For Mamas: Pamper Her
Mama is always busy spending time and energy on everyone else but herself. This Christmas, make it the ultimate mother’s day. I’m talking head to toe pampering. Christmas can be stressful, thank mama for all her hard work getting the family together, cooking the family roast (or whatever it is you usually have to celebrate Christmas dinners) and keeping the house in ship shape for all your guests. Whether she can spare an hour or a day, treat her to spa day, a massage, foot spa, facial, they’re all great ideas to ‘force’ Mama to take time for herself. Does she have a favorite moisturizer that she’ll only use for special occasions? Buy her a whole tub of it. Does she love foot spas? get her a home foot spa and some nice essential oils to make it an aromatherapy experience.
For Daddas: Book Him
Christmas gifts for Dad have always been hard to choose. Birthdays and Father’s days have also been very challenging events. What can you get the head of the family? Something that would incorporate your love and respect for a person who seemingly doesn’t want much. Or admittedly just wants a bit of peace and quiet (almost impossible in the Christmas season). The ultimate Dadda’s gift this christmas is your time. Now I know that sounds really corny. But it’s true. Just like when you were a child and you didn’t have much money in the pocket, you were forced to think creatively. What did you give dad? Personally, I came up with a voucher system. A coupon book with different tickets that read things like ‘1 free foot massage’ or ‘movie time’, ideas were written down on how we could spend more time together, to be redeemed at a time of his choice. Spending time with your loved one is important during christmas. To make the vouchers a little more exciting, I also bought my dad Poker chips last year and in the voucher mentioned ‘game on – poker time’ on some of the tickets, as a joke for him to present them to me when he wanted to play. It’s a little silly but ultimately Dad and I spend a whole lot more time together, it was a little more official, we were a little more aware, and we really enjoyed it.
For Partners: Know Him/Her
Do you know their shoe, shirt, and pants size? What’s their favourite colour? What are their hobbies? It’s time to test how well you know your partner. Are you going to come up with something unique, they’d never think of to get for themselves but always wanted? Or are you going to end up getting something that’ll end up in the back of the closet?
Think about a forgotten hobby or dream, an old photo dug up from the boxes…Here are some creative examples:
A Calligraphy Set – my fiance has always loved fonts! A unique little hobby not many people have and something he hasn’t practiced in years. I got this for him last year, he loved it.
Scan an old diary and re-bind it – a friend of mine said she was so surprised when she unwrapped her 12 year old self’s diary. Her partner had scanned every page, some had dulled out, and now it was brand new and covered in a beautiful wrapping paper style to make it look totally updated
A Pair of rollerblades – another friend of mine loved rollerblading when she was younger, but had never had the courage to try it as an adult as she hadn’t done it in years. Her partner got her a new pair of blades and took her to the park on Christmas day
Pokemon Cards – another relic from childhood. I read about a guy who absolutely loved pokemon but hadn’t seen them in years. He was thoroughly surprised when his girlfriend pulled out a whole new deck. Not exactly something you’d by for yourself, but what a sweet sentiment. Really proves how well she knew him.
A Puppy – my friend’s husband is in the army, so they are more apart than together. But they keep their relationship really strong, which is something I really love about them. For Christmas a couple of years ago he gave her a puppy to keep her company over Christmas.
For Sisters: Cherish Her
There’s nothing like a sisterly bond. An older sister is your guide, your counselor, your best friend (at times), a younger one could be your little baby, the one you want to help be the best she can be, or it could even go the opposite, whatever the mix, sister’s are there for life. Friends sometimes seem to come and go, but health permitting, sister’s will be by your side always. This Christmas, I believe a “cherish her” theme is rather fitting for shopping for your sister. Best friend trinkets, matching skirts, a stock up of her favorite perfume, think of gifts that say you want her to feel cherished this Christmas, something that ties you to her.
For Brothers: EnGadget Him
Brothers, brother in laws, step brothers, whatever the relationship, if you see him a your brother, someone who quasi body guard, friend and enemy at times, then he’s you’re bro. Show him you care this christmas by getting all digi-gadget on him! Now I know for most gifts this christmas I’ve taken the more inner peace route, but for bros, I can’t help but think they’re in a whole different ball game. Look at any guy magazine and they seem to be pretty simple in their preferences, a hot girl, maybe a drink or two, and a hobby or sport that they can’t get enough of. Now I’m not at all downgrading a bro’s status, it’s just much easier to get them something. So this Xmas, get something gadgety, guys love their gadgets. A cool bedside clock, a random sciencey experiement from the Nat Geo store, a small telescope (or bigger one if you have the money and you know they are REALLY into it), or how about a cool camera or camera case? something that suggests your bro is a man of the world, the way you see him, someone in the know and on the go. You look up to this guy, so show it!
For Aunts and Uncles: Celebrate Them
Whether they’re from your mum’s side, your dad’s side, or neither side (they’re family friends) if you have aunts and uncles that your love, gift them with something that says ‘I celebrate you!’. Gifts such an album featuring great photos of them, and them with you together, or a beautiful painting you made for them to hang up in the office (if you have a talent for art), or how about a book by an author love with a special message inside it (or if you could get it, even autographed by their favorite author).
For Grandparents: Love Em’
Granparents are pretty much the culmination of mums, dads, brother, sisters and best friends all wrapped into one cuddly package. This christmas your theme should be something that shows a whole lot of love! Pamper them, book em’, cherish em and find out their secret ambitions, take it upon you to come up with a really thoughtful gift. From albums of photos, to glass art. There are thousands of ideas. All grandparents love a gift that shows you took the time and put thought into it. Here are some ideas: a handmade scrapbook, a song written and dedicated just to them, and all the other ideas presented in this blog. Some grandparents are super techy so don’t single them out if you think they’re not up to date, then update them! I know grandparents that love gadgets, like the latest electronic can opener which makes it so much easier to open things.
For Besties: Color Them
I always go the mixy matchy route when buying for Besties, and this Christmas that isn’t changing, it’s always worked. Find out what’s your besties favourite color and roll with it! Challenge yourself to buy a basket of items that are in that color. It’s great fun and highly creative. Go a step further and add in your bestie’s favourite animal or collectable for example butterflies and find items with that on them. They’ll love that you made a gift basket personalized just for them.
For Co-workers: Thank Them
Want to get something special for that co-worker who always made you feel welcome or helped you with hard to deal with situations, without looking like you are totally sucking up? A simple gift is always the best. A thank you card, a quirky desk ornament or a small bunch of flowers is a sweet gesture to show you are thankful to have someone working alongside with you.
For Babies: Comfort Them
Lately it seems everyone is having babies around me! My sister, my friends, even my cousins! So I’ve had a bit of practice at buying gifts for all those cute little bubbas. This christmas, I believe it’s perfect to help new mothers keep their babies content with a little bit of comfort. Even if we ourselves don’t remember much about how it was to be a baby, a little bit of comfort seems to be something all babies yearn for. Gifts like beautiful woven baby blanket, a soft night light or a little mp3 loaded with peaceful baby music , are all great ideas to show you care about the newest additions to the family and friendship circle.
For Kids: Teach Them
Remember the first time you unwrapped a kite, or that new box of magician tricks! Yep, you can share that gift to kids you know around you too! Be the coolest aunty , uncle, mum or dad by teaching your kids something new. Forget PSPs and other electronic gadgets. Encourage your kids to experience the world! There are so much fun and creative things you can get kids interested in. Hands on, and outdoorsy type gifts are great. Try giving them a sleeping bag , and hinting that this year you’ll all get to hang out more and go on a few camping trips! Great fun! Or how about a basic guitar, it’s always fun as a kid learning a new skill, and their adult selves will love to have those skills too. Too many people walk around these days with regrets of not having some sort of hobby or talent they could carry through to adulthood.
For Teens: Inspire Them
As a teen, I wanted the newest flat hair iron or the latest nail polish in fleuro pink coz it was the trendiest color out there (until we discovered it just looked really 80s and made your nails look like we accidentally spotted ourselves with highlighter pens). But the most memorable gift I got as a teen, was a book from a family friend. It was truly inspirational and I know it’s helped form the person I am today. At the time, most teens won’t appreciated thoughtful or inspirational gifts, but trust me, if they somehow get through to them, they can be the best gifts ever given to them. I know mine was. Other examples would be, a letter written from your parents or elder siblings, “things I wish I knew when I was 16”, a treasured book you loved and want to pass down, an old ring or necklace re-assembled to make it more trendy so you can always hold a piece of that person with you. Pick a gift you think means a little more, sometimes the message might go unnoticed, but in the end it will mean something to them. A friend of mine received her first camera when she was 15, she’s now a professional photographer, that camera inspired her and showed her the world through a different set of lenses, pun intended. These are probably best gifts for in the later teens like 15 and up. For the younger teens, or as my uncle used to call it “the bubblegummer years” you can still use the ‘thoughtful’ concept, but instead think of gifts that show you are confident in them. Something to boost their confidence and believe they can be anything they want to be. That was something I wanted as a young teen. For example, a pass to a few classes in kung fu. Learning how to control your body, getting a bit of exercise and making new friends through going to those classes was a great confidence booster to me.
For 20somethings: Help Them
Around this stage in life, we’re all a bit all over the place, some more than others. The best xmas gift for me as a 20something, is the gift of assistance. Simple, basic home stuff is awesome. A rice cooker, a new iron, laundry clips…seriously they’re all quite witty ways of sharing the Christmas cheer. On my 21st Christmas, a friend gave me roll of $1 coins for my laundry, since the laundromat downstairs near my apartment only took $1 coins. Seriously the ultimate gift ever, and a real laugh. Other gift ideas? How about a diary. Help them stay organised. When we’re in our 20s, most gift giving seems to slow down since we’re not kids anymore, something practical is always great. Of course we’ll leave the more indulgent gifts for our birthdays (did someone mention chocolate?)