People often tell me I’m good at choosing presents – maybe they’re faking me out but I seem to do an alright job so thought I’d share how a few tips about what I do. This really just covers people who are hard to buy for since I’m sure you’ve got nearest and dearest sorted.
Think about the person you’re buying for and what they like. Or what their current situation is. For example, this year I’ve bought something really practical but plain and stylish for my brother and his wife because they love their home and like to spend time there. It’s something that can easily be put up out of the way but will be used often.
Pick one point about your gift receiver and focus on that. Do they love coffee? Get them a local roast that you enjoy and share it with them.
Are they a runner? Pick a nice natural rub for sore muscles.
Do they only have a shower? Don’t buy them bath products.
Are they a parent of young children? Give them a voucher for a night’s babysitting where you also feed the kids (and follow up to make sure they use it).
Are they a gardener? An indoor plant, seeds, gardening book or voucher is probably a better idea than outdoor plants because they’ll have their own thing going on.
Go for easy
I have three brothers, which makes presents HARD sometimes. However, all those brothers have feet so last year some of them got these slippers. They were a mega hit and with the help of some spying from Mum I could find out their shoe size so they fitted nicely. I went for navy, which is pretty non-offensive and everyone was happy.
Don’t be too personal
I would never buy perfume for someone unless they’d worn the same one every day since they were 17.
Also if your person likes something (like craft, reading, scrapbooking) then buying along that theme is REALLY easy to get wrong. Maybe ask for some suggestions from them?
Hard to buy for people
I usually like to buy short-lasting presents rather than things that hang around. For example:
- Nicer versions of household cleaning products (like EcoStore)
- A non-personal voucher: garden or book voucher in favour of a massage voucher for example
- A voucher for something they enjoy so they can spend their money elsewhere. For example, if they have a favourite café organise a voucher for there – they can always take a friend if it’s too much.
- A notebook and pencil
- A potted plant
- Baking (especially if they can take it and share it around work).
People you actually hate
See ‘hard to buy for people’ except omit baking because you shouldn’t be wasting your time on haters.
>>Also see: Gifts to buy for your bland sister in law
Everyone buys them hand cream they really want gin (one told me).
I think it’s good to buy a box of chocolates in favour of booze – it’s easier to share a box of chocolates. And you avoid any unknown alcohol issues.
Give to charity
They might not like it at first but it’s a way better use of money than buying something that goes into a cupboard. Write a heartfelt card with this one.
Wrap it well
If you show you care then people feel special receiving your gift – that’s half the battle.
>> I’ll also blog some ideas about gift wrapping later on.