Deciding what to buy anyone for Christmas can be a seriously tricky task.
I mean not everyone wants another smellies gift set, novelty sock set, or something for their house (do not buy people presents for their house – ever – unless they’ve asked for it/have just moved/just got divorced and their other half took everything).
Most people are selfish enough to hope you know them well enough to buy something they’ll want/like/will give them a laugh.
I’ve spent two days banging my head against the desk trying to figure out what to buy people, scrolling endlessly through deals and special offers (in the insane hope I might just get a bargain that saves me money and makes me look superbly generous at the same time). The hardest people to buy for are often people – yup everyone.
You have no idea what they already have, what anyone else is getting them, and why the hell you’re still buying for them when, lets face it, they haven’t bought for you since they moved out of their mum’s.
The whole of the rest of the year you’ve been focused on you and what you need, but now you’re expected to focus on them. You find yourself having conversations with siblings about what they’re getting your parents and cousins, with parents about what to get Grandparents and siblings, and Grandparents about what to get uncles and aunts.
And all the time thinking ‘Christmas is next month people, why are we doing this now?’
I love Christmas – I love Christmas because I selfishly love the look on people’s faces when they open a present from me and think it’s amazing (or they’ve been practicing a really long time in the mirror to get that ‘wow’ face just right – hat’s off to them).
I love giving at Christmas, I love making cakes everyone eats despite their diets, I love spending less than 48 hours with family I haven’t seen for most of the rest of the year. And I love getting home, sticking one of my new films on, opening that strange ‘crackers and port’ gift basket, and kicking off the heels.
Because I am base.
Of course I hate the other side of the coin, when people can’t figure out what to get me and ask, expecting me to have a list like when I was a kid. (Hello people, I’ve been making a list all year, it’s on amazon!) But they want me to actually tell them and my mind throws a blank. What do I want?
And what about those Secret Santa deals where you pick a name out of a hat and have to buy a present for that person you’ve spoken to all of twice before. Should you get to know them or would that give the game away? Should you stalk them to find out what they’re into – what if they only went into Chocoholics Anonymous that one time to meet someone? Should you Google them? Find out whose friends with them on fb? See if they have twitter?
The solution is base…
I keep using this word because it just being human – you have 3 basic needs – eat, sleep, sex (replace with f word if you are openly base, or reproduction if you’re a more closeted base-ist 😉 ).
If you buy a gift that solves a base need it’ll be used. Would you rather buy a gift that sits on a shelf or gets used regularly?
Connect the dots and make it a great present by adding their personality to the gift. Add curiosity to the mix and you’ll border on an excellent present.
Now you’re going ‘So buy either cooking stuff, pajamas, or a dildo?’
You know them. What do they need help with? What problem do they need solving? What would make their life easier?
Lets face it, if you buy someone who loves to cook kitchen stuff they’re going to use it. If you get someone having sleep problems a new kind of pillow, shaped just right, they’ll try it out. If someone isn’t getting any and you buy them a book on how to bag the perfect other half, they’ll read it (if you’re brave enough to hand over a gift wrapped dildo to your Aunt Margery at a family Christmas do, then – Good Luck! I’m metaphorically right behind you pissing myself laughing but egging you on all the same).
It’s hard to choose with so much choice, and with all the possible gifts the worlds businesses want you to buy, they aren’t going to be narrowed down anytime soon.
No one needs that much choice. Ask yourself – does the present you’re considering solve a base need? Is it in line with what you know about that person?
Make buying a present about them, not you.
Focus on the person you’re buying for when you set out to chose gifts, one at a time. If they matter to you then this process matters. The key to a gift for someone you don’t really know? Answer a base need in an ‘I would use this’ kinda way and add candy (so later, whilst they sob about how little you know them, they don’t have to get up and cook).
Remember everyone is base and everyone is selfish. It’s about them, not you. The last thing you want to hear is ‘Well, it’s the thought that counts’.
Happy shopping people – and remember, when it’s done you’ll feel awesome about all those gifts you got wrapped and ready under the tree. You can put your feet up, turn on a Christmas movie, grab a glass of wine (or hot chocolate), open that extra box of choccies you got on buy one get one free, and stop worrying.
Now lets see how well your people know you 😉 This is your year to dominate the Christmas present buying tables – You knew it was a competition right?