Gift Giving Made Easy

All I want for Christmas is you… Catchy song, nice concept, but unrealistic. Sure, everyone loves each others company over the holidays, but they also love the gifts. So when the gift of your presence just isn’t enough, how do you know what to get someone? It is the cause of stress for several people in the month of December. But this year, why not choose to enjoy the holidays and not stress about gifts? Sound impossible? Follow these simple tips for Christmas shopping and you’ll be laughing all the way in no time.

Sometimes Christmas shopping seems so daunting that you have no idea where to start. You have page after page of people to buy for and no ideas for any of them. Well guess what? You already completed the first step then! You wrote a list of those you have to buy for. See, that wasn’t so hard! Now here are some more tips to keep the ideas flowing.

Tip 01/Multiple Gifts VS. One Gift
If you are having trouble picking one specific gift for someone, opt for multiple small gifts instead! For a lot of people, the joy of Christmas is the anticipation of unwrapping gifts, not what is inside the gifts. For those hard to buy for people on my list, I often make a basket of small items for them to enjoy, and usually make them relate to each other and the person’s interests. For example, I have a friend who loves all things girly and spa-related, so I could make her a basket of nail polishes, lotions, creams, bubble bath, chocolate, etc. and wrap each item. The price in the end is the same as what one large item would cost, but the friend gets the advantage of unwrapping several items, making it seem like a larger gift.

Tip 02/ Give an Experience
All to often our minds resort to items for gifts and that’s all. The best gifts I have ever received have been experiences. My family and I tend to do this for each other a lot. You write a letter to the person you are giving it to, explaining the date, times, and details of the experience. For example, for my graduation gift, my parents gave me a trip to Niagara Falls so the “present” I unwrapped was a letter from them, explaining the trip, the dates, the times and details. These gifts are always more effective because they are seen as thoughtful, they give the person something to unwrap in the moment but then look forward to until the date of the event, and give you some slack expense wise. Instead of buying the item at the same time as everyone else’s, it gives you more time to save for that specific date and that event.

Tip 03/Buy Local
Not only does buying local make you and the person you buy for feel good, it helps the business to afford their own family Christmas. An event better way to buy local, is to make sure the product you buy has an obvious sense of being from that place. For example, this year I just recently moved to Kitchener with my boyfriend and for some of my friends, I am looking to buy local products that are obviously from Kitchener to show them that I am thinking of them up here, as well as supporting local. Someone could buy me Reid’s Dairy or Hawkin’s Cheesies products for Christmas for example, because they are supporting local to the Bay of Quinte region and giving me a reminder of things you can only get in my hometown.

Tip 04/Ask for Help
Sure, you can ask the person themselves what they would like for Christmas and just buy it, but when I say ask for help I mean someone else. The associates in the store you are shopping in. I have never thought to do this before this year. This year, I have been working seasonally at Chapters for their Christmas season and realize now how much easier it would be on shoppers if they just asked for help. After working at this store for about 3 months now, I know all of the product fairly well. Often times, shoppers will come in and say “I have a friend who loves animals” or “my sister really loves shoes” and ask for my recommendation for a Christmas gift. Those types of customers are so much fun because you get to hunt with them and feel like you are shopping for that person yourself. Associates know all of the products they have and if they don’t have a good idea, they can ask another associate who may. Don’t be afraid to ask them, after all they know the store more than anyone and are always willing to make another sale.

Tip 05/Assign Each Person a Wrapping Paper
Finally, you have your list completely checked off, you wrap the presents and put them under the tree (or if you have a nosey cat like me, you put them in a basket on a high shelf so they don’t get destroyed). Then comes Christmas morning and… You can’t remember which present is for who. Sure you wrote their names on the presents, but the paper is so distracting and you can’t find the name. Has this ever happened to you? Don’t let it happen again! What I do, is assign a wrapping paper to each person I am giving gifts to. Walmart often sells packages of seven or more rolls of different wrapping paper and have large selections, so I buy these packages and pick which paper will be for which person. Then, I wrap that person’s presents in only that wrapping paper so I know that all of the presents with that paper are for this specific person. Now, if you have several different people to buy for, you can use a wrapping paper for more than one person, but just make sure they are not at the same gathering. For example, I can use a certain wrapping paper for my Dad and then also use that same paper for Jacob’s Dad, because they won’t be at the same gathering. One less thing to worry about when the shopping is all done.

The holidays can be stressful when you are trying to pick out that perfect present, but they really don’t have to be if you follow these simple steps.

Until next time,

Tiffany Nobes

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