Holiday Gift Guide


So, it’s almost Christmas! That means many of you, and me, have already picked up your names for Kris Kringle, and are now figuring out how to buy presents for that extensive number of people on your Christmas list (because we’re all Santa Claus at heart).

With all the stress that comes with the holidays, like budget, the Christmas feast recipes, decorating, blah blah blah, sometimes the last thing I want to think about is buying presents. It's so stressful. What should I buy? How should I start? Should I wait till last minute? What should I buy for X, Y and Z? Well, maybe this guide will ease you into it a little. I’m not going to provide you a list of what to buy for all those people, because let’s face it - you know them best. What this post is about today is to give you a guide on how to make choosing presents much easier, based on what I know and do every year.  And trust me; there will be no chocolates on this list, because frankly, I hate getting chocolates for Christmas. I think it’s such a throwaway present. So, let's start:


GIVE BASED ON WHAT YOU'RE GOOD AT BUYING 



So why is my thinking cap spewing out clothes you ask? Well, because I know clothes. Every year most of my presents are clothing. And they are usually the fastest to purchase. So, when planning presents, start by planning who you can easily buy for. So, you know how to buy electronic items (you know what brands, quality-wise, etc.)  - then start by strategizing who you can use this for. I won't give clothing as a present to someone I have not seen dress in a casual setting. But people like my friends, sisters, mom and boyfriend...I can purchase them clothes with my eyes closed, because I know what they will want based on what I see them wear.

Planning time: At least a day in advance before you go out to shop. You should still figure out whether your BFF will look better in the sweater, or the skirt.

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GIVE THEM SOMETHING BASED ON THEIR PASSIONS


I have a friend who loves makeup. She loves trying and buying makeup from a lot of brands, and recommending the ones she like. Once I told her to open a makeup blog, because I knew she would do so well (sadly, she didn’t have the time). But if I were to ever buy her a present, well, it wouldn’t be much trouble, just a trip to MAC or OPI. If you know people who have very specific passions:  like toys, fashion (talking to you Carla), photography, painting – then buying something accordingly will save time, and you will be quite confident your friend/family will appreciate the present.

Planning Time: EARLY if you're not really close with the person you got for the Kris Kringle but you know a thing or two about her addiction to knitting. And still early even if you know the receiver so well, because you should at least know about which model and styles she would much rather have.

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GIVE THEM SOMETHING THEY’VE BEEN PINING FOR



Giving a present to someone special? Well, if you have the resources, give them something you know they’ve been pining for.  True story, before Leon and I became a couple, I casually asked him why he was wearing a cheap throwaway watch instead of something more...stylish. He said because he wanted a G-Shock watch, but couldn’t afford one at the moment. Yep, six months later I gave him a grey G-Shock watch by working part-time for three weeks, and my meagre savings. He asked me how I knew he wanted that brand, I said because I remembered.
This is something they will appreciate forever, especially if they had just casually mentioned it months before and then just forgot about it.

Planning Time: Due to the fact that you most likely already have something in mind, and the amount of resources needed, maybe finish this present off your list first.

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GIVE SOMETHING HANDMADE


Do you have a special skill? Can you knit, bake or make knick knacks? Then give someone their very own one-of-a-kind item, courtesy of yours truly. I have been blessed with the skill to draw, so one Christmas in highschool, because I didn’t have any pocket money to spare, I made all my friends hand-drawn bookmarks of their favorite cartoon characters. I gave them all a paper to pass around, and they wrote down all their favorite cartoons. I got requests for Naruto, Final Fantasy, Strawberry Shortcake, etc. They loved them (I think, because that’s what they said) but no one actually used them as bookmarks. I think that sort of defeated the purpose.

Planning Time: If you're planning on making necklaces or scarves, then maybe write down who you're giving the present to at least a month in advance. But with cookies, a head count before the day should be enough.

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CHECK OUT THE GAG/NOVELTY/KITSCH SHOP


Really lost? Then it’s time to head to your nearest novelty shop. Giving a gift to a young guy? You can buy him a camera lens –shaped tumbler or a gun lighter. For a girly girl? How about a cushion with pink polka dots? Those times when I really don’t have any idea on what to give to a specific person, I head to the kitsch gift shop. Once I bought a Japanese tea set for an old couple my mom asked me to buy a present for. And another time a gag booby pillow for a classmate I got at a Kris Kringle. These kinds of shops are Christmas lifesavers because there are so many things for so many people, so there might be something for someone you are stuck at there.

Planning Time: My advice? Look around early, so at least when you're stuck you don't go around wasting time first before realizing the present is in there.

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GIVE GROUPED ITEMS



These go both ways – a goodie bag for one person, or a bunch of similar items for many people. A gift bag will make an interesting present, I tell you. On my 18th birthday, I got a gift bag from this cool brother/sister duo I invited. Inside were Mickey Mouse shaped earrings, a cute ‘FAMOUS’ underwear, a furry dog bookmark and a long necklace with a prism pendant. I was so intrigued (who isn’t intrigued by goodie bags?) that until now it still makes me smile because it was so different than anything I ever got. Yes, they were tiny presents, but the element of surprise was great!

Planning Time: A day before. Plan how you want the gift bag to look (like a theme). Is it a girly bag with nail polish and scrunchies? Or an urban, cool gift bag with a snapback cap and bling accessories?

On the other hand, if you have a tight circle of friends, then similar items you can all match together. How about personalized tees or a bracelet/earrings combo for each, with different colors for every one of them? It’s cute, and it’s simple. A group of people all at once – done.

Planning Time: Try to at least check their sizes (for shirts) and colors before you buy so you don't end up panicky later.


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So, that's it sweeties. This is not exactly a science, but this is how I go about buying through my list of presents every year - in order, believe it or not. Did this help you at least plan through? Let me know below! See you soon, and so sorry for the late posting.

- Che

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1 Comments

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