Unfortunately, the problem with typical Christmas gifts (think soap, gift vouchers and socks) is that they lack in creativity and thought. If you want to make your rellies and all other recipients feel special and cared for, it’s important to ensure that your gift shows a degree of research, ingenuity and flair.
Luckily for you, we have done the ground work. From office Kris Kringle, to awkward new romance gifts and impressing the overseas cousin who has it all, here is your guide to interesting, caring and affordable Christmas gift ideas that will have you go straight to the top of the gifting food chain – Ah, now you’ll be the new angel atop of the proverbial Chrismas tree!
As trite as it sounds, our coffee mugs are actually a very sentimental and personal thing – think to the territorial attachment people feel to “their” personal mug. Ever tried accidentally taking someone else’s coffee cup at your first day on a new job?! That is why it may make perfect sense to put the recipient’s mug on their mug (see what I did there?!). Why not take their ownership of said territorial item to next level by super-imposing it with either said photo or some other personal and meaningful quote or statement? In-jokes or cute photos of them with their pet always work! Their attachment to this item will sky-rocket, as will their association of you to this super-wonderful gift. Vistaprint offer plenty of printing-on-mug options and even comes with a plain mug ready for your handy-work.
Bespoke hamper (by you)
Hampers bought on most gift sites are packed with stuff your friends probably don’t really need or like. It’s a wine they don’t drink and chocolates they don’t care for. Also, these “luxuries” are usually terribly overpriced. So, why not be a legend and compile your own goodie pack? Buy a basket at any department store (or a perfectly good one at a discount store, hint hint) and fill it with the recipients favourite wine, cheese, chocolate, crackers, candles… The world is your oyster! Leave it to them to enjoy on their own.
We all have a big kid in us and I would bet there is no one in the world who doesn’t love yummy cookies personally baked in clever shapes! Take your craftiness and baking pizzazz to extremes by making cookies in the shape of your recipient’s hobby. Is the recipient a basketball buff? Batty over bats? Fawns over flowers? Then you know what your cookie shape shall be! Check out Pinterest for endless inspiration of cookie-shaped-magic – your loved one will never forget the ahem, sweet gesture!
Christmas rescue angel
If your friend or loved one has a hectic Christmas occasion coming up (and usually, who doesn’t?), why not offer an end-to-end helping hand? Depending on your own schedule, dedicate the night before or Christmas morning to help them prep, serve up dishes, do decorations and clean up. This can seriously make someone’s Christmas experience and a kind gesture they will appreciate forever (just don’t take credit for their cooking).
Go volunteering together
Sometimes the best gift is the one you get back from giving. Spend an evening at a soup kitchen or other Christmas charity with your loved one for a Christmas that truly retains its meaning. This one especially is great for kids (although I am sure they will still ask for an X-BOX).
If you are a good cook and love being creative, you are half way there. Take your skill set to the next level by making a friend or relative a beautiful bath oil, scrub or scented candle. Put your fragrant, organic and love-filled concoction in beautiful glass bottles – and I bet it will be even better than something they’ll buy in a salon (and infinitely more natural and good for the skin!). Check out Pinterest for simple product recipes and pretty packaging ideas.
Monocle is a pretty terrific global magazine, filled with fashion, politics, culture and current affairs. It’s trendy, sophisticated and inspired in tone, so if your friend is worldly and likes being “in the know”, they will love this thoughtful supplement to their mind diet.
Most of our treasured data is now on our phones – so your recipient will love gathering the family around for a cinema-like viewing of photos and clips in their phone… On their wall as if they’re in the cinema!! No chords, no pesky laptop to TV fiddling necessary – just pop your phone in and project away. It’s brilliant. Available at www.prezzybox.com.
Red Balloon Experience
Whether its skydiving, chocolate making or a helicopter flight over the city, experiential websites like redballoon.com are a storehouse for bucket-list experiences. So, make someone’s dream come true with the ultimate Christmas memory! Due to the large variety of ideas on there, it will be cinch to pick something to your loved ones speed (a simple 2 hour massage may suffice!) Currently, there are some pretty cool Christmas specials available also.
Some people are averse to the consumerism of Christmas and so would prefer their gift to support a less-fortunate community. This is where conscious gifts come in! Websites such as shopwithmeaning.org have stylish gifts from fashion to homewares that also contribute towards clean water, human rights and fighting poverty around the world. Epic!
…and over to you!
We hope you have found this list helpful and would love to hear from you in the comments below – what would you secretly love for Christmas?