If you believe that it’s the thought that counts, then you’re in the right place. It’s true that choosing the perfect Christmas gift is based on a thought, but only for it to be transformed into a parcel wrapped in glittering paper! So no, it’s not the thought that counts: you need to put something special under the tree to give something unique to those special people in your life.
Here’s how to choose the right gift: make a list of the people you want to give to, draw up a list of their interests, choose between a useful gift and one that brings out their emotions, take a (sneaky) look at their wish lists, seek advice from someone close to the recipient and, finally, personalise the parcel with a special touch.
Are you now even more confused? Don’t worry; here’s a step-by-step guide to choosing the perfect Christmas gift (and being happy).
Christmas gifts: the definitive guide to choosing the perfect gift
Make a list of the people you want to give to
This might sound obvious, but never underestimate the crowds at the shops at 6pm on 24 December. The first step towards making the perfect gift and being happy is to work out beforehand how many gifts you will be making and who they are for. Then, take a pen and paper and jot it all down!
Draw up a list of their interests
Now that you know how many gifts you need to make and to whom, let’s move on to step two: look at the interests of the people on your list. There’s no need to go into this too deeply; just make a note of whether they like music, clothes or books. If you want to be generous, you can jot down two interests for those you find more difficult to describe.
For example, let’s say you want to make a gift to John, who’s a good friend. He has lots of interests, so you don’t need to limit yourself to any one in particular. You could put: Wine and Books.
Choose between a useful gift and one that brings out their emotions
First, there is one major obstacle to overcome: do you want to give them something that will fill their days, or something that will fill their hearts? Your choice will depend on your objective.
John is a special person, the friend you can always rely on. That’s why you’ve decided to give him a gift that will appeal to his emotions, rather than a useful one.
Take a (sneaky) look at his wish lists
We’re now entering the realm of the true gift professional: is the person you want to give to very close to you, so close that their smartphone is within reach and unlocked? Wonderful! You shouldn’t really do this but it’s for a good cause. Take a peek at the wish lists he’s compiled on Amazon, Wish, Zalando or his usual online shopping site. A whole host of suggestions will await you! But be careful: this is a high-risk strategy, only for the most daring!
John has distractedly left his smartphone unattended on the table and you have a couple of minutes to take a peek. You concentrate on just one online shopping site and discover that he has put a very popular and recently published novel on his wish list.
Seek the advice of someone close to the recipient
Are you groping around in the dark and not getting anywhere? Never fear, there’s a secret weapon to hand: the friends of friends! Seek the advice of someone close to them, ask someone who knows the recipient better than you to suggest the perfect gift. Even the smallest hint at this stage could prove to be a great help.
John’s partner gives you a couple of suggestions: the first is the novel you saw on the wish list, the second is a sommelier’s kit to tend to the wines that he loves.
Add a personal touch to the parcel
You have now completed your list and have all the gifts at home, ready to be delivered. Personalise the parcel with some special wrapping paper, and don’t forget the gift tag, although if you’re using a light-coloured wrapping paper, you can write your greeting directly on the gift. Just let your imagination fly and write a personal message, maybe something outside the box!
So what did you give John? The novel he wanted, wrapping the parcel in paper from a magazine and using as the gift tag a quote from his favourite author. And Award-winning Wines, with everything he needs to indulge his passion!