A conversation that happened somewhere, at some point in time.
A: Hey, you know Obama’s visiting us.
B: Obama? You mean the US president?
A: Yes. We should give him something…a nice gift.
B: But what? I’m sure he has everything a man could wish for.
A: I know. Let’s give him crocodile insurance!
What not to gift
You know how I always write about what to gift? Well, not today. This post on Mental Floss inspired me to write this post on what not to gift anyone, let alone the head of a country.
Crocodile insurance: This is a bad, bad gift idea. Australia’s Northern Territory Chief Minister, Paul Henderson, apparently gifted Obama a $50,000 insurance policy to be used if he was ever attacked by a crocodile. Obama was being polite when he called it “the most unique gift I’ve received as president.” Forget Obama …never give this to anyone, except maybe some guy at the National Geographic.
A donkey*: Repeat after me, “Donkeys do not make for good gifts“. Puppies yes, kittens sure. Maybe even a panda or two. Take my word on this, no one; in this day and age, would be happy receiving a donkey as a gift.
A donation to charity: Let’s get this clear. This is charity and it is a donation; sure it’s for a good cause. But, it’s not a gift. Not even if it is to the recipient’s favourite organisation. Altruistic is not what you will end up looking. The only exception is if someone actually tells you,” Please donate to my charity. It is the best gift you can give me. Nothing else would make me happier.“
Portrait rugs: Yes, such a thing exists as President Clinton found out. This is what it looks like. Sure, they may be a work of art but think of this — how would you feel if you saw your face being trampled upon day in and day out? Not good I suspect.
What does the US president do with all the gifts?
On a side note, you’re probably wondering what Obama does with all the gifts he receives, good or otherwise. Well, he can only keep those gifts that cost below $350. Any gift that costs more than that either goes to the National Archives or is donated to charity (now do you see why crocodile insurance is such a terrible gift? It can’t even be donated). If the president wants to keep any of the gifts, he has to buy it at market value.
It’s not all bad though. These are some amazing gifts a country has received.
* I have nothing personal against donkeys. They’re just not great gift material.
P.S: Need help choosing a gift? I’ll make sure your gift never ends up in a list like this. Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.