Wednesday, December 16, 2015

III | Gifting Tips

If you've read, heard of or completed the test for the 5 Love Languages, you'll know that for some people, gift-giving is a major way for them to express love and appreciation emotionally and I am one of those people. I love giving gifts to loved ones and no gift makes me more satisfied than 'the perfect, thoughtful, useful yet often elusive present'. I know that present ideas can be quite a challenge and in this post I'm going to share some of my tips for gift giving and ideas.

1. Mindful - What they need, have and use but better
This is not an original idea - I find it to be the best springboard when trying to brainstorm ideas for a thoughtful, tailored present. There are belongings that people use everyday - a wallet, or purse depending on where you're from, an overnight bag for travel, a watch (I recently ordered this! Snag a discount code online and it comes with free express shipping Australia-wide), a keyring for the car keys (my favourite place to get personalised leather goods here!), or new pieces for the wardrobe like a coat or shoes. I like browsing ASOS, Etsy and keeping an eye out for trending brands tagged by those I'm following on Instagram which may be more affordable alternatives to the usual shops and designers. One example of this is the trending simple analogue watch- instead of getting a Daniel Wellington or Larsson and Jennings, other brands like The Horse, The Fifth and Leonard and Church might be appealing.
Sticking with the notion of getting them what they need, have and use but better, are additions to what they truly do love and use in line with the person-you-have-in-mind's hobbies and interests. My boyfriend is a huge NBA fan and a talented basketball player and I thoroughly enjoyed shopping for a jersey for him last year because his favourite one was wearing down from frequent use. You can't go wrong with getting them another snazzy new jersey of their favourite player. Just don't do it too often! You don't want to bore the recipient with repeat purchases of jerseys year after year.

2. Thoughtful - Seeing something that would be perfect for them
That moment you're at the shops and you lay eyes on something- a clock, a gadget, a book, a novelty- that would absolutely nail it for someone special doesn't come round very often. These rarities are the optimal presents, and it's good to keep an eye out for what your friends and family are veering towards during the year. People's tastes and preferences may change, even subtly, and it's super handy for present-giving if you can recall what site or shop they've been browsing or raving about during the year. If memory does not serves but only partially, a gift card to a store you know they love will not go astray. Gorman springs to mind as a place I'd love to buy gift cards from to give to friends with quirkier style or a love of prints and market-style creations. I personally love kikki.K, as shown in my last post, and I'd love to try Shoes of Prey, an online shop which came to me highly recommended for creating shoes which the recipient can design from start to finish.
Another thoughtful present- though in a slightly different way is TOMS. I love and own 3 pairs of TOMS, the charitable-and-extremely-comfortable shoes inspired by Argentinean traditional footwear. Their One for One motto is a bonus on top of a comfortable and pretty shoe: for every pair purchased, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need. They've expanded from these espadrille-style shoes into other types of footwear and accessories and I buy mine from Pigeonhole or Hype DC. While more pricey than what I normally spend on ballet flats, they are extremely well-made and not outrageously expensive.

3. Resourceful - Making something for them
Christmas baking is a staple- butter cookies, melting moments, sugar cookies or gingerbread are holiday favourites but I love personalising hampers for people. I love making up hampers, similar to the one pictured above. I put this one together in preparation for the winter flu season, and nestling all the makings of a comfortable home day in coloured tissue and wrapping it in textures of ribbon with swing tags can make all the difference. We once received a wonderful hamper from a relative on a Baccarat dish and it still goes down in my memory as one of the most thoughtful presents I've ever seen because everything they picked, from the foodstuff to the dish was carefully chosen and then wrapped in coloured cellophane.

4. Beautiful - For the person who has everything
I like jazzing things up- this ties into an upcoming post on gift-wrapping and presentation but giving someone a candle can be made so much more special by buying a large pillar candle, which are often much better value than those in glass jars- and placing it in a pretty holder like the geometric copper/rose gold stunner from Kmart ($7!) pictured above. Placing homemade treats or assorted makeup, nail polish, stationery or a carefully collated selection of things in boxes such as these floral-print polka-dot heart-shaped boxes from Daiso or on a decorative plate can also up the ante and transform them into truly beautiful gifts. If you can't think of anything for the person who has everything, festive food or flowers are safe bets.

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