The holidays are coming – Gift ideas, preparation and more

The holidays are coming! Hope you've prepared your gift ideas! photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin cc
The holidays are coming! photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin cc


So, Christmas is coming, and you’ve been organised enough to start planning what to get your friends and family. But there are so many options to choose from, and you don’t want to be swayed by the best selling item or Amazon, or be tricked into buying something second-rate.

When to start shopping?

Ideally as soon as possible, maybe even today! But before you start shopping it’s wise to form a rough plan of what you expect to get for each person, and a rough price estimate. This simple but effective trick not only helps you focus on shops/websites to search, but also can stop you from an impulse buy that you (or your credit card) will regret later!

Be aware that if you plan to shop online (especially if you’re hard at work during the day), some websites like Amazon provide suggested Christmas ordering deadlines to help you get your deliveries before xmas. For instance in the U.S., they suggest you place orders by December 18th if you’d like to have your gift arrive in time via free delivery.

On the other hand, if you leave it too late, it’s likely that the special item you were looking for could be long gone, especially if it’s something as popular as the latest iPhone or other shiny new gadget.

Planning your presents – compiling gift ideas

I’d advise creating a list of people with decreasing importance. That way, as long as you roughly try to follow the gift ideas in order, you won’t end up buying a present for dentist (if you do) instead of getting the perfect gift for mom.

If you’re feeling super organized, consider creating a list with the following columns (Name, Relationship, Interests, Budget, Ideal Gift, Done?). It may seem a bit extreme, but not only will it be easy to keep track of what’s going on, it can also be a guide if you have to ask someone to do a bit of shopping for you during work hours!

When thinking up gift ideas, apart from browsing this website, try brainstorming on a large piece of paper. You could try grouping people by relationship, or by interests, so you can come up with several related ideas and spread them between your chosen recipients.

Place a higher priority on the interests that aren’t so obvious, or something the person is just getting into – for instance if your sister is crazy about Coldplay, and they’re about to release a new album, don’t bother buying her the CD, she’s probably pre-ordered it online!

 The shopping expedition

Let’s be realistic, unless you have the strength of The Hulk, or a small number of gifts to buy, you won’t manage it all in one trip. So, consider, spreading your shopping trips, teaming up with a friend/partner, or shopping online. If you have your gift ideas for each person organised before you go, you can spend time doing a bit of price comparison online. Also, keep an eye on your inbox for possible deals heading your way. If you’re lucky, you’ll even catch the tail-end of Cyber Monday if you act quickly!

If you do end up shopping online, keep a careful eye on cost. It can be easy to forget that lots of different orders can end up costing a large amount in shipping fees alone, so unless you have an advantage (like Amazon Prime), consider doing your online shopping in as few orders/websites as possible.

Or, if you decided to team up with a partner, if you pool your gift ideas together, you can group them by store availability and each head off to a different location. Remember to keep the receipts!

So, how can ideas4presents help?

Here at Ideas for Presents, you can find carefully researched and reviewed gift ideas for that can really make you stand out from the crowd. By browsing the site, you can find ideas for different kinds of people, organised by relationship (e.g. mother or boss) or by interest (e.g. computing or travelling).

I don’t want to spam you (especially if you subscribe to my posts using the widget on the side of the page), but I will be updating the website every few days with a new category, product review or more general advice.

How do you submit your own gift ideas?

Well, the website is currently in its initial stages, but soon we will be adding a forum where visitors can log on and share their own gift ideas. In the meanwhile, if you send an email to [email protected], I’ll get in touch, and you’ll be able to have your ideas posted on the front page of the website.