A bumper gift giving guide

Okay, so, I’ll admit it – I love buying Christmas presents, I love wrapping Christmas presents, and I did the majority of my Christmas gift buying in November.  I’m that person.  I much prefer giving gifts than receiving them (although, come Christmas morning I will still be waking up like a child in a sweet shop at approximately 6am).

So, when Gumtree asked me to share my tips on buying the perfect Christmas presents, I was very excited to talk about all things festive purchasing.  And the good thing is – it’s only 18 December and with the wonder of things like Next Day Delivery available at most shops and the majority of websites shipping right up until the 23rd, you’ve still got a lot of time to pick up the perfect gift.

I can get pretty geeky about any psychological study into shopping or gift giving – and so I was really intrigued to see the huge report that Gumtree commissioned.  Did you know that 61% of people feel that the joy of gifting is lost due to the pressure of finding the perfect present? I hate the idea that people feel anxious and stressed about Christmas shopping as, to me, just getting to the heart of someone’s personality and picking up on little clues they might subtly drop can mean that it’s relatively easy to find something great.

As part of the study, they also looked into the gifts that people most want to receive this Christmas.  Here are the top five, with some suggestions from me for how you can make those tips even better.

01. Vouchers – 39% of people said that they would be really happy to receive vouchers – I am actually surprised at this as, although vouchers can be a great present, I myself do like something a little more personal.  However you can get really personal with vouchers these days – what about gift vouchers for Spotify, The Wolseley restaurant (yes please), Netflix subscriptions or magazine subscriptions? The good thing about these presents is that they can be bought right up to the big day.

02. Clothing, footwear or accessories – 27% of people were hoping for clothing, shoes or accessories under their tree. This is probably no surprise, as especially at this time of year a lot of people have cosy jumpers or a new pair of slippers on their Christmas list.  I absolutely love Uniqlo’s knitwear – they have cashmere jumpers for less than £60 and their merino wool cardigans are a dream.  I also love The White Company, their nightwear is bloody gorgeous and I think anyone would be thrilled to receive some of their cashmere bed socks…

Cashmere bed socks
Cashmere Bed Socks, The White Company, £28.80

03. Beauty and Fragrance – 22% were hoping to receive beauty and fragrance products this year.  Okay, so my Cult Beauty wishlist is getting a little bit out of control so this one definitely chimes with me! Perfume is always a great gift – how about a Jo Malone Christmas Gift Set or an experience to make their own perfume?

04. Food – 16% rated food as a great gift, including chocolate, chutneys and cooking sauces. Another easy gift to pick up, why not make a hamper of their favourite foods with some luxury chocolates, beers, chutneys and biscuits (if you have a local farm shop they will always stock yummy things that are perfect for hampers). Or if your recipient is a pasta fiend like me, why not check out the Pasta Evangelists pasta subscriptions (yes, really – yum!)

05. DVDs, Computer Games, Books – 14% were adding these items to their Christmas list this year. This is a bit of a no-brainer as I can certainly say that I have A LOT of books on my wishlist! Why not gift them a Willoughby Book Subscription – such a lovely idea for a Christmas present and a gift that really keeps on giving.

Another way to bag the perfect present – as well as a total bargain – is to look on Gumtree for the perfect present.  I recently sold a spin bike on Gumtree to someone giving it as a gift for Christmas; brand new it was £200 and I sold it for £20, so they definitely got a great gift! I really fancy a SONOS Playbar for my new flat and there’s several brand new in the box in Southampton so I’m going to keep my eye on them over Christmas.  If your loved ones have tech on their Christmas list like laptops, phones, Fitbits or game consoles it’s a great way to take an unwanted gift off someone else’s hands either before or after Christmas.

Do these lists resonate with you or are you hoping for something different under your tree?

Thank you to Gumtree for providing the report – this has been a PR collaboration, all tips and opinions my own.