Kiki Interiors - Decor and Staging

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Great Gift Giving

So the holidays are upon us - it's already December and time is ticking away!  I've got a great start on my gift buying - how about you?  Buying gifts can be very time consuming, expensive and for some stressful.  In order to make the experience as stress-free as possible I follow a few tips of my own.


1.  Plan ahead - before going to the mall or looking online - I plan roughly how much to spend on each person.  You can also plan ahead by asking around (friends, family etc...) for some ideas such as what they need, what they like, what stores they like, what are their hobbies etc...This will save you some time and keep you on (or as close to budget as possible) .  studies show by wandering without direction when shopping for gifts people tend to over spend.

2.  Try to get some gifts early (I know too late now but maybe next year).  Again, this helps with budgeting and you can sometimes find something really special for someone and so what if it's August - hang on to it until December rolls around!  A few years ago, I was at a silent auction and there was a beautiful Delft Cheese platter with a wood cutting board and a knife.  It was lovely and perfect for my in-laws.  My husband thought I was crazy to buy them a Christmas gift in September but they loved it!

3.  Is you family getting bigger and bigger? As people get engaged, married and start having children and then more children your shopping list can get exponentially bigger in no time at all.  Keep everyone's costs down by doing a gift exchange and draw names or keep a monetary limit on gifts. Or try a new tradition - before my sister-in-law and her family were transferred to Calgary, we used to go out on a double date (with our husbands) for a nice dinner and split the check instead of buying gifts.  We always had a great time and it's always great to spend time with loved ones. 

4.  Ask how you can help - this is great for parents with really young children (infants). Buying diapers, wipes, formula etc...is so helpful and really helps the parents out.  At the infant stage, they won't remember getting toys or new clothes but the parents will really appreciate the supplies and believe me, they will be used!  other great ideas for new parents, trying making them a meal they could easily heat up at home, or bake them some cookies (I doubt they will have time for holiday baking) or offer them a night of babysitting so they can go out on a date - that's an awesome gift for parents!

5.  Keep it light and fun!  Do a secret gift exchange withe a dollar limit and some kind of restrictions for example a maximum of $20 and it has to start with the letter'B'.  That way, it's about creativity, fun and less about money and stuff.  You share some laughs with friends.

6. Need to buy for kids and you don't have any? Ask around the office or sales people.  A lot of online stores have recommendations for age groups and genders. I love Chapters online - they have a tab labeled 'Birthdays' but you look there and they have it broken down in age categories and have the hottest toys and books for the age groups - so easy!

Some of my favourite gifts to give:
- wine journal and wood serving platter  perfect for foodies and people who love to entertain at home

- personalized storybooks perfect for children of any age, they love to see themselves in the book and it's a wonderful keepsake

- crafts or anything hands-on and creative - there are so many different options for boys and girls, it's nice to give kids something other than video games or electronic stuff.  It's so healthy and fun to use or brains too

- items for the home I find so many people want to get new items for the home but they never do, so it's always a great gift especially for someone who has just purchased a new home or under gone a renovation.

- dinner out  is such a treat and a great gift for parents who need a break

- board games again better bonding than DVDs and video games. this is a great gift for couples and families, throw in a few snacks and you've got hours of fun!

And if cash is tight, try offering your talents like babysitting, housecleaning (again, awesome for new parents or an elderly family member), baking or cooking a meal, sewing, knitting, make some ornaments for the tree, dog walking, or just spend quality time together.  Christmas isn't about giving each other stuff - it's about love, peace and friends and family.


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