Gifts even Santa would be proud of
From edible underwear to car vacuum cleaners, research has shown that an awful lot of us get it completely wrong when it comes to buying our loved ones Christmas gifts.
Although we can be quite thoughtful on other special occasions, when it comes to gift-giving during the festive season we are utterly clueless.
It seems that in the hectic rush to get everything prepared for Yuletide, not to mention the scary crushes in the shops, we sometimes simply grab what's nearest and head for the tills.
It will surprise many of you to learn that there is a secret to buying great gifts: research.
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Plan well in advance instead of dashing out on a Christmas Eve spree. This way, you can also avoid the scary last-minute shoppers. Listen all year round to your loved ones. You might hear a passing comment about something they would enjoy. Hey presto – your present problems are sorted.
Make a mental note (better still, write it down) and then use this information when you start browsing around the shops for gift ideas.
Wouldn't it be a nice treat for your sister to enjoy a beauty treatment at her local salon? Enquire if they do gift vouchers.
How about some tasty, locally produced goodies that you can stash into a hamper for your grandparents to enjoy over the Christmas season?
It's amazing what you can find on the high street if you take the time to browse. Make sure to note down any ideas you think of, they might come in useful later.
Many little independent shops offer interesting items that are unique to them. Buying something unusual means can help avoid the horrors of present duplication. Make sure to explore some quirky shops when you are visiting somewhere out of town, you never know what you might find.
Really think about the person you are buying a gift for. Don't have the mentality of "that'll do" when buying.
You don't want to disappoint or upset the person you are giving to. A present that isn't relevant to the recipient might as well not be given.
Homemade gifts are always well received, especially now that baking and crafting are top of so many people's agendas these days.
Your local shops are bound to have some fabulous baking ingredients to use when whipping up a batch of Christmas treats, or some gorgeous yarns perfect for knitting socks or scarves to keep your loved ones cosy.
You get a wonderful feeling when you get it right and can see how delighted your loved ones are with your gifts.
Get it wrong and you might end up as one of the small percentage of buyers whose "romantic" gifts of battery chargers, staple guns and microwaves have actually led to divorce.