​How to buy presents

So let's say there is less than one week until Christmas Day and you haven't bought presents yet.... you are probably struggling with knowing what to get. You see, we tend to procrastinate on things we struggle with. If this is you, let me give you a rough guide on how to decide what to get.

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Regardless of whether it is a gift for your new partner, your spouse of several decades, kids, parents or whoever, the principal is the same for anyone you want to buy a gift for. The psychology behind giving, is that it makes everyone involved feel good and strengthens the relationship. So why not do it well?! It starts with taking 5 - 10 minutes to think about what an ideal present would be.

When deciding on what to get someone, you need to consider three things.

1. What interests and hobbies do they have? Find something that relates to them, that they don't already own.

For example, someone might like gardening, how about a year subscription to a gardening magazine. They are into a sport, but don't have the next bit of kit required. Sometimes personalising stuff related to their interest can be quite nice, especially if it's someone you care deeply about. I like to go on http://www.notonthehighstreet.com for a browse for ideas.

2. What do they already have, that they really like, but could do with a renewal, make-over, replacement?

Pet owners might have things that need renewing, such as a collar or lead. An ancient mobile phone or Satnav could do with an upgrade. Or maybe the make-up, crossword books or wine rack is running low and could do with a top-up. This is another site that could be fun to browse https://www.thegreatgiftcompany.co.uk

3. Think of things they have talked about, that they want (or plan to do), but don't have.

Say someone has embarked on a new diet, a juicer might be a thing they need. Perhaps they have been talking about learning a new language, get them the language course. They are planning to get a puppy in the new year, maybe a book on dog training would be helpful to them. Maybe they are into wellbeing, a gratitude diary or spa day might work well.

Essentially, imagine what might make them happy. It will either be something they need, but don't have, something they have, but needs replacing, or something that will add to what is going on in their lives.

I suggest you write down your ideas - especially if you are getting gifts for multiple people. Create a list of gifts for each person and then decide which ones are the best, given your budget.

Finally consider where to get your item. Do you have time (and energy!) to physically get your pressie or is online more convenient? Amazon Prime is my favourite for timely delivery. They have a wrapping and alternative delivery option too if you want the gift wrapped and sent directly to the receiver. This costs extra of course, but if you are out of time, then I guess you pay for it.

Remember, it's about making someone else happy, (and that has the bonus effect of making you feel good too)!

Don't skip the 5-10 minutes it takes to think about the best gift idea for someone. It'll totally be worth it.


Madeleine Mason Roantree

Dating Psychologist, The Vida Consultancy Ltd

Dating and relationship expert, with an MSc and BSc in psychology, pending counselling psychology doctorate, Cert. in Applied Positive Psychology, plus cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), person-centred and psychodynamic training. Madeleine offers personal coaching and counselling sessions as well as seminars and workshops. Having experience in marriage, divorce, dating and relationships, Madeleine is passionate about helping people to understand their own needs and getting successful results in their personal relationships. She was shortlisted for Dating Expert of the Year 2014 and 2015 at the UK Dating Awards, plus nominated best dating expert in the world at the 2016 iDate awards. She has worked with various publications such as TimeOut, Daily Telegraph, The Independent and continues to blog at LifeLabs. In 2016 she founded the UK Dating Fair, an annual event for singles to get dating advice and meet the best dating experts in the UK, she is open to collaboration and idea exchanges within the helping profession.