With Halloween done and gone, the natural progression of the holiday marketing cycle dictates that, by the time you read this, every shop will be playing Christmas carols on repeat, jingle bells will be tinkling on the high street, and colour schemes will be narrowed to red and green. All of this, to encourage you to get into that gift-giving mood.
And to be honest, this can be overwhelming at first thought, and second. Though, I remember a time, not that long ago, when trekking to a shopping centre in polar conditions on public transportation, seemed like a fine way to spend a Saturday. Since graduating, I have found this prospect less inviting!
In recent years, I have de-stressed my Christmas shopping significantly by looking online instead. I put the kettle on, open a browser window, and have instant access to far more than I could ever have seen at any shop, without getting out of my pyjamas.
Now, this is all well and good, but this convenience does nothing to alleviate an underlying headache surrounding this whole endeavour that can easily cause worry in your life. What do you get for people?
If you are struggling to think of a perfect gift start by asking yourself is there anything that the recipient genuinely needs? If your friend has been talking about needing a certain kitchen utensil, item of clothing or latest novel you can be sure you are getting them something that they will truly appreciate. When looking for gift ideas for children this approach can be especially useful, and the parents of the child will appreciate not getting something that is unnecessary and takes up space.
Hobbies are another good place to start when looking for gift ideas, depending on the hobby you may be able to get more supplies or items for your recipient. If they are interested in jewellery making, for example, Christmas is the perfect time to gift unusual or more expensive beads and accents that they may not normally purchase for themselves.
If you are concerned about unnecessary waste and packaging, consider getting together with friends or relatives to pool your resources and buy a larger item as a group. Gifts such as a musical instrument, season tickets to a favourite team or bike would be too extravagant for one person but are affordable as a group. Gifting someone an experience rather than a physical item is another great gift idea. You can find activities such as rally driving, belly dancing lessons and cooking classes all available for purchase usually in a gift certificate format.
Once you have found the perfect gift it is time to wrap it up. This is my favourite part, I love finding colourful paper, pretty ribbons and interesting decorations. If you struggle with getting straight lines remember that gift bags can be a great option if you need to make a present look polished quickly. I am a huge fan of reusing ribbon from previous gifts and have a whole drawerful of brightly coloured twine, ribbons and bits and pieces that I collect throughout the year before binge watching bow tutorials over a couple of glasses of wine. I find it quite soothing!