Society places so much emphasis on what things are worth.
But in reality, price often has little to do with the personal value of an item. This is super important to remember as we rush towards Christmas, cringing as we take a peek at our latest credit card statements. Sometimes all it takes is a little imagination to find a gift that will make your friends and family beam with joy, without having to spend a small fortune.
We’ve come up with five thoughtful Christmas present hacks to make your loved ones happy and your bank account even happier.
1) Nailing the sentimental gift for anyone
We humans are social creatures. If there’s one constant about our nature, it’s that we love to be loved. There is nothing sweeter than receiving a gift that demonstrates how much someone knows and cares about us.
Remember, the significance is all in the detail. There will be something unique and special about all your relationships but the key is to find a way to easily identify what that is…
So, how about this…list all your favourite memories involving them and use this list to enable you to come up with a way to turn them into sentimental present ideas.
Still struggling? We’ve put together some examples to to help get the creative juices flowing:
- Is there a specific quote they often say that everyone loves? Get it printed on a set of tea towels or a cushion.
- Were you always listening to music together during car trips? Make a Spotify playlist or CD with all the songs you both loved.
- Do you have any in-jokes? Maybe a phrase you always text each other or something that references your group chat banter? Get it printed on a coffee cup or t-shirt.
- Did you bond over a hobby or activity? Frame the scorecard from your first fun night out bowling or playing glow-in-the-dark mini golf, or get a personalised trophy engraved for a new annual tournament that you both love!
Once you start, the ideas will flow. If you’re stuck for ways to transform a memory into a gift, simply Google the sentimental word, e.g. “coffee” or “surfing”, and then “sentimental gifts”.
2) The DIY gift
We know what you’re thinking…this section is for those creatives who can take a piece of paper, some sticky tape, paddle pop sticks and construct some wall art. But fear not my less-skilled friends, you don’t have to be a craftsman or woman to make a DIY gift. The only skills you really need to master, are a bit of creative thinking and the art of Googling.
Here’s how to get cracking:
- Write a list of what they like to wear, eat, see or do for fun.
- Then write a list of things you would buy them if money were no obstacle.
- Google DIY gift ideas using this list to direct your search (Pinterest is crammed full of great ideas).
If you’re going down the crafty route you can get started right away. But another great way to DIY is ‘upcycling’. Take a drive to your local op shop and find some old things that can be made new with a little bit of handiwork.
You’ll be amazed how things that once seemed like junk, suddenly take on new potential once you’ve seen what can be done. Old jars are perfect for making candles, rustic furniture can be sanded down and painted in funky colours and photo frames can even be painted in pastel colours to match the rumpus room.
Or you could take a more traditional idea and turn it on its head. Instead of a standard gift basket…why not build your own. Get a basket and fill it with fishing gear or things for the BBQ. In fact you can take any gift idea and simply add a creative twist using your list.
Voila, Christmas shopping is done!
3) The practical gift
The above ideas are great for anyone who loves imaginative gifts, but what about your more “sensible” friends and family members?
This is where the practical gift comes in handy. You’re probably thinking, “but I don’t want to just buy them socks and undies!”
Well, practicality and creativity don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
Spend some time thinking about who you’re buying for and the things they use daily. This way you’re not only giving them something that won’t go to waste, but your gift will seem customised and thoughtful.
Put your detective hat on and discreetly take a look around their house (make sure they’re home first, obviously). What hairspray brand do they use? What magazines do they read? What tea do they drink? Do they need stationery?
Now, if that doesn’t scream: “I know you”, I don’t know what does!
4) The gift of time
You’ve won TattsLotto and you can afford a full-time servant, what is the first thing you would get them to do? Clean those cobwebs? Fix that toilet? Massage your feet? (Do servants do that? Doesn’t hurt to ask, I guess).
Pretty nice fantasy, huh?
Well, perhaps your friends, family and loved ones would feel the same way. If, currently, you don’t have much in the way of money, why not offer another valuable resource you may be rich in…YOUR time! You can use a nifty gift certificate program, such as JukeBoxPrint to show you mean business.
Take advantage of the lists you created in the previous sections to think up ways to tailor your time specifically to what they’d like most.
If you know they’d just love to spend time with you, you could give them a voucher for a day of hiking, followed by their favourite treat, or a night watching movies of their choice, and you aren’t allowed to protest once!
Or combine your gift of time with your gift of practicality, and give them a voucher for X number of hours of your labour. It could go to helping them finally sort out their shed or spare room, paint their study, or weed their vege patch. Better yet, if you know there is a task they really want done, do it on Christmas Eve and the finished product can be your gift the next morning.
5) The supportive gift
Check that list one more time. Is there anything they aspire to do but haven’t got around to it, due to a lack of resources, information or even confidence?
Why not give them a nudge with a gift that supports them in pursuing their dreams?
Perhaps they’ve always wanted to take up a new hobby such as sewing, fishing or learning a new language, but they’re not sure where to start. There’s a huge range of informative books available for these purposes. You could even spend time collating the most useful information online and printing out a DIY booklet yourself.
If they don’t lack the resources to follow their dreams but they need the confidence to take that next step, you could find them a book on how to face their fears. If they’re unhappy at work but not sure where to go next, you could buy them a book on how to find their purpose. If they complain about being bored on the weekends you could buy them a book on weekend adventures.
Books sound a bit too boring? There are a bunch of free university courses online. You could do the research for them, find the right course and register them for it. Remove self-doubt and time from the equation and give them the boost they need to pursue their aspirations!
If you use any of these tips this Christmas, we’d love to hear about it. Post in the comments section below about what tip you used, what gift you gave and how it was received on the day.
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