In Style + Design

A Practical Guide To Thoughtful Gifting At Every Budget

It’s that time of year again: the last few weeks before the notoriously busy festive season begins. As usual, the days have crept up on us. And, yet again, when it comes to holiday gifting, there is little room for error. The pressure to pick the perfect present is on.

So, to help make that task a little simpler, we’ve put together this handy guide with gifting tips and tricks. Follow this, and you won’t have any problems finding something for everyone on your holiday gifting list.

When the budget is tight, dial up the thoughtfulness

Though gifts should of course always be thoughtful, that is particularly true when your budget is tight. When a present is personalised, there is rarely any thought given to its cost. Instead, the focus is only on the effort that went into getting it.

For instance, if it was a hard-to-get item that had to be specially ordered months in advance, or if it was something you remembered from a long-ago chat with the person, those factors will more than make up for the lesser price tag.

One idea is self-help book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson ($29.99) for someone who’s at a turning point in their lives. In the book, blogger-turned-author Mark Manson draws on research and life experience to argue that there are only so many things in life we can care about and so we need to figure out what those are.

Another is Red Balloon Ferrari Driving Experience ($159) for a giftee you know has had their eye on a fancy sports car, but hasn’t yet committed to buying it. Buying them the experience, which lets them take a Ferrari Spider F430 F1 out for a 30-minute spin, will show you’ve listened.

Uplift the everyday

When the budget is tight, it’s also a good idea to consider getting everyday items with a touch of luxury, such as a handmade, nice-smelling soap, a candle or even a kitchen item. Though practical, the gift will be something they’d likely never splurge on for themselves, and will serve to elevate their everyday.

A Diptyque Baies Candle ($87) by famed Parisian-based parfumeur Diptyque is an easy pick for this option. A classic in their collection, its scent was inspired by a rose garden by the water’s edge, and it has a burn time of 50 to 60 hours.

For someone who’s always on weekends away or business trips, consider getting them a Country Road Heritage Logo Tote ($89.95). Made from sturdy canvas, the bag will be one they’ll have for years. This gift will work for nearly everyone on your list, from your uni student niece to your girlfriend’s grandparents.

When someone is impossible to buy for, go with luxury

There are likely to be a few people on your gift list who will have you stumped for ideas. For this group, if budget isn’t an issue, go with luxury and you won’t go wrong. Whether it’s a clothing item made from a sumptuous fabric, or a beautiful piece of gold or silver jewelry, a bit of indulgence will always be appreciated.

Hermes is synonymous with luxury, and there’ no doubt your giftee will know its value. A Hermes Baobab Cat Pocket Square 45 ($320) showcases a print by the Ardmore artists’ collective that aims to promote the traditional imagery of the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. It’ll be something they can keep forever.

Look for interesting pieces so your gift doesn’t seem last-minute

While it’s more than likely your present purchasing will happen last minute, that shouldn’t have to mean your giftees can guess that’s the case. Look for niche or designer brands producing interesting pieces, and the resulting gift will more often than not convey a well-thought out purchase.

For instance, a Hammamas Chevron Blue ($49.95) Turkish towel, which can be used as a sarong, scarf, picnic blanket or beach towel, is far from a run-of-the-mill gift.

As is an ASOS WHITE 100% Cashmere Jumper With Turtle Neck ($190). Though ASOS is typically associated with fast fashion, this item made with a quality material (cashmere wool) in a sophisticated shape and classic colour will be wearable for years.

A great gift is personal and timeless

Though you can never be sure how a person will react to your gift, the hope of course is that the recipient will think it’s a great one. So, what separates an okay gift from a great one?

It all comes down to two things: how personal it is, and its timeless factor. Ideally the gift should tick off both boxes, but in the case that you don’t know the recipient all that well, going with an item they can use forever is guaranteed to be a winner.

Published 13 December, 2018