It’s November and the shops are starting to pop up with random seasonal decorations in those familiar, gold, red and green colours… Friends and family are asking you, what your holiday plans are.. And you have that familiar feeling creeping up in your chest of helpless panic “so many presents to give and so little inspiration what to get for whom”.
Though I am actually pretty good at giving presents, this happens to me every year. So, here are a few things that I try to stick to in advance in order to avoid any disastrous rush through the shops on the 23rd of December.
Plan ahead and always make a note when you hear that someone has a particular interest or wish: It takes some discipline but it is worth reducing the chance for a headless run around town, buying an emergency soap or candle for mother and sister in law. Unless it is a special smell/ brand that is special to the receiver of course. Remember gifts are about making someone happy and feel special. It does not matter how insignificant it may seem but if someone in your circle makes a comment about an interest, hobby or particular food they like, make a mental note or even better get into the habit of keeping a list on your phone all year round. Say for example a friend of mine when I was having some serious pregnancy cravings and asked her to bring some chocolates, turned up with toffifee and told me it was her go to comfort sweets when she felt in need. Noted and stored under: if I ever need an emergency present for her or she needs some cheering up.. that’s what I will bring. If I see something in the shops or online that I think a certain person may like, I also note this down. I personally even go as far as buying things ahead throughout the year.
Of course there are always those adults who are notoriously hard to find presents for. Then there are a few rules to stick by. None really likes things that clutter their household, so stick to things that can be consumed in some way or another. Never ever underestimate the joy flowers can give. But the best trick is if you cannot find a gift that is personal to them, make it personal to yourself. Is there a particular book or beauty product that you have just loved recently? Does your hometown produce special cookies or have you discovered this new amazing chocolatier nearby? Share the love. Also, keep a drawer with neutral emergency presents. A trick I learned from my mother. This is the ultimate life saver when you are really stuck at an upcoming birthday party, a surprise guest comes for Xmas, you need a dinner party favour or life has simply taken over and you have totally forgotten about Xmas all together. The special olive oil you picked up traveling or the lovely wooden car for the children will always be appreciated.
Adults sorted, the more tricky part is what to get for the children. They get so many presents and there are endless varieties and endless ways to go wrong. First and foremost you should be aware that you are not just giving this gift to the children, but also the parents. Ultimately, it will be in the shared household and should fit their parenting and lifestyle. No pressure, right? But let’s be honest, do you really want to give that noisy drum set that the children may love but the parents hate you for? The sugar loaded Haribo Bucket to the diabetic child? The oversized bright pink stuffed animal to the child with the minimalist mum? Well, if your intention is humor and to get crossed off the Xmas and birthday invitation list, by all means go for it! But if you would like to stay in the parents' good graces, do ask the parents beforehand what they would like. Also children have their own personalities and their parents know what will really light up their eyes. Are they currently heavy into paw patrol or lego? Just go with that. And if it is the strangest request, like a little family member last year had started playing tennis so all she wanted was some tennis balls, then you go with it but take it just a tad further. She got bright pink (her favourite colour) tennis balls with her name on them under the Xmas tree.
We know babies and new parents are actually the hardest. However, that problem is none at all because you already know where to go, right? This dilemma we saw as gift givers and receivers when we had Newborns ourselves. This is one of the reasons we have created 1001 Wishes. The thoughtful birth gift sets fit every taste and you cannot go wrong. Also you will now find various items in our favourites that will also delight babies and parents alike up to their 1st birthday.