I hope you like your gift air plant. It is a Tillandsia ionantha rubra cv. Red.
It origintes from a tropical climate where it gets its moisture from the air. In our dry climate, you will have to assist in the future for it to thrive. Air plants have little fuzzy grey/white hairs on their leaves, which they use to absorb nutrients from the air.
To keep it happy and healthy:
During summer, spray your air plant a few times a week and less frequent during the colder, darker months. The best water is rainwater as it is pure and free of chemicals and calcium carbonate. For your plant to really love you, spray your plant with an air plant fertilizer. Never leave your plant wet. Afetr it has been sprayder or soaked it is very important that it is allowed to dry so it does not collect water in the centre – or it will rot.
When you spray hte plant, spray both sides anf then shake off excess water and allow to dry upside down. In addition to regular spraying, soaking the air plants monthly is very much recommended.
To make your air plants even happier, I recommend that you soak it every two weeks or so in a bowl with lukewarm water (rinwater is significantly better than tap water as they do not tolerate chlorine. Microwave the bowl of water lightly, check that it is slightly above room temperature (don’t boil it!!) then place the plant upside down in the bowl for 60-120 minutes of soaking. When the spa treatment is over, shake it lightly upside down and place the air plant upside down on a towel to run off. It is very important that it dries completely and no water collects between the leaves.
Here is an example below:
Eventually it will flower! After it has flowered it will slowly die, but before then it will produce little babies (pups) along the base. Do not pull these off until the mother plant has died completely. You will then have several new plants to enjoy.