Christmas is over and we’re almost at the end of 2016. We spend so much time preparing for the festive season that it’s easy to feel a little deflated when it’s all finally over.
You might be thinking back about the food you prepared and the time you spent with your family, and considering how you could make it even better over next year’s festivities. You also might be thinking about the gifts that you gave and received.
After Christmas, our houses often tend to be full of tat that we don’t really actually want, like toiletry sets that we wouldn’t choose ourselves and scented candles that we don’t particularly like, and you probably found yourself buying some of those token gifts for your nearest and dearest too! Here are some ideas for gifts you can buy over the course of 2017 so you end up with a successful and satisfying Christmas next year.
A lot of people say that in the long term, an experience is better as a gift than a new possession. Consider splashing out on a set of tickets for your loved one – take them to the theatre, or to see their favourite musician, or to a comedy festival for the day. If you do a little research in your area, you’ll be sure to find interesting shows that you could go to together – but if you aren’t much of a theatre buff, then you could just hand over a set of tickets and talk to your friend about their experience later! If you’re not sure what exactly they’d like, go for a set of vouchers or a gift card, as your recipient will enjoy choosing something they really want to go to themselves.
A Daredevil Experience
If your recipient is the sort of person who likes to get their blood pumping with an adrenaline filled activity, you could go for a daredevil experience day like parachuting or maybe rally car driving. You don’t have to worry about them – all gift experience days will come with very careful safety regulations, meaning that they can go a little wild and have an incredible day while you can stay at home without any concerns at all!
One of the most valuable gifts you can give anyone is your time. If you feel as though you haven’t seen your friend or family member as much as you’d like to, why not take them out for afternoon tea? It’s one of the best meals to catch up at – you won’t drink too much or stay out too late by mistake like you might in the evening, and it’s a little more formal and like a real treat than brunch. Check out the nice hotels in your area for the best menu, and make sure that you dress up nicely and make a real day out of it.
Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for an afternoon – teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime. That’s how the saying (almost) goes, right? It makes sense that you would consider getting cooking classes for one of your loved ones – that means that they can learn and develop skills that will last their whole lives. The great thing about cooking classes is that they can work for chefs on any level, from absolute beginners to almost-professional cooks who want to pick up some new skills. Send your twenty-five year old son who survives on takeout to rudimentary beginners’ classes, or buy sushi making or patisserie lessons for your sister who loves to cook. Whatever the level of your resident chef, you can find a class that suits them.
A Makeover and Photoshoot
Is there any gift you can give that’s better than helping someone to feel beautiful and good about themselves? A makeover and photoshoot session can do exactly that. If you have any friends or relatives who aren’t feeling great, or who’ve recently had a baby and who are living in leggings, or who recently got divorced and is looking to get back into dating, then amp up their self esteem by buying them a makeover. Not only can they learn about what colours suit them and purchase some new makeup to make themselves feel fabulous, but they’ll also get a set of photos to take home that will demonstrate to them that they’re just as beautiful on the outside as they are on the inside.
One of the most thoughtful gifts you can give anyone is a book. Whether it’s one you loved and want to share or simply a novel you think they might like, a book can open up new worlds by exposing people to new thoughts and ways of being. If your recipient isn’t much of a reader, then give them a book about their favourite band or TV show, or go for an accessible book of poems to show them that reading isn’t too scary or difficult.
A Hotel Break
If your recipient tends to be quite tired and stressed out, then a hotel break is a generous and thoughtful gift to give them. Choose one with a spa, and pay for a treatment for them, so they can enjoy a hot stone massage or maybe a cupping treatment to help get the tension out of their body and prepare them for the year ahead. It’s always a little risky to choose a specific weekend because you never know what plans your busy pals have already made, so either ask them for dates before you book, or hand over a gift card with all your love and best wishes.
A Subscription Box
No matter what your gift recipient’s interests are, there will be a subscription box to suit them, from books to beauty to vegan food to pets to fresh flowers to geek lifestyle products. Not only does a subscription box mean that you don’t have to pick out a gift yourself (and potentially get it wrong!) but your loved one will be receiving a subscription box for a few months, meaning that their Christmas gift will stretch on well into the new year and that they’ll think of you fondly every time a new one comes through their letter box.
Life as a grandma.. it's no 'quiet, restful days in the rocking-chair'. It's filled with activity, excitement and lots of family fun. Please share it with me.