It can be difficult to choose the right Christmas gift for a friend or family member, there’s so much to choose from where do you start? Vouchers are money seem like a safe option, but they don’t really make the recipient feel very special (as they require very little thought or effort)! Generic gifts are a bit of a let-down too, oh look another box of chocs/ bottle of wine / scented candle – it’s not that people are ungrateful it’s just that a well thought out gift can bring the recipient far more joy than a hastily purchased present.
So, this year resolve to shop smartly, put some quality time aside to really think about what your loved ones would really like. It’s not as tricky as you think if you adopt a positive attitude and hone your detective skills! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Make a List of Their Interests
What does your friend or family member like to do in their spare time? Do they have any hobbies or interests that you know of? Do they enjoy visiting certain places or are you aware of something new they would like to try or learn?
If your friend likes to read then the latest bestseller by their favourite author or (if you can stretch to it) a first edition would make a superb gift. Cat-loving friends and relatives would adore one of the perfect Pusheen Christmas gifts available from Gund. The Pusheen character is well-known and well-loved for her opinionated stance and cute antics. It’s not just a gift for the youngsters in your life either, Pusheen is popular with all ages.
Consider What They Want and Need
There’s a fine line between buying a useful gift that the recipient will value (such as a new tablet case, a case for their spectacles or a neck pillow) and a practical gift that might disappoint or enrage the recipient (we’re thinking along the lines of a pair of oven gloves, a set of tea towels or a toilet brush)!
As the gift giver, you need to make sure you stay on the right side of that line (if you want to maintain a healthy relationship with your friend or relative)! If they have specifically asked for an egg whisk or a new iron then fair enough, but if not we think you should err on the side of caution! Christmas is the opportunity to give a person something you think they will love, perhaps something they wouldn’t normally treat themselves to, such as a pricey bottle of perfume or a magazine subscription. The gift doesn’t have to be overly expensive though to make an impact. In the case of Christmas gift giving it really is the thought that counts.
Mount a Covert Operation
Still not sure what to get? Go fishing, a casual chat with the person you are buying for could provide you with lots of clues. They might unconsciously drop a few hints about needing a new watch or how much they loved the gold clutch bag in the window of the new shop that’s opened in town. You can also ask others close to the person in question, such as their parents, children, a sibling or another close friend. They might be able to give you some good ideas for gifts that will be truly appreciated.
Children tend to be much more vocal about what they want (and much more direct). They will happily provide you with a list as long as your arm of all the things they need, like and must have! Sit with your child as they write their list, this is a good time to teach the art of managing expectations! If their list is full of expensive goodies you can explain that Santa can’t possibly bring everything so he uses the list as a snapshot of some of the things you would like. Father Christmas can them choose the most appropriate gifts and perhaps the child will receive one or two of the other requested items for their birthday.
Give with Love
The best gifts are the ones that are given with lots of love. Gift giving produces endorphins and neurologists suggest that our brains are wired so we actually get a certain amount of pleasure from giving. What are you waiting for? Boil the kettle and get brainstorming, it’s time to bring on the Christmas shopping.