December 12th, 2014
A Guide to Buying the Perfect Christmas Gift
Buying the perfect Christmas gift for friends, family and loved ones can be a pleasure, but it can sometimes be a pain too. That’s the thing about Christmas gifts – if you nail it, you nail it and you make someone you care about really happy on a special day… but get it wrong, and you have to watch them try to hold an enthusiastic expression on their faces as they thank you, feebly, for the socks/soap set.
So what are the main things to keep in mind when you’re buying Christmas gifts? Well, we like to think we know a thing or two about gift giving, so take a look at our top tips for Christmas shopping before you hit the stores this winter.
Decide if practical is preferred. Yes, of course, we all know that the ideal Christmas gift should be something we want and not something we need – but let’s be real here; sometimes we quite simply want what we need, and nothing more. If this is the case, don’t sweat it – it might not seem terribly romantic or special, but if you’re getting a new microwave for someone who really desperately needs a new microwave, your gift will be greatly appreciated.
If time is an issue when buying gifts, shop online. It’s a no-brainer, really, and while it’s not quite as festive and atmospheric as icy, fairy-lit streets in December, it’s quick and relatively stress-free. Just make sure you give yourself plenty of time for delivery.
DO NOT get them things you like. Get them things THEY like. This seems simple, but you’d be surprised how many people see something they love, and simply can’t fathom a person they love not loving it too. This is how bad gifts happen to good people. Yes, you will inevitably be drawn to the things you like, the things that catch your eye, that make you think ‘well I’d love to get this’! So our recommendation is, when shopping for Christmas gifts for specific people, make a little list beside their name of what they like, who they are, what colors they love and what hobbies they’re into. Refer to your list whenever you need to, which if you’re anything like us, may be quite often.
Another time-saver for families and groups of friends when it comes to buying Christmas gifts is to see if everyone is into doing a secret santa. Decide on a budget that everyone is ok with, and then just pick names out of a hat and buy for one person. You can use gifting sites and apps like Elfster to leave hints for each other, so if you pick your semi-estranged brother or that one friend you never really clicked with, you can still get them something awesome.
Pool resources. This is a tip we give a lot, and for all kinds of gifting occasions. If you’re working with a budget, throw it in a pot with a few other people and get someone something a little bit more special.
Finally, enjoy yourself. It’s Christmas, and it’s supposed to be fun! You might find it difficult to buy for a few people, but don’t get too stressed. The point of Christmas is to spend time with the people you love and be thankful for what you already have. The gifting is just the icing on the (Christmas) cake!