Some people absolutely adore present shopping. Oh how we envy those people who can effortlessly breeze into gift shops, choose gorgeous artsy pieces, and then swan into a party, with that smug I-already-know-you’ll-like-this smile.
In reality, these few people are few and far between (although there’s one at every party). The rest of us get hit by that tiny feeling of panic every time an occasion comes around.
It comes from a caring place – we all want to make our loved ones feel special, and show them how much we care. But, this caring side doesn’t half make gift shopping a stressful experience.
So, this blog is designed for all those who constantly feel the pressures of gift shopping.
Below, we’ve listed our 8 favourite tips for whenever you’re buying a gift. They’re designed to help you rethink your priorities, and avoid those common mistakes or misconceptions, which far too many of us battle with.
Have a read to learn our insider secrets for thoughtful, sentimental gift giving.
Base it on their interests
If you’re struggling to think of a gift that’s personal to the recipient, this is a great place to start.
Naturally, we want it to be clear that we’ve put thought and effort into a present, and the personal approach is a great avenue to take. But it can be hard to think of ideas that really speak to an individual’s uniqueness.
So, take a step back and think about what their interests are. Even if they’re pretty out-there, it’ll really help you to narrow down your search.
For example, your friend might be really into running. At first, you may think, ‘So what now? They’ve already got all their kit, and I can hardly afford top of the range trainers.’ But hold your judgement, and have a search first.
At Runk, you can find a range of all-natural skincare, which is specifically designed for runners. These products make great gifts, which would absolutely delight a runner.
Write a thoughtful note
Because who’s heart isn’t touched by a little note?
They don’t cost anything, other than some time and a bit of cringing. It’s these messages which the recipient will really remember though, so it’s well worth thinking about something meaningful to say.
You could reminisce about old memories, crack a few jokes, or just tell them how brilliant you think they are. Whatever comes naturally.
Don’t dwell on the cost
All too often, we choose or rule out a gift because it doesn’t fit with our exact budget.
We worry that the recipient will think that we’ve cheaped out on them, or we feel like we’re tying them into a social contract where they then have to spend a fortune in return when buying us a gift (we know we sound a bit like Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory, but you get the gist).
Our advice? Don’t give the finances so much weight. If you choose a gift, and you think it’s the perfect fit, go for it. If it’s a couple of pounds under or over budget, don’t let it bother you. After all, the importance of that quid is all in your own mind anyway.
Look for customisable options
Often, places offer customisation services for free. This is a fantastic way to bring personality to a product, and take a present up another level.
This is a particularly good idea if you’re buying a present for a child – kids always get so excited to see their name on something. You’d think the novelty would wear off in a world of high-tech gadgets, but nope, simply seeing their name on a present is a sure fire way to make their day.
It doesn’t matter if it hasn’t got a label
Big brands and designer labels are often a (mistaken) hallmark of value. And it’s easy to see how this dialogue evolves – you give someone a gift with a fancy label, and they’re immediately impressed with the cost and luxury of the gift.
This immediate reaction occurs before they’ve had any chance to consider how much they actually like the gift. But it’s irrelevant at this point, we’ve already had the validation that we craved.
However, as much as you may be tempted to continue on this recurring gift giving pattern, it’s actually a bit of a cop out.
The preconceived value of a designer label is only at surface-level. In reality, a lot of these gifts lack the same personality, thought and uniqueness that shopping smaller would have gotten you.
So, as nice as it is to have a bit of luxury every now and then, designer gifts aren’t all that.
Small businesses have a real knack for making special gifts.
The UK is filled with talented small business owners, who are making sensational food, drink, crafts, homeware, skincare, clothes, accessories, and endless more.
These sweet and special gifts are full of thought. Plus, the whole point of gift giving is about surprise, so get them something they wouldn’t have thought of on their own.
Building on point #6, try to avoid buying a gift that’s been mass-produced – it’s an easy rule to ensure originality.
Rather than buying something from a nationwide chain (which the recipient will almost certainly have seen before), with independent businesses, you can find something that’s one of a kind.
Clay Play Day is a fantastic example of this. Their clay home accessories are entirely homemade, and that element adds so much beauty to these products.
Think outside the box
It’s a simple point, but that doesn’t make it any less important.
Don’t be afraid to go bold! There may be security in sticking to the norm, but it’s way more fun to give (and receive) gifts that are more out of the ordinary.
Take Ammil Design LLC’s jewellery collection – we’ve never seen pieces like it, and that’s what makes them so fabulous.
So, if you’re torn, trying to decide whether or not a gift idea is a bit too out-there, we’d say go for it!
We hope our guide to the art of gift giving helps you on your searches. Fingers crossed, with these takeaway tips, birthdays, weddings, Christmases and special occasions will be a whole lot less stressful!
If you’re on the lookout for a special gift, head on over to the Roe River website. We’ve got loads of beautiful products and fun ideas to inspire your present shopping session.