Despite where Christmas originally came from, a disproportionate part of it these days if gifts. Regardless of whether you show your love for friends and family in other ways, the giving of gifts tends to be almost a requirement at this time of the year.
It isn’t of course, and I know probably just as many people who’d rather not be given a present (or obligation as some would call it ^^) as would. Personally I just love to give friends and family gifts at this time of the year and strive to do so far as many people as possible, limited by what I can spend before going completely bankrupt! I thought I’d dedicate this post to being about presents and such in general.
This is always the hardest one, as while I love my family, I simply do not know what kind of things they would want or need! With my parents it’s difficult because they simply have more money than me. If there’s something they want or need that I could afford it’s very likely they already have it! With my siblings it’s more that I don’t know well enough what they might want as we don’t have enough in common (Plus I don’t see them often enough). As a result I tend to just quite directly ask what people would like for Christmas, and after being redirected a few times (Ask your sister/ask mum/ask…etc) come up with something small that’s not usually very unique, but means I can get them something they want and make them that much happier on Christmas day!
Last year I tried to do something a little more special, and didn’t just get what I was told I should, at least on for my Mum & Sister. I went on shapeways.com instead and found a cute dragon for my Mum and a Pendant for my Sister that I thought they’d like (I think I was right :P). I got a couple of other things too, and went with standard fare of ‘sweets, socks and the like’ for my Dad, but felt so much happier than many Christmas’s that I’d found something that little bit more unique!
This year I don’t feel confident enough in how much money I have (Due to getting a car) which is a shame as I’d love to do something similar. Instead I’ve gone with asking what people would like and will try to pick a gift for each that will cause the biggest smile possible anyway. Next year I hope to save up a little to go with shape-ways again, or some other such custom gift (Perhaps I could learn to design my own 3D models to get printed for them!)
Friends are much easier to buy presents for, mostly because they don’t expect it and no matter what you give it’s a surprise! Last year and this year I’m prowling dayoftheshirt.com to find unique design t-shirts that fit the people I’m buying for. This is such a fun option as it’s usually <£10 each and with themes that my friends will love.
On the other hand it does feel a bit more awkward, as while I don’t expect things in return, it’s possible to make a person feel extremely guilty by doing this and it’s not the reaction I want! I don’t know how to get around that other than not buying them things, but that doesn’t feel an option to me, I want my friends to get cool things from me! Awkward ^^
Eurgh, I feel like all that was a bit lame, so I’m going to stop right here! I hope I manage to get people great things despite a tight budget (And have some ordered already!) and give out some smiles this Christmas!