The festive season is well and truly upon us. Carol singers are beginning to emerge, the radio is full of the old Slade and Shakin’ Stevens classics, and you’re contemplating which mince pie recipe to have a go at this year. If you’ve ventured to the shops already to partake in a spot of Christmas shopping, you know that the aisles are already heaving. When it comes to carefully selecting the perfect gifts for our nearest and dearest, it can be tricky to know what to buy. This is even more difficult when those family members live halfway across the country, and you won’t be seeing them this year. However, don’t resign yourself to the fact that you’ll need to be buying acres of brown paper, bubble wrap and jiffy bags. Take a look at these ideas which can take the stress out of long-distance present giving.
When you’re contemplating what present to buy for Uncle Bob, Aunty Jean and their offspring, you don’t have to buy them each individual gifts. To make it easier, consider purchasing something for the whole family unit to enjoy. There’s nothing better than being able to post a Christmas card complete with experience voucher inside. This means you won’t have to whip out the double walled cardboard boxes and you can roll numerous gifts into one. How about a murder mystery weekend, a paintballing session or a trip to see the latest musical in the West End? Experience vouchers can be the most surprising and smile-inducing presents to give.
If you’re keen to purchase an item that your loved ones can physically open, think about heading online. Retailers like Amazon and Etsy can gift wrap your present so you don’t have to and they can post it directly to your recipient. At the click of a button you’re able to relinquish postage duties and don’t need to venture out in the cold with a boot full of parcels to post.
Even those retailers that don’t have gift wrap options are useful. If you are looking for a particularly niche gift such as a signed Liverpool football shirt, a piece of World War II trench art or a 1970s Doctor Who board game, your best bet is eBay. The online auction site is full of weird and wonderful retro and vintage bargains, especially at Christmas. For those larger items, consider using a service like Shiply to obtain quotes to deliver your gift direct to your relative.
Arrange A Date
You could, of course, use the fact that you’re not seeing one side of the family at Christmas as an excuse to meet up with them in the new year. If this is the case, package and wrap up the items as if you were seeing them on Christmas Day. If your venturing to their home, pack up the car and head off on a post-Christmas family visit. If they are hot-footing it your way, uncork the mulled wine, bake a few more sausage rolls and put on a bit of a second Christmas spread. You can then experience the joy of opening gifts together, just not on Christmas morning.
Even if your family are a little spread apart this Christmas, you can follow this advice and still ensure they receive some thoughtful gifts from you this festive season.