Gift Giving 101

Giving presents is something that I have loved for as long as I can remember and so when it comes to sorting out all the presents each year at Christmas time, I am in my absolute element. My friends have always said that I am a “good present buyer” (whatever that means!) and are always asking me to share the secret to giving great gifts. Well, I thought today I would finally put them all out of their misery and share some of my top gift giving tips with you all, as well as a few of my favourite places to find inspiration. I am going to chat through a few situations that you might find yourself in on your hunt for presents and how to conquer them, in the hope that it will help you buy inspired gifts for all of your favourite people. And I don’t mean to panic you, but as it is only 23 days until Christmas we better get going!

The first situation that you might be in, as we break into the first week of December, is that you have a huge list of people to buy presents for but no idea what you want to get for them? Buying Christmas presents can be really overwhelming, it isn’t like a birthday where one present bought the night before will do – advanced planning is key when there are so many people to buy for. We all want our presents to be really special and reflect our thanks for our loved ones being there for us, but how are you supposed to do that when your inspiration has all dried up? It is a nightmare situation but never fear as I am going to tell you just how to avoid this nightmare & get some great presents…
The first thing to do in this situation is to ask yourself what is the recipient is passionate about, be it a T.V series, musician, activity or food. If they love it then wouldn’t something around that theme make a perfect present for them. Once you have worked out whether they like siamese cats or blue cheese more, get on the internet and then onto a website like Etsy, or Not On The High Street and type in your recipients passion, you’ll be amazed with the results you will get. Let’s take an example – they might be obsessed with the film ‘Fight Club’, with a quick search on Etsy you can find Fight Club soap, signed movie scripts, artwork, iron on patches and so much more. So what are you waiting for, find their passion and let’s get searching!
If you are still struggling to find inspiration, don’t worry about it – there are plenty more ways to get inspired and the next one we are going to talk about is ‘the practical present’. I’m thinking socks, pyjamas, toasters and all the other practical gifts that people pretend to dislike but actually end up being some of the most used presents under the tree. I personally love receiving these sort of presents and I know I am definitely not the only one. Think about if there is anything that your loved one might need right now – have they just moved house or got a dog, or maybe they are reaching for a promotion at work. Whatever it is there will be things that they really need and by buying them for them you will be really helping them out, not all presents need to be glamorous!
Another top tip for if your inspiration is still lacking is to cast your mind back to the last time you were with the person that you are trying to buy a present for. Think about what they were talking about, did they point out something in a magazine that they thought looked cool, or were you shopping together and they fell in love with an ugly sweater? Great! Well not the ugly sweater… but you know if you can think of something that they have mentioned & get it for them, not only will they love it but it will show that you really listen to what they talk about. Top brownie points!

The last way I try to find inspiration is simply by getting out into the world of the shops and seeing what is around & if anything catches my eye. Here are a few of my favourite shops/places to browse for present inspiration

1. TKMaxx  – I love going into a huge TKMaxx shop with a list of people to buy presents for and just seeing what catches my eye. It is my one stop shop for all my gift giving needs.

2. Etsy – This is such a great online marketplace to find really individual and special presents, especially for crafty people. Or even just for inspiration.
3. Anthropologie – Both in-store and online this is a beautiful shop, enough said.
4.  Not On The High Street – I like to go on this website and look for inspiration, then sometimes I recreate their inspired ideas myself at home! If you have a tight budget this is something I would really recommend trying out.
5. This isn’t a shop but blogger’s gift guides always provide me with a total insight into all things lush & trendy – my favourite ones this year include, these by Kate la Vie and this absolutely jam-packed and gorgeous one by Estee Lalonde. They are such great places to find inspiration because that is exactly what they are created for, to help you out!
So we’ve chatted about the situation where you have no clue what to buy, but what some people forget is that actually many people are in the exact opposite situation. You know exactly what you want to get for your loved one, but can’t quite afford it. This is a tricky situation, and some would say even more nightmare-ish than the first. Before we begin to solve this let’s just get something straight,  I’m sure your loved one will know that if you could, you would give them the world, but sometimes that just isn’t possible.  So, in times like this you really do need to think outside the box. Don’t panic as I have a few ideas that might help you out on your hunt to get the ultimate present or a great (or even better) alternative…
My first tip is to shop around. If you think that every product only has one price then you are wrong, – that is unless the item you are after is quite literally one of a kind. However, in most cases if you  spend a bit of time on the internet, checking out some different websites, you may be surprised to see how often that the special gift that you want to get comes into reaching distance. Or maybe you will find a great alternative, after all there are so many brilliant products out there! Get searching, people!
If this doesn’t work then don’t be disheartened, there are still ways for you to attain you perfect gift and one great way to do that is to collaborate! Why not get together with your other friends or a family member and join forces (and wallets) to gift the ultimate present from both of you. Most people will be really happy to collaborate on gift giving because it will mean they have one less present to buy, so it is a win-win situation.
My last tip for this situation isn’t really a present buying tip but just a reminder to remember that your family & friends will probably love whatever you give them, because it is from you. So if you don’t manage to get them the expensive gift that you had in mind the likelihood is they won’t care, infact unless you’ve told them what you were planning to get them then they won’t even know! Don’t overestimate the power of a personal or handmade gift. As they say, it’s the thought that counts right!
I hope that my top tips today have helped you in your present buying mission this year and that has made the mammoth task ahead feel just that little bit more manageable. Try and enjoy the process, present buying can be really fun if you give it a chance and don’t forget to buy wrapping paper and top up on sellotape! What are your favourite type of presents to give? I think I’d say all of them! Yay, Christmas!
Love Holly x


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