Post-Christmas, I’m just recording a few thought on presents and gift giving.
Christmas is often slated as overly commercial these days, and it certainly can be in some spheres. I generally stay as far away from television and its myriad adverts as I can (not that I watch much television anyway) during December.
However, rampant advertising aside, there is something lovely about buying somebody a gift and knowing that they will enjoy it.
Gift giving is an ancient social custom, and one which works best if you really think about the reason behind what you are buying, rather than just panic-buying something you found after Googling “gifts for outdoorsy people”.
There are many schools of thought on what makes a great gift. Here are a few I’ve encountered. I don’t think there’s one which stands out as best, but they can be useful ways to think about what to buy people as presents.
1. What they want/have asked for. Perhaps the easiest way of buying gifts, and the one that requires the least thought. It may be expected, but at least you’re guaranteed to give a ‘good’ gift.
2. Something you know they want but have forgotten about. Can be a lovely surprise when someone realises you’ve remembered what they said they would like or enjoy in the past. However, it can backfire, resulting in confusion and awkwardness if they don’t want it any more or actually wanted something else instead.
3. Something they ‘don’t know they need’. If you know somebody well enough, it’s easy to identify things they might not have at all that they would really enjoy or appreciate.
4. Little luxuries. A nice gift to give is something of very good quality that the recipient might not buy for themselves — they will appreciate it each time they use it and it will stand out as special.
5. Something that they will use often. A gift which is useful; something which makes the recipient’s life easier or better somehow.
Comment with your thoughts, or if you have any further suggestions.