When we’re planning our year ahead, cup of tea in hand, plotting dates into our diaries, the first ones we prioritise are the gift giving occasions. All of a sudden you realise you have two weddings, four housewarming parties, and a baby shower to attend before March. The list goes on; birthdays, anniversaries, final day of term, a colleague’s leaving day.
The pressures of gift giving continue to grow in a society that wants to share all of their new gear on social media. Perhaps this is why in 2017, a survey was carried out by uSwitch, estimating that Britain would have an £8.5 billion Christmas credit card debt hangover going into the New Year in 2018.
The fact is, we want the gifts we give to be extravagant. A 2018 Mintel report showed that 60% of consumers want to give impressive gifts, but not all of us have the budget to deliver, which inevitably leads to guilt and pressure weighing down on our consciences, and inevitably, our wallets.
But giving presents can be a pleasure if we think outside the (gift) box. We don’t have to spend loads of money to give to the people we care about. If you’re strapped for meaningful ideas (and cash), read on for some understated suggestions of how to treat someone special.
Throwing the bore out of the bath water
There is little more relaxing than a long soak in the tub so how about taking your bath bomb treat to the next level. Run your loved one a hot bath, light some candles, pour them a glass of wine and find the perfect mood-setting music to help them switch off from the world.
Massage more than their ego.
A little TLC is good for everybody, and there are a number of benefits to a good rub down. Extend your massage bar gift by giving the receiver an indulgent massage too. If you’re a little rusty, you can find some great tips and tricks for giving the perfect massage here.
Lay your (greetings) cards on the table.
Want to put a bit of your own personality into your cards this year? Hand making them can be rewarding and can save a lot of money, and you can even try recycling your old Christmas cards for materials. If you’re looking for an extra spark of creativity, you’ll find endless amounts of inspiration here.
Keep calm and carry yarn.
If you’re a dab hand with a crochet needle, or you fancy learning how to knit, a handmade scarf is actually a really easy item of clothing to make. Not only will you learn a new skill, you’ll also feel true satisfaction when you present this gift to your loved one.
Get in their good books
A good book can resonate with its reader long after they put it down. Have a book you know your friend will love? Why not re-gift and save a few extra pounds? Wrap it up in a reusable Knot Wrap, a little thought for the environment and points for creativity.
Put your hand in the cookie jar.
Have some old cookie or jam jars laying around? Get crafty and upcycle by turning them into a candle holder for someone who loves a unique gift. For inspiration and how-to guides, Pinterest is a shining beacon of ideas! Alternatively, just go for it and see what you can create, they’ll love the time and effort you’ve put into it.
A little pillow talk.
It’s happened to all of us, if you’ve just gotten your winter jumpers out for the cold season and your favourite woolly has had its day, why not give it a new lease of life and let someone else enjoy it, by turning it into a cushion cover as a gift?
Share and share alike.
Know a language your friend has always wanted to learn? Love the way they do their brows? Spend the evening sharing your skills. You’ll both take something away and the time together (possibly howling with laughter) will be well spent.
Paying it forward.
Why not give your loved one a day to remember by signing you both up to volunteer for a local charity? Whether they love animals or have always wanted to help out at a homeless shelter, you’ll both feel great afterwards, and your gift will spread even further.
Putting food on the table.
Instead of taking your partner out for dinner, why not research their favourite meal and cook for them instead? Or set up your kitchen for a fun evening of a Youtube cookery class for the both of you.
So, if you’re looking for a way to cut costs and still give your loved ones a gift they will cherish, there’s no time like the present! With a little thought and creativity, whatever you give will be right on the money.