November 27, 2019
The Present Hunter: Christmas wrapped up!
Top Tips to take the stress out of present buying this Christmas…
With over 20 years of savvy shopping under my belt, I though it was about time I passed on some of my tricks to nailing that perfect gift every time. This is not another gift guide. More a guide to taking the stress out of the shopping process and making sure you are putting your feet up on Christmas Eve rather than panic buying your gifts.
Don’t buy for yourself
This is the absolute golden rule. In order to pin down the perfect gift, you have to really think about who you are giving it to. What are THEY in to, where do THEY like to shop, what colours do THEY tend to wear, do THEY wear gold or silver jewellery… This is not about YOU!! You may absolutely hate the thing you choose to give them, but that’s totally irrelevant to the art of giving!
See it buy it
A bit late for this year, but maybe something to think about for 2020…if you keep you eye out year round for all those little gifts, you will end up with a present drawer fit to bursting when the time comes. Try and train yourself to see the opportunities when they present themselves. Plan for the discounts – retailers have sales all year round which will save you £££ on your usual Christmas shop. Supermarkets have great gift idea aisles, especially for kids. Duty Free can also be a great money saving opportunity. In order not to double up, keep an open list on your phone of all the goodies you have picked up along the way.
Don’t set the bar too high
When you produce that first little bundle of joy, it’s so tempting to shower them with gifts, but take it from me, when you’ve got four of the little devils, you might think differently down the line! Santa is not meant to be made of money. For goodness sake he’s got billions of children to think about each year, and it’s perfectly reasonable for your kids to assume that he doesn’t favour them over anyone else! Keep those stocking fillers small but beautifully formed. And don’t be afraid to give them a little of what they need. There’s nothing wrong with a new toothbrush and a pair of socks being slipped in to bulk it up now is there!
Filter, filter, filter
Be honest, we’ve all received gifts for ourselves or family members that don’t quite hit the mark. Instead of being disappointed, think of these presents as opportunities to pass something on to someone who really will enjoy them. It will save you money and keep the clutter at bay as well! Just remember to keep a note of who gave you what so as not to re-gift the giver and face serious embarrassment!
Don’t be a lazy shopper
Don’t just opt for yet another cuddly toy for your niece or nephew. Instead try and think ‘things to do’, ‘things to make’, ‘games to play’. Kids enjoy sticker books from as young as 2. The pens that come with magic painting books can be frustrating for tiny tots, but give them a bigger paintbrush with it and they’ll be entertained for ages! Orchard Toys do great entry level games that will give you Christmas Day entertainment right there. Themed fuzzy felt is also a winner! I’d even go as far as to gift a magazine to keep the little ones busy. Just because it costs 3 times as much, doesn’t mean that expensive toy will get as much airtime.
Think vintage & second hand
Some of the most well received gifts I have given have been vintage jewellery. The pieces generally cost a fraction of the high-street price, and they have that unique feel that makes the wearer feel a little bit special. Vintage coffee pots, vases and teapots have also gone down well along the way. Charity shops are also a great source of gifts for kids. Children couldn’t give a monkey’s about expensive packaging, in fact trying to get that prized present released from its Fort Knox packaging can sometimes be a source of real stress on the big day! Consider buying second hand and you’ll be doing your wallet and the planet a big favour at the same time too.
Finally, instead of adding to the clutter year on year, think about investing in ‘experiences’. To give you examples, I’ve bought family members tickets to Chelsea Flower Show, a 2 hour Sushi making course, tickets to the theatre, tickets to Harry Potter World, a driving experience at Mercedes Benz World and various gig tickets over the years. RHS or National Trust membership are also winners! This might not be immediate gratification, but how much of that gets lost in the chaos of the day anyway. Experiences carry the magic on for months to come, and give you memories to cherish forever.
Get in touch to find out how my Present Hunter service can help you…