If you’re lucky and organised (like me *smug grin*) then all your xmas shopping will be done and your present wrapping is underway and you’re looking forward to finishing work for the year and eating and drinking and being merry.
If not here are some basic rules to abide by when you are mad dashing it through the shops trying to find something special.
- NO CANDLES – always abide by this rule. Candles are shithouse. The only reasonable excuses for buying this sorry excuse for a last minute present are:
- The person you are buying for collects, cupcakes/unicorns/cows and you find an awesome cupcake/unicorn/cow candle they will appreciate
- The candle smells amazing like coconut and looks gorgeous at the same time
- The recipient is crazy on a certain colour, like pink, and the candle is crazy pink and perfect for the recipient, you know the recipient well, and you know they’d appreciate it
- You have bought them a fondue set and are supplying extra tea light candles
- You want the person to hate you forever
- Ornaments – The candle rules apply here too.
- Consumables are good - Rather than picking an ugly $10 statuette of a dolphin consider some chocolates or even hand picked flowers.Flowers are organic so will degrade when they’ve done their dash. Once they’re dead all remnants will be removed from the house and there will be no resentment about the ugly dolphin hiding in the closet.Chocolates will be eaten and packaging will be the only remnant which can be disposed of. Homemade cookies or cupcakes show consideration and care.
Choose wine or alcohol only when you know what the recipient prefers or if they have a lot of guests. It’s never nice to receive a nasty bottle of red wine, especially when you don’t drink red.
Consumables are always the best bet when you have no idea what to give someone.
- Vouchers – Most people consider giving vouchers a cop-out. But they’re ideal for teenagers who generally don’t have much money to splurge.
They’re also great for clothing and music because they’re both very personal things.If the person you are buying for has enough money to buy whatever they want consider getting them a voucher to an unusual shop they wouldn’t normally frequent so they can get something extra special. Buying a meal for two at a nice restaurant or a hotel room for the night if you really want to splurge is a fun idea too.
- Don’t buy photo albums unless you:
- Know the recipient uses film
- Fill it with photos first
- Give a photo printing voucher as well
- Avoid lunch hours – The hours between 12 and 2 are crazy busy on the streets right now. Office workers are out in force at these time. You will get annoyed and give up early.
- No perfume – Perfumes are intensely personal so avoid them unless you know the recipients signature scent. A gorgeous natural body moisturiser, scrub, or bath bomb (if they have a bath) is a great alternative and a consumable gift.
- Donations – For the eco warrior, selfless, or people who have everything make someone else’s holiday. Donate food, time, money, or gifts in their name. Oxfam has a great scheme called Oxfam Unwrapped that I’ve been using for a few years now. There are a bunch of different “gifts” ranging from goats and chickens, to toilets and condoms. Each gift has a different price and the money goes in the general direction that you aim it. There is some flexibility so that money goes where it’s needed most, the website gives this example:
For example, your purchase of a donkey will be used for:
Buying local donkeys (this saves us a lot of wrapping and postage costs)
Getting them to the families they will be helping
Training families in how to care for their donkeys
Other essential parts of our rural livelihood work, like farming tools and training – helping impoverished farmers take the first essential step out of poverty.
Each purchase come with a card featuring a cute picture of the gift you purchased, you can choose e-cards for instant delivery.
This campaign has been superbly delivered over the years and the cute donkeys and ducks draw me in every time.
- Most of all think before you buy. What would you honestly think if you received that present. Now put yourself in the recipients shoes and really think about what they would appreciate