By Nicholas Josselyn
It's the holiday season and you just can't seem to find a good idea for a Christmas present. You went to the mall and looked through every window of every store and nothing looked like something the person you're holiday shopping for would enjoy. Every holiday catalog and advertisement you see has no spark. All you can think about is whether or not you should give up and buy the trusty old $25 gift card to their favorite restaurant again, considering they appreciated the one you gave them last year. You think to yourself that the idea is not only lazy, but redundant.
Shopping for the holidays can be hard when you don't have a good starting point for brainstorming. The market is full of products that may seem useless to the person you're shopping for, or may not spark any particular interest.
Keep these tips in mind when shopping this season:
1). Social Media is Your Friend: Social media has many uses, including connecting with friends and expressing every interest, passion and hobby someone may have. Each personal profile online has posted, liked or shared something that provides information on who the person that owns the profile is, what they're like, and what their interests may be. A social media profile can be looked at as a catalog of different starting points in finding that special holiday gift. If a person shares a lot of music, consider looking at band merchandise. For your social media contacts who are foodies, consider looking into kitchen tools they may not have, or a tool that they have but lower in quality.
2). Do Your Research When Finding a Present: Once you have a basic idea on what kind of gift to give during the holiday season, research more about the kinds of products that are out there relating to what you've come up with. This is most important when buying gifts with many specifications. From kitchenware to electronics, every product is made differently and may affect the ways it can be used. The priciest item on the market is not always the best option for the uses the person you're shopping for may have.
Another reason to research is that some products may be up charged since you're not only buying the product, but the name of the trendy and popular company that makes the product. You aren't just buying any ordinary product, you're buying our ordinary product!
3). Don't Judge a Store by the Window When Gift Shopping: It is easy to look at the five things on display in front of a store and say, "I don't think they would like that," but the front window is not a full representation of everything each store has to offer. When walking through a mall or outlet, walk into every store and glance around the whole store. Your next holiday gift may be hiding in the back of a store that you would not expect.
4). Look at Both Warehouse and Specialty Stores: Warehouse stores may appear to have everything that you need, but there is a drawback: Employees who work at stores that sell things from bikes to kitchen utensils may have employees who don't have as much knowledge and expertise as someone who works at a store that specializes in a specific hobby or interest. Chances are the person who works behind the desk of the paint isle in your local warehouse store is not the next Bob Ross.
5). Don't Dismiss Small Business: Stores owned by large corporations are normally reliable for cheap prices due to mass production and being a well-known name, but the local mom and pop shops may be holding that holiday present that you couldn't find at a larger store.
6). Make Your Own Gift: Making a holiday gift is a really crafty solution when you don't know what to give the person you're shopping for. Not only would you be making something that relates to one of their interests, but you would be able to show your appreciation for someone by using your own time and effort in making a holiday present they're going to love.
Anyone can go to the store and buy a gift, but crafting a gift from scratch shows you're invested and care about the person you're giving your handmade gift to.