It's Saturday morning, and I'm lingering over my coffee, sitting in my new favorite spot in the house. I recently moved some furniture around, and now I can sit here in the sunporch and look out on the trees and field behind the house. As I'm looking out the window, a trio of coyotes come running through, keeping mostly to the treeline.
It's Saturday afternoon, and I've just put away the Shop Vac after spending another 30 minutes tackling the accumulated dust and grime in the basement. I wash off the dirt and pull out my favorite Le Creuset pan to get some gumbo going on the stove. (I find the porcelain enamel-glazed cast iron is ideal for accomplishing a perfect roux, and that's really the only tricky part.) Once it's simmering, I head back to my favorite spot. The sun's going down, and the snow and trees are tinged with pink, and I just sit and watch it get dark, taking my ease in this newfound comfort of just being at home.
It's Saturday night, and I've done all the washing up. Our bellies are full of gumbo and pumpkin cheesecake, and I've got my favorite drink in hand (an Old Fashioned, no cherry please).
My basement is getting clean, courtesy of my parents, who sent the Shop Vac as an early Christmas gift. My gumbo is perfect thanks to a sister-in-law who gifted me the
Le Creuset pan. And my drink is perfect because a pal whose brother is a glass blower bestowed a lovely handblown glass upon me. And so, my comfort-filled Saturday is punctuated with moments of gratitude for the kindness of others. And, likewise, I package up some of the leftovers to take to an appreciative friend.
I'm dwelling on this idea today, because I've just finished writing our feature story on home goods and housewares, which you'll find starting on page 16. You can tell a lot about a person just by wandering around the public areas of their home. Coffee lovers will have their coffee makers in a place of prominence. Budding chefs will have (or should have) a top-notch set of cookware. Home décor says something about our style. All the ways we outfit our homes contribute to our own comfort, and the comfort and ease of our friends and family.
When you gift or reward your audience with these kinds of items, you become a part of their daily rituals, and when they're tuned in, as I was on Saturday, you get the benefit of providing them those comforts, and the gratitude that goes with that. That's one way to build powerful loyalty and engagement. But it's not the only way. As usual, we've got plenty of ideas for you in this issue, from an overview of event gifting experiences to understanding change management and more.
So, welcome to 2019! I hope you find comfort, ease, and engagement with friends, family and peers all year long.