Anyone can give a perfect Christmas gift if you have enough money. Who wouldn't love to receive a Christmas Lexus, a wide-screen TV, or a trip to Jamaica?
The challenge comes when you have to find a nice gift that fits your budget.
Three tips to avoid giving crappy Christmas gifts are to make it personal, show your sense of humor, or make it practical and useful.
Your first step is to create a budget and stick to it.
As much as possible, make the gift personal – something that shows you know and understand the recipient.
- Buy tickets to something you can do together – such as a movie, a museum show, or a live concert.
- Offer to do something for the other person by putting the free redeemable coupon in a card. This might include cleaning the person's home or apartment, making a meal, washing a car, de-cluttering an attic or garage, or anything the person would really appreciate. Just make sure you immediately set a date and follow through on this!
- A third way to make a gift personal is to buy a gift card that caters to a person's hobby interest, such as scrapbooking or flying model planes. Hobbies can get expensive, and there is always another tube of glue or paint to buy.
- A gift card also can defray the cost of a luxury, such as expensive chocolate or a spa visit.
- Gifts of beverages are another way to avoid the giving a crappy gift idea.
Exotic tea, imported coffee, high-quality hot cocoa, and beer from micro-breweries are among the passions that people are pursuing these days.
Even if you friend always drinks plain old American brew, exploring something new is rarely a bad thing. The point is that you noticed what this person likes. Tea, like wine, comes in a wide variety of flavors and prices. Buy something a little bit more expensive than the average tea at the supermarket to make a big impression. Tuck some flowering tea buds into a clear glass mug. These bloom in the hot water like exotic orchids. Add a packet of honey crystals.
If there's a tea room in your town, add a gift certificate for high tea – if your budget allows. For either a tea lover, coffee lover, or gourmet cook, these three traditional and beloved flavors from France – vanilla sugar, chocolate sugar, and cinnamon sugar – may be packaged as a gift. Himalayan salt and other fancy salts are a trend among gourmet and organic food chefs. These are a lot more expensive than table salt yet may be purchased in a small enough quantity to make it an affordable gift.
The second way to avoid giving a crappy Christmas gift is to show your sense of humor . Buy something that is deliberately tacky, crass, or novel.
For the mother with impeccable decorating sense, buy a bobble-head doll with the words "I love you" on it.
For the Dad with a bar in the basement, a neon light palm tree may do the trick. I've seen these at discount stores in the lamps department. Umbrellas are a necessity, and almost no one goes out of her way to buy a nice one. Search online for fancy umbrellas in the shape of flowers or with art motifs. If you can't afford cashmere, give cashmere socks, a beautiful scarf that is soft to the touch, or a unique key ring. Make the ordinary into the extraordinary.
The third way to avoid giving crappy Christmas gifts is to give something useful and practical.
We often forget to pick up useful and time-saving gadgets for ourselves. A jar opener may help an older person in your life with an everyday problem.
Gadgets abound for holiday giving – and some are time-saving and useful.
A windshield breaker is another useful gift that belongs in every car, especially if your family member lives in an area with lots of canals, such as South Florida.
An LED light for a key ring is another inexpensive gift that will prove useful.
A magazine subscription will remind the receiver of you all year long. Some publications offer specials if you buy for more than one person. Whether your friends are interested in music, cars, health, or scrap-booking, there is sure to be a niche magazine that will cater to their interests.
Creative and romantic gift ideas include spa baskets, pretty lingerie, chocolate, flowers, and jewelry.
In summary, it's easy to avoid giving crappy Christmas gifts. Put a little thought into what interests and matters to that person. Be personal, don't be afraid to show your sense of humor, or give something useful.