Struggling to find a gift solution for someone who’s tough to buy for? Here are six solutions to your problem!
Do you have a friend or loved one who is difficult to buy for? Someone who seems to have everything they need, or can’t choose a present?
My husband is always difficult to buy for, and now our son Ollie seems to have inherited that particular gene from him. It can make Christmas and birthdays quite stressful, but over the years I’ve come up with some strategies to deal with present buying.
The main strategy that I have developed over the years is to make a sneaky note whenever they mention something that they would like to have. So if Mark sees a compilation CD advertised on TV or shows me something online, I make a note of it for future reference.
I have even set up a Google Drive spreadsheet with a separate tab for each person. This makes it really easy to remember what they mentioned earlier in the year when I start my Christmas shopping.
I’ve also shifted away from buying physical gifts, and instead I try to find ways to give the boys a new experience. This might be a day out with the family, visiting a new place or trying a new skill. I know that I am definitely less bothered about material gifts and more excited about making memories these days.
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So here are some of my gift ideas for awkward people:
Tickets for a Concert, Theatre or Sport Events
This is one of my personal favourites, and definitely goes down well with my youngest son as well. Tickets for concerts and major sporting events are pretty expensive these days, so I quite often ask for them as a birthday present.
Lyle has recently had tickets for Wimbledon and the ATP World Tour Finals, as well as tickets to see his favourite band in concert.
If you’ve got a teen who loves going to see the latest releases at the cinema, then you could buy them a gift card to pay for their next few visits. If they go regularly, it can work out more cost effective to join a membership scheme like the Cineworld Unlimited scheme.
Experience days are a great way to give someone the opportunity to do something they wouldn’t normally do. They could try out a new activity like zorbing or bungee jumping, drive a luxury supercar or take a once in a lifetime flight in a WW2 fighter plane.
But it’s not all high-octane activities – experience days can also mean making your own designer perfume, learning to dance like their favourite Strictly professional, or eating a gourmet meal on board a steam train.
A couple of years ago we bought Lyle a passenger ride in his favourite car, a Lamborghini, and he still talks about it now. I definitely think that we’ll be buying more experience days for the boys over the next few years.
Learning a new skill
Something else that has been a very popular gift for my family is learning a new skill. Ollie and Lyle have had vouchers to learn indoor skydiving, which they both really enjoyed.
And one of the best presents that we bought for Ollie recently was a Young Driver lesson. I’d hazard a guess that most teens would be thrilled to get behind the wheel of a car before their 17th birthday.
Spa Days and Pamper Sessions
Now this is one of my personal favourites!
Whether it’s a full day at a luxury health spa, or a couple of hours at the local beauty salon, I always find that a pamper session helps me feel relaxed and refreshed.
Mark has been known to contact my regular beauty salon to buy me a pamper voucher. They know exactly which treatments I like to have, which means they can give him great advice on the right gift for me!
I know that some people are reluctant to buy gift vouchers as Christmas and birthday presents, as they think that vouchers are more impersonal than an actual gift. I can understand that point of view, but personally I’d rather give someone a gift voucher and let them choose their own present, than buy them an unwanted gift.
As well as the standard High Street shopping vouchers and the ever-popular book tokens, there are plenty of other options. For instance Steam vouchers are very popular with gaming fans, and it’s even possible to buy gift cards for restaurants like Nandos and coffee chains like Costa Coffee.
And if all else fails, there is always the option to give cash. Even when I’ve bought the boys exactly the gifts they were hoping for, or an experience day that they will always remember, their faces still light up when a couple of notes fall out of a birthday card!