What to do when you’re stuck for gift ideas

Everyone has someone in their life who proves really tricky to buy for because they’re particularly picky, seem to already have everything or insist they don’t want anything. Here [...]

Everyone has someone in their life who proves really tricky to buy for because they’re particularly picky, seem to already have everything or insist they don’t want anything.

Here are a few things to consider if that’s the position you’re in:

Think nostalgia

Is the someone you’re trying to buy the perfect gift for likely to be moved by something nostalgic?

There are all sorts of nostalgia based gifts you can give for all different budgets. 

You could source some of their favourite childhood sweets or chocolates or invite them to join you for a nostalgic meal from their childhood. 

Original newspapers from the year they were born or a significant year in their history may hit the spot and are easily available online.

You could source something that relates to a place that has meaning to them such as the town they grew up in or a favourite holiday spot. It could be a beautiful framed photo or canvas, a jigsaw – either of a scene from the place or a map of the local area or you might be able to find some postcards that you can mount and frame.

Think experiences

Buying someone an experience gift rather than something tangible is almost always a winner.

If you’re confident that there’s something specific they might enjoy, you can select the exact experience. Maybe a driving day for someone car mad, an adrenaline high for a thrillseeker or a brewery or vineyard tour for someone who enjoys a tipple? A meal voucher will be well received by almost everyone. 

If you’re unsure, you can also buy vouchers that offer the recipient a choice of multiple different experiences. You really can’t go wrong with that.

The gift of time and your company is often one of the most valuable things to anyone who cares about you. Buying an experience voucher that you can enjoy together will provide you both with memories that will last much longer than anything else.

Think charitably

Some people really do mean it when they say ‘don’t buy me anything, I have all I need.’ Older relatives are renowned for this.

When houses are full of things, chocolates are out because their diet is tightly controlled and everyone always buys flowers, thinking charitably may be the answer.

Would the recipient you’re thinking of be touched by a gift that sponsors an underprivileged child in their name? Or supports an animal shelter?

You can buy all kinds of gift packs along these lines from various charities. Unicef and WWF, being just two options. Smaller local charities often have similar things to offer. Or you can just make a donation in the name of your recipient. Most charities would be all too happy to make you a little certificate in recognition for you to pass on.

Think hobbies

Really personalised gifts are often the most touching so it’s worth having a think about current or former passions of the person you’re buying for.

Did they once love golf but can’t play any more? Are they a keen gardener, cook or do they love the outdoors?

There are often little gifts you can buy that pick up on the theme of a hobby to either provide practical support with it or as a happy reminder and memento of it.

A really helpful gadget for the kitchen might be perfect for a cook, a great planter or indoor growing kit for a gardener or an ornament, picture or piece of memorabilia for a sports fan.

A cool anime T-shirt or merchandise will make any geeky friend happy. A video game or Funko Pop figurine of their favorite character is also perfect.

If your loved one loves the world around them, how about naming a star for them or dedicating a tree to them via the National Forest, National Trust, Woodland Trust or a similar organisation?

Think direct

We’re all a little shy to ask someone what they’d like but sometimes asking is the best idea! 

You can either ask the person themselves to tell you about anything they spot that they’d like in the weeks before a special occasion or ask someone else who is close to them.

If you don’t want to be quite so direct, how about inviting them for a shopping trip and really taking note of anything they take a fancy to? They’ll be really touched that you noticed and remembered.

A little thought goes a long way when it comes to gifts. It really isn’t the case that the biggest or most expensive are the best.

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Laura.Bartlett

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