Buy presents friends and family will love
Probably the reason we all go so haywire at Christmas time with the endless unrestrained and often silly buying of gifts is that we don’t quite know how to put our love into words. Harlan Miller
Buying presents for other people shouldn’t be a task but it should be exciting. I’m one of those people who buy’s someone a present and can’t wait to give it to them! Each year I watch as friends and family drag their feet to the shops, without a list, in search of presents for people… this week Happiness Weekly takes the chore out of your Thanks Giving and Christmas shopping and finds the easiest way to buy the perfect presents for your loved ones.
1. Make a list of ideas for each person you need to buy for
The first step in your present shopping should be making a list of everyone you need to buy gifts for and setting a rough budget to stick to. This will also help narrow down the kind of present you can get everyone. With this list, I also tend to brainstorm a few ideas next to each name to point me in the direction of what stores or areas within stores I could look to find the perfect present for that person.
2. Consider their hobbies and interests
Everyone has a hobby or an interest. It’s human nature! Generally we use it as our outlet to express ourselves and reconnect with some time by ourselves. Your task is to find out what the person you are buying for is interested in. Sometimes this can be about asking the right questions and listening for the answer or clue to your perfect present. Get someone something unexpectedly cool, a bit different and quirky but I guarantee they’ll love it! “The gift has to be mainstream enough to be cool, yet unexpected enough to have remained unnoticed,” Jeff Wofford said.
3. Decide what they NEED
If their interest is unusual and you still aren’t sure what to get them, start having a think about what they may need. A petrol voucher, a grocery voucher, a gift certificate to a local beautician, perhaps you can’t stand driving in their car because it’s a mess… a voucher to a local car wash cafe? Think of things they will use and appreciate at the time. This is particularly good for siblings or very busy professionals that tend not to reward themselves.
4. Think outside the square
Combine the practical – the things you know they’ll use – and a hint of your creativity – with the things you know they’ll love. Everyone loves to receive a little survival box or personalised hamper from their loved ones. It’s easy, creative and shows your more thoughtful side. Buy a couple of items associated with their interest, get a photo of you with them, frame it, buy a bottle of alcohol, put it all together with some bath salts or shower gel and you have the perfect hamper for them. Even if they have a few of the items or don’t really need them, they’ll appreciate it because it’s designed especially for them.
5. Be organised!
Everyone wants something – why not take notes and pointers for things they mention throughout the year. Christmas and birthdays are inevitable and if you need to buy something for this person at some stage, this is the easiest way to do it. When it comes time to buy this person a gift, you will already have a list of ideas at the ready.
6. Take into consideration their circumstances
Take their circumstances into consideration for example, avoid buying a $50 gift certificate at a luxury day spa for someone studying at university fulltime and not working. The chances the person will use the gift certificate when it’s not on a specific product or doesn’t cover the full amount of something is not likely. Be realistic when considering the person’s circumstances. Something more practical for this person could be a book voucher, subscription to their favourite magazine or some money to spend at a big department store such as Myer or David Jones where they have plenty of selection for a reasonable price.
7. Get sentimental with older people
When my grandmother, who I was particularly close to, was really old with dementia it became impossible knowing what to get her for Christmas. The previous year I’d made her a scrapbook of the entire family but she didn’t get to look at it much, so this year I was out of ideas. I took a gamble, with nothing in particular in mind, I walked through Borders (now Bookworld) and found a food tray that you could put family photos in and personalise! What a great idea! It was perfect! Practical – but not another nightie – and personalised. Older people do require a bit more thought and care, but they will always enjoy something a bit more sentimental – pictures or even family videos. Sometimes the best, most memorable gift is something that no one else can give.
8. Search online
Still stuck for ideas? Search online – it can be as simple as typing in the person’s gender and age plus “gift ideas” into a Google search and there you have it: a list of ideas and inspiration! There are also gift generators online, so if you’re really stuck you can completely cheat using one of them, but it does take the thought and care out of it. Gifts.com includes some fantastic gift ideas from the experts! And while you’re online, spend some time searching for the gifts you had in mind to ensure they fall within your budget – if it doesn’t, adjust your budget or change the gift to something else.
9. Hit the shops
Now you’ve got the list of people you need to buy for, a list of ideas and a bit of a budget to stick to, it’s time to hit the shops and buy it! If the products you find are outside your budget or far different to what you found online, then hopefully you still have time to go home, order it online and still have it delivered before Thanks Giving or Christmas Day.
Don’t leave it until the last minute – but if you do…
Start shopping for presents as soon as possible. The closer it is to the time, the harder it is to arrange for shipping if you decide to purchase it online, find things in the stores (because they were all taken by the early-birds and the people who don’t work full-time!) and the harder it is to get motivated to actually go out there and do it! If you are shopping at the very last minute, this great Ask Men article may be suitable for you.
Great gift ideas
If the above ideas didn’t help, maybe this list will give the inspiration you need:
– Lessons in something they love: horse riding, pottery classes, cooking, dancing, a musical instrument, flying, ice skating…
– An aromatherapy massage (with a professional) – everyone loves to feel pampered
– Event/Concert tickets
– A novelty gift – something funny to make them laugh
– Something homemade: cookies, cakes, muffins, scrapbook of mementos
– Personalised coupon booklet – you could pay them back all year for being in your life!
– Journal, chocolates, gift certificates/vouchers, anything personalised, hampers/gift baskets, alcohol
– Simple but thoughtful: a poem, craft items or a performance.
December is a great time of year – I hope you have a happy and safe holiday season! Happy shopping!!
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