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Ideas For Last Minute Christmas Presents

Do you still have presents to buy, with Christmas just round the corner? Whether you’ve been too busy to shop early, you’ve just remembered you need to get a present for someone or you have procrastinated with your present buying, this is a guide to help you get gifts which will put a smile on their recipients’ faces! It’s possible to use this time efficiently and find presents everyone will love, so stop stressing and start shopping.

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Buying Online

The most important thing for e-commerce shops to do in the run up to Christmas is to publish information about delivery clearly online – so if you are considering ordering something online make sure you check these details before clicking to buy. You may be surprised that many online stores will offer next day delivery right up until the 23rd of December and the most successful ones stake their reputation on their delivery services so you can be assured the product will arrive on time.

However, there is an element of risk involved with all online purchases: some unforeseen force could prevent the item from being delivered. If this is an important present or it’s already Christmas Eve, see the next option below, and buy the gift in person.

Buying In-Store

It may be that planning isn’t your strong point if you have waited until Christmas Eve to do your shopping.  However the best way to get good results out of doing last minute Christmas shopping at the shops is to make a plan of attack.

Write down the names of all the people you still have to get lists for and an idea of what to get for each one.  Be realistic and think about what will be most convenient for you to get to – remember that time is of the essence. Depending on how much time there is left you can either aim to get it all from different shops within one shopping center or scale down and aim to get it all from different counters within a department store.  If you have less than a couple of hours, the best place to head is to a health and beauty store like Boots or Superdrug. Long gone are the days when these shops only sold medicine and pharmacy products – fragrances, celebrity endorsed products, decorations for the home, baby products, children’s toys and gift sets can all easily be found here now – who would know that you bought them all at the same place?

No-Delivery Gifts

These gifts mean that you really can buy presents almost instantly and are a lifesaver for those awkward times when a gift has just slipped your mind!

  • The charity gift route: these are ideal presents for the oldest and youngest members of the family, as well as anyone who insists that they don’t want gifts anymore. One option would be to something like a goat to a farmer in a developing country in someone else’s name, in which case you get a nice card for the recipient here and the goat goes where it is needed. On the other hand, you could adopt an animal on behalf of someone else – in which case you can print off the email confirming their sponsorship and that they will receive a welcome pack in the post after Christmas.
  • Experience Days: There are a plethora of websites offering experience days now. They range from spa days and afternoon tea to a Formula One driving experience or a trip to a wine valley in the UK. All you need to do is pick an activity your recipient will enjoy.
  • Tickets: this is very similar to the above but I thought it worth including to highlight it. Ticket websites like Ticketmaster mean that the world of live music, comedy, stage shows and more are at your fingertips so take advantage of this. People love to be treated to a night out. If you print the confirmation email as proof I would recommend cutting the date off it though!
  • Vouchers: not just vouchers for online shopping (which many e-tailers do provide now) but vouchers for all kinds of things! Of course, you could make your own little booklet of vouchers for things – if it’s for a partner or spouse those things can be as risqué as required! But it’s possible to subscribe to services which will send the recipient a gift each month for six months to a year, with vouchers that you can print to give on the day. The Guardian has collected a bunch of ideas here, from temporary tattoos or make-up to gardening tools and children’s crafts.

Liz from Must Have Gifts charity gifts put this gift-giving guide together and she hopes it will help you to complete the rest of your Christmas shopping in a stress-free fashion. In her opinion it isn’t the Christmas presents which have been difficult to organize this year but the Christmas cards! Here’s hoping they all arrive on time! Happy Christmas, everyone!

5 Ideas To Get Something Out Of Useless Christmas Gifts

Every year at Christmas, it seems you get at least one gift that’s useless to you. It could be an appliance for which you have no need, a piece of jewelry identical to a piece you already own, or an article of clothing that just does not quite fit your style. Instead of letting them sit in a closet and gather dust or re-gifting them to clients, coworkers or friends, why not use one of these ideas to turn that useless gift into a holiday boon.

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First idea:

Donate those unwanted gifts to a charity such as Goodwill or the Salvation Army. There are even charities that cater to specific needs, such as Dress for Success and Career gear, which allow people to donate business attire. These items will then be used to help dress men and women, who could not otherwise afford it, for job interviews. It’s a great way to donate the myriad ties you received. As an added bonus, you get a nice tax deduction for donating to nonprofit charities.

Second idea:

Many recipients of gifts find it hard to ask for the receipt for an expensive item, afraid that it might hurt the giver’s feelings. For items such as gold jewelry or gold cuff links, instead of letting them sit in your jewelry box and gather dust, why not take that jewelry to your local pawn shop and sell it for cash? Not only will you be getting quite a bit of cash, but a future buyer will be getting a great deal on a new piece of jewelry.

Third idea:

Most of us can’t find a use for two toasters, crock pots or blenders. Websites such as Craigslist.com are great places to unload small or large appliances for a bit of extra pocket cash. Just remember to take safety precautions when allowing strangers into your home!

Fourth idea:

In today’s fast-paced world, many of us don’t have time to do a lot of shopping for anyone other than a few select friends and family members, so we give and receive gift cards for Christmas. Sometimes, though, those gift cards are not suited to our interests and we just won’t use them. Instead of letting them expire and allowing the company to keep all that profit, you could donate those gift cards to children’s hospitals, senior living facilities or even military organizations. Many of these people will be without their families or on a fixed income over the holidays and the kind gesture would be appreciated.

Fifth idea:

If you’re the outgoing type, start a yearly neighborhood gift exchange. After the holidays are over, each person brings one gift they received, which is useless to them, and exchanges with another person for something more useful. It’s a great way to get to know your neighbors and turn a gift that wasn’t quite right for you, into something you’ll be able to use. For more fun, have each person bring a snack or drinks and turn it into a party!

Whether it’s a little pocket change for yourself or making someone else’s day a bit brighter, just follow a few of these suggestions, and maybe come up with a few ideas of your own, and you can turn those useless gifts into something beneficial for everyone.

Tomas Lloyd has worked as a financial planner for over 15 years. He recommends visiting mint.com/blog which he regularly reads for financial tips & useful investing information.

Christmas Is The Season Of Guilt And Emotional Blackmail

Christmas is supposed to be the season of good will and we all seem to make a massive deal out of the festive season. The build-up starts earlier and earlier each year and people save for months and make the most elaborate preparations. Why is it then that so many of us feel deflated after the event?

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Excessive Spending

For one thing the enormity of our expenditure is sure to lead to disappointment. Vast sums are laid out on food, decorations and gifts. The supermarkets are full of families wheeling trollies which are bending under the sheer volume of chocolates and treats and there is a shopping frenzy as we all search for the perfect gifts. The trouble is that this is all for one day which is usually spent cooking, eating and watching the TV so how can it ever live up to a level of spending which would easily fund a good holiday?

Disappointment

The simple truth is that it can’t and so we are all bound to be left disappointment and lamenting our excess. In reality much of our money is wasted and we know it. Huge volumes of food are left uneaten as we buy far more than we could reasonably consume and so many of the gifts we buy are not really wanted or appreciated by the recipients. You have to ask why we all do it? The majority of the population have no interest in religion and the recession has seen to it that our pockets are even more challenged than ever and yet we carry on spending furiously to fund the festive season.

Guilt

The reason we cannot break free is guilt and the emotional blackmail of our families. Christmas is now so inexorably perceived as the time when you should see your family and eat together that to not do so feels like a crime. This is, of course, ridiculous as we could get together any day of the year and buy each other gifts whenever we like but we don’t probably because we have spent all our money on Christmas!

Opportunity

The festive period is a precious time when we get some time off work and would be able to have some lovely days out or a good holiday without having to use up limited holiday entitlement. It is the perfect time to do the things we would really like to enjoy and yet guilt over indulging ourselves and the fear of upsetting the family usually see us confined to the house.

Breaking Free

I have tried to break free on a couple of occasions and turned my back on a traditional Christmas in favor of the golf course and a day in the countryside. Yes I felt guilty but the experience was a liberating one and something I plan to repeat when I gather the fortitude and a suitably strong feeling of righteous indignation.

This year I have evolved a compromise. The decorations are up, the Christmas tree lights are twinkling and the festive food has been ordered. After I have done my duty I am heading to the airport for a skiing holiday and will be enjoying myself on the slopes until after the New Year!

Sally Stacey is a writer and retail business owner who likes to get away from it all over Christmas but struggles to achieve her perfect Christmas.

 

Why I Have Issues With Secret Santa

There are both advantages and disadvantages to working from home especially at Christmas. Whilst lonely workers like me miss out on the festivities and parties we at least escape the potential nightmare of Secret Santa.

badsanta

In case you have been living in a cave Secret Santa is a gift giving procedure favored by many offices and schools. Participants draw the name of a colleague at random and anonymously give them a gift. There is usually a limit set on the amount to be spent. The idea is a good one in principle as it prevents people being dragged into buying gifts for everyone and the price limit ensures that nobody is financially challenged by the purchase.

Embarrassment

You may well ask what could possibly be wrong with this game. Well for one thing I was once a victim of a variation of Secret Santa that proved to be embarrassing. Everyone in my office drew a name out of the hat in the usual way but we were told that the presents had to opened at the staff Christmas party in a local hotel restaurant and that each recipient had to stand up and hold their gift above their head so everyone could see what they had. Naturally many of my colleagues saw the massive potential for hilarity in this and deliberately bought gifts which one would not normally put on public display. The gift I received was a thong much to the enjoyment of the complete strangers on an adjacent table.

Public Airing

It should always be born in mind that Secret Santa gifts are rarely opened privately and that some people do not enjoy being humiliated. I wasn’t bothered by waving a thong in the air but the young office junior nearly died of embarrassment showing the entire restaurant a packet of condoms and a sex toy! The low price limit on the gifts does usually mean that the items purchased are of a humorous nature as it can be difficult to source anything worthwhile for £5. Let’s face it with that budget a quality watch or a nice piece of jewellery is out of the equation! The price limit simply means that most of the gifts are of no real interest to the recipients and merely get shoved in a drawer somewhere which seems rather a waste of money to me.

Strangers

Not sticking to the budget appears to be rather frowned upon too and so if you do want to find something nice for the person concerned you face a bit of a mission. As most people are generally already struggling to find suitable gifts for family and friends this just another problem to add to the pile. Life would be made much easier if you knew the person you are buying for well but sod’s law dictates that you always draw a complete stranger from another department about whom you know nothing.

I just wonder if a lot of effort and embarrassment could be saved if Secret Santa was abandoned in favor of a charitable donation or a pooling of funds to finance a night out. I don’t think many people would miss the gifts although I could be wrong because I still have that wretched thong!

Sally Stacey is a keen writer and business owner who divides her time between writing and running her shop.

Top Story: Infographic – Holiday Gift Guide for Men

Buying a holiday gift for the man in your life can sometimes seem like a chore. However, if you think about the various activities that he likes or talks about you will be able to make a lot of headway. Buying a gift that is a conversation starter, such as a set of collector knives, will also show him that you care. Other great gift ideas include writing instruments, custom cufflinks and craft beer kits. Remember when buying a gift that you do not want to get him something for work. The gift should be something special that he can connect to your relationship, not something that reminds him of the stress of the office. Get him something unique that compliments his interests instead. Barbecue sets, workout gear or other gadgets are sure to be winners this holiday season. Read through the infographic below for more tips on how to buy the perfect gift for him this year.

Created by the marketing team at William Henry.

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Help! I Have No Money To Spend This Christmas

Christmas-Lights

Christmas is a time of giving and receiving, and a time for families and friends to gather together to exchange gifts, eat, drink and be extremely merry. Its a time when children’s dreams are realised seeing them finally get the new, up to date toys they’ve been desperately asking for in the months leading up to Christmas. If you have children (and even if you don’t) many of us want Christmas to be a special time of year. For many people this can be extremely expensive – luxurious presents, fridges bulging with food, Christmas parties and so much more.

The build up to Christmas can be a truly magical time of year and whilst all of this is lovely- it can all be too much, especially for families on a budget. The fairytale image of Christmas can soon diminish in a puff of smoke when the harsh realities of life swiftly bring us crashing back down to earth.

So does this mean you should perhaps miss out on having a lovely Christmas altogether? Not at all! What this does mean is that you can eagerly look forward to having an amazing day with your family and friends without breaking the bank, and here is how!

1) The giving and receiving of gifts

The biggest temptation is to splash out on lavish gifts that we probably can’t afford and probably shouldn’t buy, especially if we are buying for children, its very easy to get carried away! Instead you should research the things you intend to buy beforehand to enable you to get the best price available whilst remaining sensible. You can create a fantastic pile of gifts for the children to open on Christmas morning and some have memorable experiences without spending a fortune.

Being organized helps – you’ll often finds sales in the approach to Christmas (and indeed after Christmas in preparation for the following year) so shop in sales, you”ll be amazed how much money you can save. Also keep a look out for things like voucher codes to save you money off of all your online purchases, where possible. Voucher codes are fabulous even if you just save on the delivery costs, it makes it all worthwhile! If you have a group of grown up friends, why not suggest doing a secret Santa present swap so you have less presents to buy. Take your kids on big days out (Santa’s grotto, ice skating, snow man building etc) so that they have lots of memories throughout the whole season showing them its not all about the gifts, its about spending time as a family creating memories you’ll treasure forever.

2) A Christmas meal shared is a Christmas meal enjoyed!

When I have visions of a family sitting down to their Christmas dinner, I tend to envisage a huge table filled with a banquet of meats, potatoes and vegetables with glasses of wines and spirits flowing freely amongst the gleeful guests! To me, this is what Christmas is all about, eating, drinking and being merry. A massive family Christmas dinner is truly lovely – however it can also be expensive. This year, why not suggest that everyone gets involved with the dinner preparations. Asking your friends and family to help with the meal by bringing the starters, dessert or wine can really help to reduce the expense. I’m pretty sure that your guests will be relieved that you have advised them what to bring along rather than having to worry or second guess what you might need. Leaving you all to have a lovely, busy, family filled Christmas meal without having to worry too much about the cost.

3) Think ahead, plan ahead

It can seem like the last thing you want to do, but imagine how much easier this Christmas would be if you were really organized and ready for it? Purchase items like wrapping paper, Christmas decorations, Christmas cards and even a new Christmas tree in the January sales. You’ll find all sorts of items reduced throughout January so you can save yourself a small fortune buying these items then. You can simply store them away in the cupboard until next Christmas. It can seem like a chore to shop for Christmas items when the festive season is literally just over and done with but it really can make your next Christmas so much easier to arrange and far less expensive for you (and your family budget). Of course now you have all of these items, your Christmas budget will not be quite so restricted as it has been in previous years, so it really is a win-win situation!

My name is Nicola and i have interests in technology, health & fitness, interior design and family matters.

Top Story: 15 Worst Gifts To Give A Woman During The Holidays

bad christmas gift

Over the years men have been courting women, celebrating special occasions, and righting wrongs with gifts. With the holiday season coming up in the next few months, you may already be thinking about what to get that special lady. If you want to celebrate the special woman in your life, here is a list of fifteen gifts to never give her for the holidays.

  1. Candy is a great additional gift or a gift on Valentine’s Day. A major holiday or anniversary should be celebrating with something that shows how much you care, with maybe a side of chocolate.
  2. Perfume is only a good gift if she specifically asked for her favorite type. If you take it upon yourself to buy a scent at the fragrance aisle you are risking her hating the scent or being allergic to it.
  3. Cash is probably the most unthoughtful gift you can give. A gift card to her favorite store with the promise to go shopping with her to pick out something nice is going to go a lot further than just pulling money out of your wallet and saying you forgot that the day existed.
  4. A framed picture of yourself is self-absorbed and can easily be replaced with a picture of the two of you which will show her that you really care.
  5. Last year’s gift went over well, but if you give it to her two years in a row she may think that you are too lazy to think of a gift idea, or that she is unworthy of something new. If she liked the dinner at that Italian Restaurant last year try making one of her favorite Italian dishes and treating her to a massage this year.
  6. Flowers, like candy, are not long lasting or as thoughtful as a gift that you put thought into. Save that for date night or a day you want to cheer her up.
  7. Alcohol is another gift that doesn’t last. However, if you combine her favorite wine, flowers, a box of chocolates, and a home cooked meal you will definitely show how much you pay attention to what she likes. Plus, you’ll get to enjoy these things with her!
  8. Cosmetics are a gift like perfume that have too many variables. You may get a product she hates, is allergic to, or will cause offense. It is best to let her pick those items out herself.
  9. Novelty items without a significant meaning behind them are not a great gift idea. No one needs a hula dancer on their dash board. Unless you want the memories of this holiday to be bitter, stay away from anything that sings, shakes, wiggles, or has beady eyes.
  10. Tickets to a sporting event – unless this is something you two have talked about doing before and she loves the sport as much as you – is going to seem like a gift for yourself. Find out an event or concert that she would enjoy and go with her to that instead. Maybe she’s always wanted to go to the zoo and you love monkeys; now you have a picture you can put in that frame next year.
  11. A gift for yourself, like the newest gaming system that she may use once, is not a gift for her. She will resent you and this gift so just buy yourself the system next week and splurge on her today.
  12. A gym membership may be something that she talks about all of the time, but if you buy it for her she may think you are commenting on her weight. Don’t buy her anything that can send the message that you don’t like exactly who she is.
  13. Clothes are something that she has to buy herself. The issues of size, style, and cost are all easily misinterpreted and you are safer with that purse she has been talking about for months or jewelry.
  14. Any item that you cannot exchange can always be a bad idea. If she hates an item and is stuck with it you wasted time and money and she is upset. This is not what you intended, so play it safe and get that gift receipt.
  15. Appliances are one of the gifts heard as office jokes the most. Someone’s boss buys his wife a toaster for Christmas and next year he is sleeping on the couch. The implication being that a woman should be in the kitchen. Unless a woman asks for a specific appliance, it is best to just stay clear of this whole area.

These 15 gifts may be what the special woman in your life specifically asked for, but if not, please do not make the mistake of getting a gift that will end in tears. Put thought into a gift and purchase something that will last her as long as the memories that are made. You will be equally as happy in the long run.

Today, guest author Mark Reynolds is writing from first-hand experience! It seems he has committed every dating faux pas possible. As they say, those who can’t do – teach.  So, Mark now shares his advice online.  Usually, he is contributing to Do Girls Like Shy Guys?  He writes about everything from how to ask a girl out to meeting the parents.

Top Story: The Most Romantic Gift Ideas

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There are a thousand different ways to say ‘I love you’ to that certain someone, so when a special occasion comes around there should be no shortage of ideas. The good news for those who are on a budget is that you don’t have to spend a small fortune to make a large impact, especially if you’re prepared to make an effort with creativity. Here are some ideas that will move the earth but won’t cost the earth.

Heart-shaped balloon

Receiving a parcel via a courier is always a special treat, and it can be extra-special if there is a romantic gift inside. A foil balloon in the shape of a heart represents a new twist on an established classic, so why not send one today to your loved one? If he or she is currently located somewhere far away, a balloon will send a message of love that will remain in the memory for a long time. For an added bonus, it can be personalized with a message and the name of the recipient.

Photo collage

Personalized gifts are always that bit more special, especially if it took a little effort to create. A collage made up of meaningful photographs from recent times can create a truly spectacular effect, and in some cases the larger the collage the more impressive it looks. It’s a good idea to ensure there are no gaps, and if possible it’s best to include images from a number of different places and occasions.

Love boxes

This particular idea shows the recipient just how much you are thinking of them, especially if you make an effort to include items that are particularly well-liked. Fill the box with romantic items such as chocolates, sweets, biscuits and other foodstuffs, as well as a single red rose and a music compilation of her most favorite romantic songs. Remember, the box needs to be securely packaged, and you need to make sure you use a next day courier so the rose does not whiter.

Picnic basket

On a similar theme, a picnic basket containing a wide selection of tasty treats will also hit the spot. As well as foodstuffs, you could also include personalized plates and cups to make the gift even more individual. You might also want to include an invitation to a picnic on a specified date in a highly romantic location, so you and the recipient can take the basket out on its very first excursion.

Personalized Canvas Print

A perfectly matched couple will invariably share many happy memories, and nothing accentuates this more than a personalized canvas print. Get your favorite picture of you and your other half and have it printed on a canvas, and inscribed with personal messages of unbridled love. Some may choose to record a favorite poem, the exact time and date when the pair first met, or perhaps they day they got married. As always, the choice is entirely up to you.

Personalized jewelry

Jewelry has always been a popular choice when giving a gift, especially when there is a special occasion in the air. Sending a loved one such an item via a courier is a great way to add a little anticipation, so if you’re dispatching a ring to Rome, a bracelet to Birmingham or a necklace to New York, you should have the item inscribed first. Such a gift would be considered so special it will surely never be forgotten.

 

Iain Aitchison is a keen blogger lifestyle blogger. He often blogs about craft ideas and creative endeavors.

 

5 Useful Things To Do With Photos

I have literally hundreds of photos stored on my phone and I’m sure many other people do.  It’s so easy to take a photo these days as we tend to have our mobile phones on us anyway.  Also, the quality of mobile phone cameras has come on in leaps and bounds in recent years so not only are we taking more pictures but we are getting better quality pictures too.  But what should we do with all these pictures?  I might share some of the better ones on social media but after that they just stay on my phone.  This seems like such a waste as many of them are pictures of things I love, such as family and friends or favorite views.  So what should we do with all our photos?

Make Them In To Greetings Cards

 If you’ve got pictures of you, your children or family you could have them made up into cards.

For a professional finish have them printed through a company.  For individual cards such as personalized birthday or valentines cards try moonpig.com.  For batches of cards such as thank you cards or invitations, Moonpig have a great new website paper-shaker.com.

For a more creative finish, if you’ve got more time to spare, have a go at making your own.  You can really let your imagination run wild here and make them as simple or as ornate as you like depending on your style and time available.  Take a look at these ideas.

 Home Made Greetings  Another Home Made Effort

Make Gift Tags

On a similar theme to greetings cards, you can make homemade gift tags.  Just print out your chosen photo and stick it to a piece of card.  Then just punch a hole at one end and thread it with ribbon.  If you’re really cordinated you can match the color of the card and ribbon that you use to the color of the gift wrap.

 

Have Them Printed as Wall Art

If you have great photos of family and friends or stunning views on your phone then don’t let them go to waste.  Use them to decorate your home.  Anything from putting them into frames on a shelf or mantelpiece to having them printed into posters or canvases and hanging them on the wall.  Have a look at these handy tips for hanging art on your walls.  rentaldecorating.com/0505walls/arrangingpictures.htm  If you want something a bit different and your phone or camera has a panoramic print function, then try hanging a panoramic print in your home.  These look great above beds, sofas or mantelpieces.  You can get panoramic canvases or just a large canvas print printed at printpanoramics.co.uk

Make a Memory Book

If you have lots of different photos of the same thing such as a holiday or children or family then a memory book is a fun way to collect them together and can even make a lovely gift.  You just need an empty photo album or notebook then you can print out your photos and stick them in.  You can add notes to your pictures or add other things in too like tickets or other souvenirs.

Memory Book

(Source: wendolonia.com/blog/2012/10/03/homemade-smash-book-update)

 

Put Your Best Pictures in a Locket or on Personalized Photo Jewellery

Lockets might be a bit old fashioned but it’s still a lovely idea.  Choosing one or two of your favorite family pictures and inserting them into a locket on a pendant means you can keep your special pictures close.  There are so many different lockets to choose from including non-traditional designs if you want something a bit more up to date.  Another idea similar, to lockets is personalized photo jewellery.  There are many website that offer this service in a range of styles from photos set in resin to photos engraved onto metal.

 

Shelly is a content artist for a local company dealing in web design and creative expression. In her spare time she enjoys photography and creating mini works of art out of her images and any scrap materials she can find.

4 Gifts That No One Actually Wants

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Everyone loves presents, and gift giving has become a very important part of our culture. Gifts make the receiver feel appreciated and can certainly rack up some good karma for the giver. But not all gifts are created equally. No matter how shiny the wrapping paper, how artistic the bow tying or how sweet the card is, there are just some gifts that nobody wants to get. Here are some gifts to stay away from along with some possible substitutions for them.

Ties, sweaters and the like

Ah, the Father’s Day special. Or Christmas. Or really any other occasion. Articles of clothing are generally considered the “easy way out” when it comes to gift giving. They don’t particularly require much thought. After all, everybody wears clothes (well, most everybody). No matter how well you think you might know what your friend, sibling or co-worker would just love to add to their wardrobe, invariably whatever you buy will be the wrong color, wrong pattern or wrong size and find its way to the back of the closet. If you still want to go the route of wearable gifts, try cufflinks for men and jewelry for women.

Fitness equipment

Of course, if your giftee is an athlete or a gym rat, this is a perfectly appropriate gift, but otherwise, gifting fitness equipment will likely prompt the question “So you’re saying I’m fat?” Chances are, that’s not what you’re implying, but seeing that the idea behind gift giving is to give the giftee a gift they’ll use (say that five times fast), your gesture could be taken as “Yeah, you should probably use this stuff to get in shape.” Instead, consider a particular hobby that the receiver might enjoy and purchase something that would be useful in that arena.

Fruit baskets

When did fruit become an acceptable gift anyway? You don’t see anybody giving presents of carrots, bottled water or tofu, do you? So why fruit? The general rule here is that if your mom and dad had to force feed it to you as a child, it probably wouldn’t make a good gift. Plus, fruit expires. Do you really think your buddy is going to eat those 15 guavas over the course of a week? Probably not. This doesn’t apply to all consumable gifts, though. Pastries or a nice bottle of wine or scotch can be real hits and are sure to be appreciated.

Magazine subscriptions

This goes on the list for two reasons. Reason #1: Nobody reads magazines anymore anyway. Anything that you’d find in a magazine, you can easily find online (or on an online magazine), and you don’t have to wait 30 days for it. Reason #2: Should your giftee want to cancel their subscription, no doubt they’ll be feeling somewhat guilty as they make the call to return your present, and shame isn’t an acceptable gift either. Books, however, are still in style. For the avid reader, just substitute a novel or informational book of the same or similar topic as that magazine they’re not going to read.

David Cormier is a blogger for EDCO, a leading provider of awards, trophies, and personalized gifts for all occasions.

When Should You Give Yourself A Gift?

self-love

You’re making your gift list and checking it twice, but did you remember to include yourself on that list? So many women focus on everyone else’s needs that they rarely take time to think about their own needs. You want to be generous and selfless, especially towards your family and friends, but you need to show yourself the same love, care and support that you show to others.

The truth is that it’s not selfish to put your needs at the top of the list sometimes. If you’re stressed out, depleted, and weary, you won’t be able to fulfill your needs or anyone else’s for that matter. Giving yourself a gift isn’t selfish, it’s necessary. When you take some time to show yourself some love, you’ll refill your sense of worth and renew your spirit to keep on giving. You don’t have to wait for a special occasion to get yourself a gift. But if you need a reason to justify the expense, refer to the guide below.

New Year’s Gift

The New Year presents new opportunities to turn over a new leaf. And this makes it the perfect time to give yourself a gift. Start the New Year with a new outlook on money. So you can pay for a credit report, a financial management tool, or even for financial advice. The New Year also presents a time to renew your weight loss goals, so DVDs, fitness programs, books and other tools may be in order. Whatever you decide, take this time to reward yourself with a gift that will be beneficial for the rest of the year.

Birthday

Do you buy yourself anything more than a cupcake for your birthday? If not, you should probably start thinking about trading up. Thankfully, a lot more women are getting gifts for themselves for their birthdays. From jewelry to expensive vacations, your birthday provides a splendid excuse to treat yourself. If you’ve been eying that purse or expensive perfume at the department store, your birthday is a terrific way to justify the overspending if it means you’ll finally cave in and purchase something you truly want.

Christmas

Tradition dictates that Christmas is the season of giving. While you’re busy writing up your list for everyone else, you need to remember to purchase the most important gift: a gift for yourself. Sure it goes against popular thinking. Other people are supposed to buy gifts for you. But you must take care of number one first. Like most women, you’re probably generous with your time, money, and friendship to the detriment of your own health and happiness.  That’s never a good idea. No one can take care of you the way you can. So, give yourself the gift of relaxation at a spa or even at home. As you shop the crowded malls, keep your eyes open to something you really want for yourself and don’t be afraid to get it.

Giving yourself a gift is not selfish. It means taking care of Number One. And when you take care of yourself, you’ll realize that you’re in a much better frame of mind to take care of everyone else.

Katrina Denning is a practicing psychologist. She enjoys sharing her ideas and insights online. If you need presents to arrive tomorrow, visit the link and learn more.

What To Buy For The Man In Your Life

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Did you meet someone special over the Christmas season? Or did a friendship become more at the office party? Perhaps you and your man have been together for a while now. Whatever the length and status of your relationship, it can be tricky to choose a present for a man.

When you’ve been together for a long time you’ll both have lists to give to each other of things you’d like for Christmas or birthdays, but in the comparatively early stages of a dating relationship buying the right gift can be a minefield. Buy something expensive and you could be giving the message that you think things are more serious than he might want them to be. Buy something frivolous and you might make him think that your relationship is just a fling when you’d actually want something more.

So, here are some ideas for gifts for your man (perhaps for his birthday, or perhaps for an anniversary or other special occasion) that will hopefully hit the right note. Choose the one that suits your pocket and the message you want him to receive!

Men’s designer jewelry

This is quite a broad category: men’s designer jewellery’ could encompass designer cufflinks, watches, rings, bracelets or necklaces. A really smart pair of designer cufflinks is something you could happily give to a man with whom you feel secure enough to show that you’re serious. On the other hand, if you’re cooling off, buying a cheaper pair of standard cufflinks (especially if he doesn’t own a French cuff shirt) would make it clear that you’re not in this relationship for the long-haul.

Bathrobe

This is a gift that he’ll certainly get some use out of and gives the message that you’re looking forward to spending some lazy Sunday mornings together. Add some massage oil and you’re giving a clear message that you want some time alone together to enjoy your relationship.

Wallet

This is a great gift for a man you’ve been dating for a few weeks or months. Your budget will reflect how serious you are – if you think this relationship is a good one that will last the course then you’ll obviously spend more than if you think it’s fizzling out. Add a photo of you and your man inside for an extra personal touch.

DVDs or Books

You’ll need to know his tastes fairly well to get these gifts right, if he hasn’t told you which ones he would like. But chances are he’ll have spoken about his favorite films or books and it can be pretty easy to work out from a glance round his home what he enjoys reading or watching. A good option for a starter relationship or, conversely, for a long-term relationship where what you buy matters more than what your gift ‘means’.

Happy shopping!

 

This is a guest post by Claire Chat a new Londoner, travel passionate and animal lover. She blogs about Pets and Traveling in Europe. If you want Claire to write you specific content, you can find email her here or contact her on Twitter (Claire_Chat).

Gift Ideas For Men Who Never Grow Up

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There’s a reason why boys’ toys are just as popular with grown-ups as they are with kids – men just like to play. Reliving their boyhood, getting to grips with a shiny gadget or taking on an exciting new challenge, the innocence and excitement is the same as it was when we unwrapped our gifts from Santa as small children. There’s a bit of Peter Pan in all of us, so don’t always try and go for the suave, sophisticated and cultured when shopping for the man in your life, a remote controlled car may prove a bigger hit than that executive paper weight. Here are five gift ideas to help men roll back the years:

Legos

These simple building blocks have enjoyed a new lease of life in recent years, with official licensed characters from film franchises such as Harry Potter and Star Wars attracting movie buffs as much as inquisitive kids. Building something impressive is a great task for men to tick off and the feeling of achievement never wanes with age. There are some complex constructions to tackle with Lego too, it doesn’t always have to be child’s play.

Paint Balling Vouchers

Boys have loved playing with toy guns for generations and paint balling makes it acceptable for grown men to run around in the mud shooting each other and making a right mess. Add in that competitive element and the chance to splatter paint over your friends and it’s perfect for the young at heart to let off some steam.

Air Hockey Table

Recreating an arcade or the sixth form common room may not sound like the most tempting thing, but giving someone one of the classics such as air hockey, pool or table football will doubtless bring the same excited grin that you would expect from a child. Getting pals round to challenge for supremacy on the air hockey table will make for endless hours of fun, plus pick a sturdy one and it can always double up as a dinner table.

Nintendo Wii

Computer games are the ultimate obsession for many men who never grow up and the Wii is an affordable way to let them indulge this passion. It has the right combination of modern technology and retro charm, with the chance to roll back the years with characters like Mario and Sonic, but also has the added edge of almost secretly encouraging some physical activity, with various fitness programs and active games available.

Football Stadium Tours

Your man may enjoy the chance to shout his guts out and get out all his week’s anger and frustration yelling at the ref every Saturday, but give him the chance to go behind the scenes of his favorite football team and he will soon regress to the football-obsessed child dreaming of one day playing on the hallowed turf. Stadium tours are available at some of the biggest clubs in the country, as well as Wembley, the home of English football, and make great gift ideas for football fans who love to dream.

Produced by Activity Superstore, the UK’s leading gift experience supplier. From Gifts For Men to Gifts For Her we’re sure you’ll find the perfect gift in our range of over 1,000 products.

What You Should Get Her For Christmas

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The gift giving season is coming, and so are men who are cramming to get the best gifts for their wives, mothers, sisters or that special someone. To save you from the unnecessary cramming, here are some gift ideas you might consider.

1. A Jewelry Box

A jewelry box with a simple yet classic style is a timeless yet very stylish gift. This is a great gift for women fond of jewelry and all sorts of shiny treasures.

2. Earrings

If you’re really running out of ideas on what gift to give, earrings are a good option. This could be tricky though as you have to be careful on choosing the right design. To be safe always go for the classic designs or ones they can use for daily and special occasions alike. Asking a female friend to accompany you to choose the designs would also be extremely helpful.

3. A Brush Set

Functional and stylish, giving this gift gives the message that you know what she goes through to look great and that you appreciate it.

4. Sweaters, Coats and Jackets

These clothing are timely gifts. Keep her warm yet still consider her style, sweaters with collar block pullovers are great.  For jackets, the puffer types are stylish yet very functional and comfortable; also consider buying her coats, which always adds to a woman’s winter style.

5. A Party Dress

An item that should be present in every woman’s closet; Choose a piece that she can readily take from work to a party or even to an after party.

6. Get Personal

Another great idea when it comes to choosing gifts is to choose one based on her personality and lifestyle, giving it a “personalised” touch.

7. For the Activists

Activists are women who petitions for a cause; attend charity events and choose sustainable products for herself and her family. Here are some gifts you can buy for the activist woman:

Courage necklace
A hydro powered clock
Fresh air compost collector
Recycled bottle tumblers
Recycled canvass tote
Inspirational and self help books
An ecosphere pod

8. The Health and Fitness Bird

These are women on the go, conscious about what they eat and what they do. It’s pretty obvious that these women are into a healthy lifestyle. For these women, consider getting them:

A wellness monitor (monitors heart rate, respiratory rate and even calories burned)
Fuel band
Ear buds
Spa set
A jacket
Massage or exercise mat
Aluminum water bottle
Sports watch
Jogging pants or yoga pants

9. The Trend-setter

Fashion, style, trends, these are what define the lifestyle of trend setting women, They do not only follow trends, they start them on their own. Style magazines are their best friend and they are always on the lookout for the latest trends.  You could get them the following latest trends:

Handbag
Stylish sweater
Customized gold necklace
L’objet frames
A wool coat
Style guide or a book
Scarves

This article is written by Haley Rae, a fashion and a lifestyle enthusiast. Haley writes web articles and blogs on clothes, shoes, styles and trends, she also writes about seasonal topics such as gift giving.

 

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