Oh Christmas, the time of year that you either love or hate, not going to lie I’m totally in the latter category with that one. However, when it comes to presents for those I love and care about I do try to go all out when and where I can. The best thing in the world is making someone happy with the present they have received and knowing that you have spent your money wisely choosing something they will love and cherish forever for whatever reason.
Now I’m no present buying expert but I’ve picked up some tips over the past few years on how to succeed in buying good presents that people will like. This is based a lot on a) trial and error and b) awful presents I’ve had over the years that I feel most other people would be disappointed with. Saying that though the majority of presents I have received over my 23 years have been amazing and I am a very lucky bugger. Getting on with it though, here are five tips that I use when deciding what to buy people for Christmas, birthdays etc.
Use your knowledge of that person to your advantage
Stuck with what to buy a person then ask the vaguely simple question what do they like? Do they like art? Music? Football? Clothes? Sci-fi films? Exercise? The list is endless as to what people enjoy. Even the most difficult person to buy for has some hobby, interest or love that you can exploit to buy a related present.
Make a list of potential presents
After you have asked yourself what said person you are buying for likes then make a list of potential presents based on that. If your budget is small maybe one present based on one interest or for bigger budgets like those for parents/significant others then take a few interests and buy an item for each. An example of this would be someone interested in art, if they draw themselves buy them art supplies, if they just like to admire then buy them a book or art, tickets to an exhibition or maybe a screen print from the many online outlets that stock them. If your pal is more of a foodie then maybe buy them a baking set, cook book, a voucher for afternoon tea somewhere wonderful or send them on a cooking masterclass day. Like I said once you know there interests, the things you could buy them become an endless list of possibilities.
Scour shops and online outlets
It’s always nice, if you have the time, to really scour independent stores or smaller online boutiques to look for something a little different for the person you are buying for. Spending that time really searching for something they will love is always worth the effort when you see a happy face after they have received the present and opened it. It may take time and energy to search all these stores especially if you are visiting independent stores in your city rather than going online but it is something that is worthwhile in the end and something I personally love to do.
Get something personalised
A great idea for a present is to get something personalised for the person you are buying for. Obviously this usually costs a little bit extra money so it’s probably not a good idea for office/friendship group secret santa where budgets are smaller but for best pals and other people you splash out on, it could be a great gift for them. Getting their initials on a notebook if they are a writer or buying them a personalised piece of jewellery always adds a little touch of the personal to any gift.
What to do if you are really struggling
If you are really struggling with a material possession to buy them then buy them an experience instead. Take them for a meal somewhere, take them to see their favourite band etc. Giving them an experience gives them memories that will last a long time and it will also give you the opportunity to hang out with a friend you may not have seen in a while too. Alternatively make them a gift that they can treasure forever. I know this could be a push for some, me included, this is more for the creatives among us I guess but knitting them a lovely scarf or making them a photo collage is a nice alternative and adds the most personal touch of all that you can add to a Christmas gift.
I hope some of these tips help you especially if you are struggling as Christmas starts to draw near. Like I said I’m not expert but these are some rules I follow when buying gifts for people. Good luck!