Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Bonus Gift Guide: For those who left it until now...

So, it's the night before Christmas Eve and you've left it until now, haven't you? The terror has taken over and you've no idea what to do. Put down the scratch cards and boxes of chocolates. I repeat - put them down.

Never fear! Colette is here.

I know I proclaimed a recent gift guide the last of the year but this is the emergency guide. Someone, somewhere pressed a panic button and I came running to see what was wrong. Let's look at some scenarios.

SCENARIO: You've bought absolutely nothing.

SOLUTION: Places like Dunnes, TK/TJ Maxx, Lidl, Tesco etc.

Some of these places are better than others but if you haven't bought a thing, a store with multiple departments under one roof is your saving grace. One trip, all of your gifts. These types of stores suit various price points and offer a location to buy gifts suitable for all sorts of people and age groups. Dunnes, for example, has beautiful homewares, clothes, accessories, toys and food.


SCENARIO: You've put it off because you don't have a lot of money and you have no idea what you'll be able to afford.


Jars are your friend. "How so?" you might ask. They offer the opportunity to make several different kind of highly personalised DIY gifts that show how much you know and care about a person - without spending a lot of money. Here are some options:

1. Buy some medium sized jars, some paint, ribbon and tealights. Paint a nice pattern on the outside - snow or stars or something equally festive. Now pop a tealight inside and tie a ribbon around the top. You can also paint a message or the year on the bottom. This would be a nice gift for relatives or friends and shows you put the effort in.

2. Buy a larger jar and fill it with a person's favourite sweets and, again, present with some nice ribbon. Bonus points: try track down sweets they can't get readily or have admitted to loving as kids but not having eaten in years. Showing you listen to someone can be more impressive than the fanciest gift!

3. Buy a medium jar, glitter and laminate a nice photo. Firmly attach the photo to the inside base of the jar upside down, add water leaving a little room at the top, pour in some glitter, tightly close the jar and present with the lid facing downwards. You've now made a personalised snowglobe just for them! Bonus points: pick a really cute photo of you with the person - it's like an even sweeter version of you giving them a framed photo.

4. Buy a large jar and the ingredients to a person's favourite cakes or cookies. Bake the cookies/cakes and place inside the jar, decorating it with some nice ribbon etc.


SCENARIO: You don't know someone very well/they're just difficult to buy for.

SOLUTION: Unless they're someone very close to you (or odd), scented candles may be your solution!

It's always nice to get something luxurious as a gift that you probably wouldn't spend your own money on. It might not have the sentiment of some of the other suggestions in this post but it's a safe bet for many people. I mean, who doesn't like nice smells and pretty candle light?


SCENARIO: You have only practical/boring gifts bought for a parent/close friend/significant other and want to give them something else more heartfelt as well.

SOLUTION: A photo album.

We rarely print our photos anymore and it's always nice to have the physical ones about the house but who has time to get them developed these days? Therefore, not only are you doing something they probably wish they made time for, you also have the opportunity to show someone how much the matter to you and how they have shaped your life. Try to include cinema or travel ticket stubs, short paragraphs or memories and other bits and pieces as well as the photos in order to really tug on their heartstrings.


SCENARIO: You're super-stumped, don't want to face the shops and have no time left to order anything online.

SOLUTION: Get on Ticketmaster or a similar site and check out the gigs, plays, shows etc coming up in the next few months. A band they like is gonna play soon? Buy a ticket online, print it out, pop it in a card and hey presto! You're not only showing knowledge of things they like, you're giving them your time and setting a moment aside just for you guys. Super-sweet.

Hope this helped! Happy Christmas!

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