Nothing I like better than seeing my puppy under the Christmas tree
(Last year's photo, don't worry I haven't gone decoration mad yet!)
So Christmas time is very nearly (if not already) upon us and that comes hand-in-hand with the dreaded Christmas shopping. Don't get me wrong I love going around buying presents for people and seeing their faces when they open them, the bit I dread is the first step: thinking of what to get people. With some people you know straight away what you can get them and what they'll love, with others it's not that easy. Even people you know exceptionally well can be difficult to buy for, I'm sure we all know people who, as soon as they want something, they buy it making it hard to figure out what's left in the world that they could possibly want. While others *cough* my dad *cough* without me even having to ask, a month before christmas (or his birthday or father's day) without fail will email me a list of things he wants and I just pick a few from the list. As easy as that makes it I don't like just getting people things they've asked for because, lets face it where's the fun of Christmas if there are no surprises?!
I'm super-organised (borderline OCD) when it comes to lists, lists over the years have become a sort of obsession (yes I've previously made a list of all the lists I needed to be making...). So here are a few tips that have got me through many years of present giving:
1) Make a list (or a brainstorm/spider diagram/mind-map) of all of the things that person likes. It could be anything; music, tv programmes, even colours and patterns (e.g. my housemate loves leopard print so that would definitely go on the list). This could spark some kind of idea and, with the help of key word searching on Amazon/Google/Ebay, you can get some really different ideas. For example: typing "Breaking Bad" into Amazon, within seconds I found, not only the boxsets, but some really cool tshirts, mugs and even one of those bobbleheads that people have in their cars (yes, really!). So you started with a tv programme but don't necessarily have to get anything DVD related. So your friend could be sitting down next to their Breaking Bad bobblehead watching Breaking Bad while wearing their Breaking Bad tshirt, drinking from their Breaking Bad mug...too far?
2) Joke Presents. Now everyone likes a laugh and a surprise so what better way of adding to your gift than getting an additional joke present. Joke presents are rarely expensive but can cause a chuckle and a lot of the time show you've made the time to get them something personal. You could use lists again or think of something off the top of your head but it's always good to think of some of the inside jokes you may have with that person. For example, one year a friend of mine got given a pillowcase with Edward Cullen's face on because she once got with a Robert Pattinson-lookalike and she has forever regretted it. Silly things but it got a smile and a giggle and isn't that what Christmas is all about?
3) Days Out. Presents don't always have to be gift wrapped under the tree (as nice as that is), sometimes a day out after Christmas can be more fun and kind of extends the festive season. Like I'm desperate to go to the zoo so I'd think that was a good present. Another example is my boyfriend supports Liverpool so for his birthday this year I paid for us to stay up there and do a tour of the Liverpool stadium. I don't think any item I could have bought him would have made him as happy as he was while we were up there.
One last random idea that I like is for your boyfriend/girlfriend you could get them the DVD of every film you saw in the cinema together on your dates (providing they liked the film obviously!). I just think it shows a lot of thought and it's personal, shows that that time meant something to you. Now this may seem excessive if you've been together for like 4 years because that could potentially be a lot of DVDs! But in those cases maybe set a time limit of all the films you've seen in the cinema in the last 6 months or a year etc.
So now I've waffled on for this long, I'd love to know what your Christmas present ideas and tips are for this year?