Nowadays because of the popularity of online shopping and sales online, it is becoming harder and harder to find suitable, yet well thought out gifts for both friends and relatives on special occasions. Plus with the recent influx of fad dieting, a simple box of chocolates hardly passes as a good gift in today’s society. So how can we show affection for our friends and relatives in this day and age?
It seems like even with the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram allowing us to find out more about our friends than we would normally find out at say a social gathering, online shopping has made it a lot harder for us to buy gifts that they would really love. That is why I’ve put together a list of gift alternatives that may just save the day when it comes to that special day.
Most people love getting up and trying out something new, and a special occasion is a great way to utilise this. This can be anything as common as going out for bowling to a cinema trip to an afternoon paintballing. For younger children, something more fun and simple or home-made like a treasure hunt across town may be a good idea, as it is a present that doesn’t break the bank in the process!
Gift Cards and Vouchers
Sometimes considered lazy, gift cards are a great present for a special occasion because it gives the recipient more freedom to pick out a gift that they would like. Generic gift cards for retail shops like Claire’s Accessories and Next can sometimes seem careless, so make sure that you choose the right gift card that reflects the interests of your friend or relative.
A HMV gift card (Or a Netflix Subscription) is always a good way to go, because most people like films. Plus many stores online and niche retailers also offer gift cards, so if you do a little research or you already know what your friend is in to, a niche gift card can make a good, thoughtful present.
Does your friend or relative have an occasional magazine that they buy? Are they interested in fishing, golf or a more niche hobby? There are countless magazines available in stores and online that may have all the information your friend or relative would love to read about. They may have even considered getting a subscription beforehand, but have always dismissed it. The gift of a subscription shows that you have noticed them buying the occasional magazine and have researched more into it, making this a surprisingly thoughtful gift.
However, be careful to make sure that a magazine subscription is something that they would appreciate as they might just buy that one off magazine to prove a point or as an ironic joke. If you are unsure, always ask!
If you don’t ask about their likes and just got them a generic gift, this can stink of laziness, so when in doubt, ask a close relative of the recipient or even the recipient themselves. Subtlety is crucial when asking for information about presents, but in all likelihood your friend or relative will be far less offended if you tripped around asking them specific questions about their likes and dislikes and then got them something they truly enjoyed.
As a mother to one little boy and an aunt to many(!), Jenny Walden is always on the look-out for unique gifts for all sorts of occasions. She writes about the most special finds on behalf of Kate’s Jewellery who specialise in handprint and silver jewellery.