10 tips for buying the best gifts this festive season

Overwhelmed by the thought of what to get your loved ones this festive season? We’ve taken the stress out of Christmas shopping with this cheat sheet.

1. Be thoughtful

You’ve heard the expression, “It’s the thought that counts” (which very often is just an excuse for a lame gift). Rather than disappointing someone, use your knowledge of them to buy something they’ll really love. Are they mad about their new puppy? Then maybe a nice doggie treat bag would do the trick. Are they a beach bohemian? Then perhaps a kaftan that doubles up as evening wear would go down well.

2. Cool kitchen gadgets

If you’re not sure what to get, you can’t go wrong with something for the kitchen. Whether your loved one is single or married with kids, they are bound to like the latest kitchen gadget. This could be something inexpensive (and environmentally friendly) like the Zoku reusable pocket straw for R165 or something more extravagant like the 8‐piece Nutribullet from Teljoy, which costs only R199 per month on a rent‐to‐own basis. “Rent-to-own is a great model for those who may want to buy a slightly more expensive gift for the kitchen like an espresso coffee machine or a water purifier, but don’t have the means to pay the full amount upfront, or want to avoid getting into unnecessary debt” says Aimee Miller, marketing and sales manager at Teljoy.

3. Buy in bulk and save

Don’t be afraid of buying the same gift twice (or multiple times). If there’s a good deal that you know about, why not spread the Christmas cheer by getting it for several people? You may even qualify for a discount if you buy more than one of the same items. Clicks often offer a “buy two, get one free” in the run‐up to Christmas, for example.

4. Indulge your loved one

Often it’s the gifts that pamper us that we value the most. For many, 2019 has been a tough year, with not much spare cash for splashing out. Show your love by buying something special ‐ it could be a Baylis & Harding Fuzzy Duck beard‐care kit for R225 for him or an ultimate pamper gift box at R655 for her.

5. Avoid the crowds and buy online

Reluctant to be crushed in a last‐minute shopping stampede? Then go online and hunt for the best specials. “South Africans are becoming increasingly braver about trusting the internet to do their Christmas shopping,” asserts Miller. “Buying online means you don’t need to battle malls and spend ages trying to find parking, plus you have the benefit of having gifts delivered directly to your family and friends.” She adds that Teljoy’s extensive online range, which includes cell phones, gaming products, furniture and appliances, already has delivery and installation costs factored into their prices. Other online retailers to choose from include Takealot and Loot.

6. When in doubt, choose vouchers

Some might say that gift vouchers are unimaginative, but we all know how tricky it is choosing the right gift for some people. That’s why vouchers are the way to go ‐ for books, tunes, movies, clothes or anything else, for that matter. “A gift voucher gives your loved one the freedom of choice,” says Miller.

7. Baked with love

Cookies! The ultimate inexpensive gift that’s packed with love and heavenly calories. Use a trusted recipe to bake up a storm and then put your cookies (or brownies or crunchies) in a 2litre Consol jar, priced at R33, finished off with a pretty ribbon.

8. Support local crafters

It’s not only trendy to support local artists ‐ it’s good for your conscience, too. Buying local means you’re helping SA artists make a living and putting less pressure on the planet. Visit craft markets near you or art centres like Montebello in Cape Town and the Keyes Art Mile Thursday Market in Rosebank, Johannesburg. There are several other crafts markets coming up this December across the metros, be sure to attend those close to you.

9. Hugs in a mug

If you’re running out of time and need to stick to a budget, try buying mugs for your family and friends. Choose a design you think they’d like and fill the mug with coffee beans, a special tea blend or some decadent hot chocolate and marshmallows. They’ll be sure to think of you on their office breaks in the New Year.

10. Get personal

Mothers especially like the personal touch, so why not buy a calendar with all your favourite family photos for R299,95 or frame a picture of a special family event? You could also order a personalised silver tulip bracelet with your loved one’s name crafted on it (R659). “Buying something personal is often a way of showing someone how much you care for them,” says Miller.

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