Some might think that when calling “choosing Christmas gifts,” art is a bit of an exaggeration, but when you think about it, it’s an accurate description of how this matter shouldn’t be taken lightly! One of the best ways of communication is giving someone a gift, and by default, the choice of this gift. Presents are words waiting to be read and interpreted by the receiver. We eagerly monitor the effect of our offerings on the recipient to see if they were understood, appreciated, and well-received. Thinking of the proper message and then manifesting it to the perfect Christmas present is an art of seeing beyond material things and through people simultaneously. As you’re sitting in your student room panicking about shopping for Christmas gifts for your loved ones, whether it’s for Secret Santa and boxing day or for regular Christmas gifts' exchange, here are some things for you to consider to turn that stressful task into an art that they will appreciate.
Pre-Choosing Tips & Tricks
1. Character Digging
Knowing the personality of who you’re gifting is integral to getting something they will genuinely appreciate. Bearing in mind the person’s interests, from the TV shows they’re obsessed with, to their favorite artists. Are they that jokester friend who would love a gift that makes them laugh out loud? If they’re interested in astrological signs, it’ll be even easier to know what they’re like.
Start making a Christmas wishlist of each person’s interests to make it easier. Their social media could be their wishlist in the palm of your hands! Doing a little social media stalking to find out the person’s character could be beneficial at this stage. Realistically speaking, who doesn’t have posts with captions like “I need this in my life!”
2. Weigh The Relationship
One of the most important things to consider while selecting a Christmas gift is the type of relationship you have with this person. Is it a close friend? A family member? A colleague? Your roommate? This will help you choose the proper gift depending on how well you know them. You definitely wouldn’t get your mother the same thing you get for a colleague! Think about the person’s place in your life and what they mean to you and tailor your present to what you come up with! It will help determine whether to make it personal or nothing more than a nice gesture.
3. Go The Extra Mile & Be Thoughtful
It is more thoughtful to get someone something they need rather than something they want. Turn on your observation goggles whenever you’re with any of your loved ones and try to figure out what they need since they’re just like you, international students living away from home. Being attentive to people’s needs is bound to make them feel special and cared for. Just imagine their surprise when they get something they have been needing and how touched they would be that you noticed!
The Art of Gifting In-Action
Now that you have an idea for what you should be focusing on, it’s now time to get down to business! Here’s how you ace Christmas gifts this year:
1. Think Outside the Box!
Since Christmas comes once a year, don’t be afraid to get a little creative to make it extra special! Who said gifts can only be tangible objects? Experiences can be offered as gifts too. Book tickets to a Christmas show or concert for that friend who is obsessed with Christmas songs and parties! If there’s no parties or events near you, purchase them a month of subscription to their favorite music mobile app. You can also buy them a 3-month GYM membership if they’re into fitness.
Time is one of the greatest gifts you can give, especially in the midst of all the hectic stress of studying and exams, so take the time to cook a homemade meal for your friend then take them skating and laugh at each other’s poor skating skills!
Do you have that one family member who always says they don’t need anything for Christmas? Surprise them by making a donation under their name to a charity! While you’re doing that social media stalking trick, write down a quote the person admires and plaster it on a throw pillow or a mug! Just try to think of unusual things that will make an unforgettable Christmas gift.
2. Show Your Care & Get Creative
Does your roommate seem to be always suffering from a cold? Put together a ‘Christmas Care Package’ full of the things they still need and run out quickly! Make a Christmas gift basket for that friend who’s been going through a tough time lately and fill it with their favorite chocolates and motivational quotes to cheer them up. Did you go to your friend’s student room and noticed something missing?
Even if it’s a cute throw pillow or scented candle, it’ll make them feel less homesick. If your colleague keeps talking about how much they miss home, don’t be afraid to get personal by printing portraits of their family photos for them to hang on their room’s wall or stick it to their desk’s sticky board! They will feel noticed and loved, and who knows, it could even make that colleague turn into a best friend!
3. Try Artistic DIYs!
Since they have plenty of thought, time, and effort put into them, handmade presents never fail to make a person feel special. This literally turns your Christmas gifts into art! If you’re a good artist, don’t hesitate to send your mother a portrait of a family picture. Love to bake? Make your dorm buddy a batch of their favorite cookies and leave it on their doorstep or desk with a lovely card, and the mouthwatering smell will do the rest!
Is writing lyrics and composing songs one of your hobbies? Put together a short Christmas song, grab your guitar, and play it for someone who would appreciate music as the best artistic Christmas gift. Whatever it is, remember that gifts are not valued for how expensive they are, but for how well-thought they are!
For more DIY Christmas ideas, read our DIY Christmas Student Rooms Decorations blog post.
4. Finish Strong!
The presentation is everything! Even if you have the perfect Christmas gift, the way you present it is the key to leaving a long-lasting effect. Putting thought into packaging will not be a waste of time when you watch the person’s excitement as they see how pretty it is! Don’t be afraid to go crazy with simple wrapping paper and making different shapes and styles with it. It’s always fun to put together a little scavenger hunt for the person to find their gift, it will build their anticipation and excitement. You can take revenge from that prankster friend who was torturing you all year by orchestrating an awesome prank that leads to their Christmas present!
In a nutshell, mastering the art of choosing gifts doesn’t come easy, that’s why we have 365 days to prepare adequately. Making people happy with how considerate you are will give you the best Christmas joy you could ask for. Let’s face it, having a reputation as being a great gift-giver is a plus, indeed!