How to Actually Put Some Thought and Effort into a...

How to Actually Put Some Thought and Effort into a Gift

It might still feel ages away, but the festive season will arrive far sooner than you think. We all know that it’s a time for eating way too much at dinner, huddling around the fire with a box of Quality Street, and watching classic movies such as Die Hard and Home Alone II: Lost in New York, but perhaps most importantly for some, it’s the time to give and receive some fun presents! The more I speak to people about why they actually love this time of year the more I realise that giving gifts is always far more exciting and simply provides a better feeling than getting one. It’s all about seeing someone’s face when they open up that (way-too-expensive) wrapping paper and finding something they enjoy!

The problem, however, is that many people fall into the pattern of picking up an item which is generic or meaningless to the person receiving it. I mean, who really wants woolly socks for the 14th time in a row? With Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the virtual corner, be sure it’s to find a present where you truly make some effort for all the gifts you give to your friends and loved ones. You don’t have to buy TVs or anything with diamonds and gold to make it memorable, simply put some thought into what you’re giving.

As student nurses, the purse strings are tight and it can be worrying thinking about how you’ll make your bursary or student loan payment stretch enough, so make the most of any chance to make some extra pennies. How about joining the bank, or using annual leave to work a Christmas retail job? By planning now, you’ll definitely get a headstart.

Book of memories

Sometimes the most precious gift, and one my sister and I actually did before photobooks were a thing, to give a person is a recollection of the good times they’ve had. If you’re thinking of a present for your mother or father, find as many photos as you can from when they were young and compile them all into a printed book. For added nostalgia, write some comments about when and where the photo was printed and make it a story of sorts. You could also make it a book about your parents’ marriage and create a gift for both of them – two birds, one stone! If book printing sounds good, look at print24 and you can make it a Christmas gift to remember. The issue? Trying to top that one next year.

Cook or make something special

Taking up a new hobby this time of year is always perfect timing. Why? Because you can give gifts to people based on what you’re working on and you get more practice at the same timeā€¦ win-win! There are so many DIY gifts to give, that I’m sure you could find something to suit your tastes. For example, there’s cross-stitching, knitting, origami, homemade toffee, jewellery, flower-pressing and even handmade candles! Plus, you save a fair bit of money but making presents yourself and the person receiving the gift knows that you put a lot of time and energy into the thing. Try a cooking class if you think that you’d like to bake something but don’t know where to start.

An experience, rather than a gift

Finally, who says that every gift has to be an object of sorts? An experience can last a lifetime and be much more suitable for people who don’t like things in their house or already seem to own everything you want to give! It could be something pretty extreme like a helicopter ride or skydiving, but it could also be as simple as a voucher for a massage or even taking them to a very fancy restaurant for a meal. Honestly, as parents get older and families move to different areas of the country, sometimes having a meal together (you’re paying of course) could be the best present anyone could ask for. After all, it’s all too soon before people dust off those Quality Street wrappers and head back into the real world

In the end, the most important thing to remember when giving a gift is to not pick up anything and purely hope that someone will love it. You don’t want to find a puzzled face when you see someone open up your gift, so a little thought and some extra planning could go a long way into ensuring your loved one gets the gift they deserve. And hey, it might even be wooly socks.