worst—giving someone a knife will cut your relationship off. Yeah, like they’d rather have a vacuum cleaner or a mug that says they hate Mondays or a daisy calendar to hang in their kitchen.
Should you give knives as a gift if the consequences are potentially so dire?
The Answer–AKA Knife Gift with a Coin or Penny: If you or your gift receiver is superstitious, include a penny with the knife. Some people tape the coin directly to the blade. Then when you give them the gift, have them give you back the penny. Now you have been compensated, and the bad luck is severed. Do this even if you are not superstitious, because you never know what fears lurk under your friends’ bravado.
8 Reasons Why Knives Make a Great Present
1.) Fidget Spinners Are Boring.
There. I said it. I’ve even gotten a fidget spinner as a present, and it was a cool light-up one. But eventually, the charm pales: It spins. That’s it. Whereas the knife I keep at my desk has a flipper opener and thumbs studs for fast, fidgety fun. When my hands start to claw up from typing, I take a moment and practice opening the blade with the loudest snick possible. I see how fast I can get it to deploy. I do a quick knife clean. Someone here sees my folder and we compare blades, but then I work at a knife company. (Seriously, I hear knives opening and closing around me all day. If it were a different company, we’d have a serious HR problem.) Then my hands feel better and I stop reading about knives and can go back to writing about them.
2.) Cooking is SO Much Better With Good Knives.
Know someone that likes to cook? Blow their minds with a decent kitchen knife that makes short work of a counter-full of ingredients. It’s night and day when you prepare food and go from a dull blade to a sharp knife that actually slices the food rather than crushing it apart. If you need to ramp it up a bit, choose a knife with a cool name like The Shun Kanso–kanso means the zen principle of beauty through simplicity. Then write on the card, Life with you is simply beautiful … you know, if they like that sort of thing.
3.) There’s a Variety of Styles for Every Personality.
You can pick out a knife as singular and unique as the recipient. If you’re wondering which knife to buy, consider the personality and pursuits of the person you’re shopping for. Are they a tough, outdoorsy kind of person? Get them a rough, tough knife that can handle heavy use. Does your family like camping, hunting, fishing? Then sturdy knife gifts for all!
Or perhaps that someone is sleeker and more streamlined. Get them a gentleman’s pocket knife that matches. Something useful and elegant.
Me, I’ve always wanted a house with a secret passageway behind a bookcase. I’d love a knife that opens in a way that’s hard to figure out unless you know the secret.
Everything from wolf-styled to dragonish to mermaids to sharks, we’ve got a knife for that.
4.) Knives Are Great for Self-Defense and Safety.
The world is a beautiful place, but also a dangerous one. Show someone you care by getting them a tactical knife that adds a measure of security. A blade with a belt cutter and glass breaker is great for a rescue-minded person, or anyone that might need rescuing at some point.
A knife gift for Mom or others who may be uncomfortable walking alone is a wise gift. If you have a blade on you, and you pull it out when you don’t feel safe walking to your car alone, then you automatically are crossed off the list as a vulnerable, easy mark.
A knife gift for a firefighter, policeman, or other rescue personnel is also ideal–as first responders and when they’re in need of a quick tool.
5.) Knives Are For Collectors.
People who collect knives are obviously going to love a knife as a present. Don’t just buy one that catches your fancy, though. Go talk to them about their collection so you know which knife to buy. What’s their favorite? What’s their next acquisition? Ask questions and listen. For history lovers, for people who like artistic creations, you can start a knife collection out for them. Would they rather have a German knife or a Japanese blade? American? Old-fashioned, traditional knives, or something more modern? Or maybe they would like a knife made from parts of history, like a knife crafted from the steel of World War II tanks.
6.) A Knife Can Be a Family Heirloom.
There are few objects that make it to the next generation and the next. I like to pick books out for my children and write notes to them on the flyleaf, but let’s be honest: books are paper and less likely to survive. Watches and jewelry make the grade occasionally, but a knife is the perfect heirloom. It stays in style, doesn’t have many working parts to repair, and is useful. Nothing beats something that is handsome and useful. You can also have the metal parts engraved with a name or an important saying. A knife can be useful, thoughtful, and something to be passed on.
7.) Knives Make The Perfect Gift for Groomsmen.
Full flasks are often given to groomsmen at weddings, but consider–how many calamities could be avoided if the wedding party were a little bit less inebriated? Inappropriate declarations of love to the bride, dancing with several items of clothing removed, the breaking of furniture–all avoided with less alcohol. Besides, a knife is a more useful everyday tool than a flask, so . You can engrave your gift pocket knives with the recipients’ names and the important date. The perfect memento
8.) Knives Are a Sign of Trust.
In Scandinavia, the gift of a knife is a sign of respect and admiration. You hand the receiver the knife with the handle towards them as a sign of trust. A responsible child, when given their first knife, knows you trust them. That you’re saying they’re mature enough to be careful with a blade. A Swiss Army knife or other type that focuses on utility is a perfect starter blade for a younger person you know will take their first knife seriously.
Here’s the thing. The right gift makes you feel seen. For instance, if someone gives you something that makes you think, “Wow, you don’t know me at all,” it’s a bit of a bummer. Because if the people that love you think you want a bear in a balloon, and that’s really not your style, then you end up feeling like you’re not worth the small amount of attention it would take to know that. It’s a weirdly isolating, lonely sort of feeling.
We’ve all gotten awful presents that were innocently off the mark, like a grandparent buying you a jersey of a team you hate because you “love sports so much” or a creepy bug-eyed cat poster because you like animals, but at least they’re in the general vicinity of your personality, no matter how off. But if someone gets you what they like or something they think you should like, then it’s kind of awful.
Therefore, if you have a knife afficionado, wrap up the perfect blade for them and don’t forget to include a bright, shiny penny.