We know that it’s not just the ordering and the arrival of the perfect gift that’s important at Christmas. The hardest part starts much earlier with the careful selection of the right gift.
Finding the perfect gift for someone is hard. Whether it is deciding what to get your Mum who “doesn’t want anything this year, just having you home for Christmas is enough” or a colleague you picked for Secret Santa and with whom you have no interests in common.
It is worth remembering that studies have shown giving to others can make us happier than when we spend that same amount of money on ourselves.
But there’s a small catch. Before that happiness, there can be a whole lot of stress.
We can help, we’ve put together our thoughts for finding the perfect gift for everyone.
You can leave the actual logistics of the importing/exporting, transporting, storing and delivering goods down to us and the retailers. So, you just need to concentrate on selecting and purchasing.
These are our top 12 tips for the finding the perfect gift.
Spend a minute making a list of all the things the person is interested in. Write down as many things as you can and then brainstorm something to go with every item on the list, big or small.
The monetary value of the gift is unimportant. You can share a recipe you know someone really enjoys, written out in calligraphy on parchment paper, together with an offer to cook it with them. It’s not the gift, but the thought that counts.
Think back, can you capture a special moment, this can now be placed on mugs, canvases, cushions, bedding or socks to name a few. Or perhaps a recent achievement or qualification could be printed or framed, maybe a nostalgic trip down memory lane – Pokémon, Spice Girls or Nintendo inspired gifts?
Ask yourself what that person needs – Generally we all need something. Have a think about their needs, aspirations or goals. What does a super busy person need? Time, probably. There are tons of products out there to help people run their lives more efficiently. Gift baskets are also popular for a reason— Pick one thing, and rather than trying to find one perfect gift, put together several smaller gifts around that topic.
If all else fails, stalk. If you’ve done Secret Santa before, you’re familiar with this concept. But have you tried it on friends and family? Most people have a wish list on Amazon, and they’ll be delighted if you somehow found the thing they wanted without even asking, especially if they’ve forgotten it themselves. Look through their Facebook history for clues. How many people have posted something with “OMG I NEED THIS!” Pinterest is a gold mine.
Make the present an event – Get creative with the packaging, choose the envelope and the wrapping paper carefully and give it all a feel of personalised luxury. Rather than just handing a gift in normal wrapping paper, turn it into an experience. Hide the gift and send them on a treasure hunt to find it. Or put the present into a giant stuffed toy so they have to do surgery on it to get it out. Never underestimate the sheer fun of unwrapping presents.
Experiences are generally more memorable than objects. You can give this some thought and create a bespoke experience, it could begin with clues or a trail of hints to follow. Give something that you can share in, like theatre tickets or a holiday. This shows that you want to spend more time with the person, and also provides you with the perfect excuse to treat yourself! Some objects, such as games, books and DVDs, can also be experiences.
Give the gift of learning. Is there something they’ve always wanted to be able to do – play the piano, cook a fantastic meal or paint a masterpiece. Make it happen!
Tickle their taste buds. The key here is to stay away from the boring stuff they can do and get all the time, think of something they really enjoy or something to accompany something they really enjoy. Food is the universal pleaser, and no one is ever going to be disappointed by something that tastes delicious.
Give the gift that keeps on giving, a subscription to a magazine, coffee or a food box, you can even give monthly deliveries of socks, ties or other accessories. Go back to the list you made on #1 and see if any of your ideas can be turned into a subscription.
Be charitable. If someone on your list REALLY has everything they need, there are a lot of other people out there who don’t. So, find something they’re passionate about, and then donate to that cause. Could be planting trees, sponsoring a rescue animal or giving to a charity they already support.
Remember Christmas is all about giving and it really isn’t the gift, but the thought that counts, so think about your gift carefully. In general, give something that you know the person wants, maybe something that has come up in conversation or something that you have seen the person eyeing or browsing. Extra points for fun and originality, for instance, the bright yellow fountain pen or a couple’s massage class.
And don’t be alarmed if the you discover the perfect gift is in some far-flung corner of the world – air freight hand carry is an option right up until Christmas Day!