Usually, Christmas suppose to be a joyful family holiday. It’s the rare period of the year where we all gather together with our family, spending quality time and exchanging gifts. We’ve probably all been struggling with gifts, so this post will aim to be a practical Christmas gifts guide.
Yes, I know, gifting someone something that they could practically use instead of something you thought they would like goes counter-intuitive to most folks. That’s normal and I understand it. However, there are a few important aspects of the practical Christmas gifts.
We don’t own things. Things own us.
It’s the era of consumerism: everybody has everything and doesn’t need anything specific, but still wants stuff. People just want stuff, not because they’ll use that stuff for something, but for the sake of having it. It’s like iPhones – mine still works despite it’s 3-years-old, but I kinda want the new one.
Last Christmas I told to my partner that from now on my Christmas gifts can be in the form of a donation to animal shelters. I actually prefer all of the things we gift to people this year to be like some kind of donations, but to be honest, not all members of our families might get the hint.
It’s a fact that most of the individuals who live in the developed parts of our world are knee-deep in consumerism. We can live with so much less, that i’s frightening. Still, with our desire to own things, we produce enormous amounts of waste, which is polluting our planet.
Do you know what this person loves?
It may sound odd, but do you know the person you are thinking of buying a gift to? Like, what does he or she do in his/her spare time? If the person has a hobby, i.e. collecting postmarks, before gifting them one, make sure that they don’t own the same postmark already.
You can always buy the person something you think they would like, but we both know you can’t be sure. Especially if you don’t know the person well. Try to remember that one thing the person was talking about nonstop, but still didn’t do/get. If it’s over your budget, combine the gift with more friends or family and you’re good to go.
If you know the person is into something, but you’re not sure what exactly they would like, a gift card for that store/service is also good. That way your friend/family member would satisfy their needs the way they want and imagine and enjoy the gift even more.
Don’t gift a person a living animal!
There are still those awful people that gift other people living animals. Not that it’s uncool to gift someone a dog/cat/bunny, but it actually puts them into a huge responsibility. A responsibility they might not be ready to take, especially if they haven’t thought about it until now.
Living animals are like little kids – if you don’t treat them with care, spend time with them, etc, chances are they’ll make your life miserable. The medical bill for a dog or a kitten could easily reach €1000 if the problem is serious. Pets require special care, food, grooming, vaccines, antibiotics, etc.
Gifting someone a pet isn’t in line with my personal practical Christmas gift guide. If you know a loved one or nephew wants an animal, but don’t feel confident they would be able to take care of it, there are other ways. There are animal shelters that would love to have your nephew or little sister take a dog or two for a walk on a Sunday afternoon. Cat cafes are also trendy nowadays and a decent option for a nice afternoon in the company of a huggable kitten.
Gifting someone knowledge isn’t a bad present at all
If we really want to gift someone something practical for Christmas, we can definitely gift them knowledge. How? That’s easy: Pay for their next certification exam they so much want to take. Buy them the textbooks they would need to prepare for that exam. If they so much wanted to learn Italian, but the course appears expensive to them, suggest covering half of the fees for them.
Whatever you do in that direction, it’s totally okay to ask the person you are about to gift the course, exam fee, etc. It’s better for them to know what you are signing them up for, consider it, and agree or disagree on it. Find the best school or teacher for Italian in town and talk with your loved one about signing up. It’s always nice to add a personal touch to your gift – not just paying for something, but try to add a bit of a flavor to the whole experience.
Some people don’t like being gifted books, despite that it’s a practical Christmas gift, so ask before rushing to the book store. I wasn’t sure what exactly I want for my birthday as a present – I figured it out months after it. Still, I shared it with my partner and she ordered the books I wanted and I cannot be happier! The books are both written by Dr. Aaron Horschig – The Squat Bible and Rebuilding Milo.
Practical Christmas gifts guide
Christmas gifts are not mandatory. If a loved one asked you what you want for Christmas and you didn’t have a clear answer, saying “we’ll see in a month or two” is also an answer. The practical Christmas gifts are everywhere, we just need to think about them a bit harder than usual.
Also, gifting something expensive isn’t mandatory. Sometimes the most precious things are not in a fancy package or in an enormously large box. Sometimes sending a dear friend a postcard worth €3 with your wishes is worth billions and says more than a new iPhone or other useless stuff.
When you think about a practical Christmas gift, think about something they would use more than once. Something they’ll remember and go back to months after Christmas. Remember all of the useless stuff that lays on counters and closets at your house and other people’s houses? Try to avoid contributing to all of that waste.
Are you ready with your Christmas gifts? Are they practical Christmas gifts or you just purchased stuff that you think people would like?