I am a big advocate of not buying just anything for people during the Christmas season. There’s nothing worse than watching someone open a present in front of you and despite them trying really hard to hide their feelings, you know they don’t really want what you’ve just given them.
**This is a collaborative post**
Asking people what they would like is one solution, but often in our family, we’re faced with answers of “I don’t know”, or “anything you want to buy me is fine”. It’s not fine though is it and these answers just make buying presents even more difficult.
Present buying when the kids are little is the simplest time, but when they grow up and become teenagers and adults, it’s very difficult to please them at the best of times without having to add gift giving into the mix.
Budget is always a big factor, as we stick to a fairly strict budget per person as we have so many people to buy for. Sticking to a lower budget for a teenager is one of the most difficult things I have ever come across. All they want are expensive electrical items, or branded items and they never fall into my budget.
For this reason, I do like to start my shopping early and make sure I’ve left myself enough time to scour the shops and internet for the best products at the best prices.
As I have become a little more experienced at where to look and what to look for, it’s easier to spot when something new arrives such as Sello, an upcoming site that will showcase the best online deals from small independent stores.
When you hit the jackpot and your recipient really likes what you’ve given them, you know the time spent was worth it in more than monetary terms.
Before I start my search for the perfect present idea, I have everyone’s names in a notebook from the start of the year, and as we go through the year I’ll jot down any ideas that are sparked from conversations we’ve had. Often these nuggets of information are there to be listened to be when said in passing, they’re often forgotten about.
My notebook has saved me on so many occasions in the past, that it’s now a staple in my yearly Christmas planning.
How do you plan for your Christmas present shopping to ensure the recipient is happy with what they receive?