The UK population splits evenly between men and women, which adds up to a lot of men and women thinking about her. This is a time of year with an overwhelming amount of ideas, so we came up with this Christmas gift guide for her
- Co-workers–Secret Santa and close colleagues.
- Corporate gifts for women.
- Really close friends.
At Christmas, there is pressure to give more gifts and to ensure that the recipient takes pleasure in the present. But what makes the best Christmas gift for her?
It depends on the occasion, her age, and your relationship, but gift-giving at Christmas is always challenging. You can end up with gift-giving fatigue.
Although the giver is supposed to be anonymous, it is typically easy to guess who gave what in a small workplace. Plus, being anonymous doesn’t mean you can give any old thing, these are your colleagues, and you have an image to maintain.
Secret Santa is a pragmatic solution to gift buying in the office at an expensive time of year with squeezed budgets. A maximum price, everyone buys one gift, everyone receives one present, and everyone is either surprised, delighted, or perplexed. Sometimes all three.
The major problem is that you frequently get the task of buying a budget gift for a woman you don’t know. You cannot ask your colleagues for help – what with it being a secret and all that. So how do you buy a gift that delights and doesn’t offend?
Most people consider a bottle of wine a safe choice. Even if you know nothing about her because if the lady doesn’t drink, it is a gift you can easily regift. However, wine may be culturally inappropriate, and there is a growing trend for younger women to embrace a sober lifestyle. Wine is a traditional Christmas gift, but you might want to play it safe with a selection of herbal teas (Christmas flavours). If the budget permits, some luxury biscuits.
Other small gifts for your female co-workers include:
- Sweet treats.
- Personalised Mugs.
- Christmas wearables – like light-up badges.
- Bath bombs.
- Quirky stationery.
- Scented candles.
All the above are standard gifts and unlikely to offend. If you are looking for something more memorable, then think small, useful, and personalised. Laser printing can enhance any item with a message or a name.
Historically, most corporate gifts tend towards whisky for company directors and middle managers. Perhaps the odd champagne or box of chocolates for the occasional woman in the workplace.
Over the past decades, corporate gifting has become more of a PR exercise with gifts chosen to influence and retain important clients. There are still plenty of businesses that settle for a generic bottle of something alcoholic at Christmas.
Nevertheless, if you want to stand out in the corporate giving game and impress your female clients, you need a different approach.
Excellent corporate Christmas gifts for her include:
- Gift basket–luxury foods or spa products. Looks good on arrival and offers the possibility of regifting.
- Personal but professional–a pen, leather purse, or bag for a luxury gift.
- Travel mug or reusable water bottle.
- Experience day.
- Charitable donation–you can plant a tree or help a girl in a third world country.
Around Christmas time, there are a lot of unwanted gifts floating around. There are also lots of good causes that benefit from providing an alternative gift option. As a corporate gift, a charitable donation makes sense and shows shared values.
Friends and Distant Relatives
There is a whole class of female friends and relatives that you feel you need to buy a Christmas gift. It’s a time of year when everyone gets remembered. It is also a challenge coming up with a different present every year, so what makes a good Christmas gift for her?
Gifts for close friends and close relatives can be more straightforward because you know what they like and share experiences. But there is still the issue of thinking up an appropriate gift for someone you don’t know that well.
Surprisingly, good corporate gifts also make general gifts, but with your friends and relatives, you can give more personal or frivolous items.
For postal gifts, you need light, robust items that arrive in an excellent condition no matter how often they get dropped in transit.
Potential gift ideas:
- Printed cotton tea-towels, a practical but decorative object. If you are looking for something completely different, try the Radical Tea Towel Company. You can pick up a variety of suffragette inspired items or literary ones. A tea towel is light to post, pragmatic, and decorative if you take the time to match the recipient’s interests.
- Jigsaw, you can buy an off the shelf jigsaw or send a custom printed montage of family photographs. The Happy Puzzle Company offers a printed to order old county map jigsaw you can match to your friend’s home address.
- Flowers–a traditional favourite that most women like to receive at any time of year. They may only last a week or two, but a stylish bouquet brightens everyone’s day.
- Hampers and gift baskets–some companies let you pick the contents, others set the contents. You can get anything from a breakfast basket complete with teapot, cheeses, hot beverages, and Christmas fare.
Daughters, Sisters, and Mothers
These special women tend to be the ones you want to delight and surprise with something they never knew they always wanted. In this case, Christmas gifts for her are more challenging. They expect you to intuitively know what they are secretly longing for–assuming they haven’t given you a detailed list.
The best approach is to look at where they are in life stages (new house, first move from home, new mother, new job). What interests them (sustainability, travel, sport, crafts, beauty, art) and look for a gift that fits them.
A daughter or sister setting up their first place on their own needs everything. This is when a high-quality kitchen gadget is likely to be welcome. They will buy themselves the basics but think of items they can’t justify buying at the moment–coffee machines, bread makers, slow cookers. There is plenty of choice at a range of prices.
The closeness of the relationship means a handmade gift or a put-together package is welcome. You can create a pamper basket with all her favourite products or a box filled with something relevant to her interests.
Personalised gifts expressing your relationship’s nature and depth also work well at Christmas, as do luxury goods like handbags and jewellery.
Wives, Girlfriends, and Lovers
The best Christmas gift for her during the festive season is the one that shows she is number one in your life. These gifts tend to be sentimental and affectionate and don’t have to cost the earth.
The most precious gift is time spent together. So organising a weekend break, cinema or theatre vouchers or an evening spent bowling is a welcome gift you can enjoy together. A DIY version could involve packing a picnic hamper and experiencing something like sunrise on the beach or a night spent badger watching.
A new experience – hot air ballooning, skydiving, drift racing, hawk flying. Surprising Christmas gifts that provide a memorable experience that outlasts the chocolates and bubble bath.
Lessons – a set of classes for learning a musical instrument or a skill is a thoughtful gift that promotes interest and achievement. It shows you are willing to invest in their success.
Subscriptions are more than just magazines. You can subscribe for a monthly package of almost anything from knickers, gin, gyms, succulents, National Trust membership, chocolate, and craft kits. A carefully chosen subscription is the Christmas gift that keeps giving all year.
What About Vouchers?
Vouchers used to be the last resort when you can’t think of anything else but are increasingly popular as a first gift choice. Although vouchers and cash are both financial gifts, most people feel more comfortable giving a voucher as a gift rather than money. Although some cultures are satisfied with cash gifts and close family members, see it as a way of giving the recipient choice.
An Amazon gift voucher is practically synonymous with cash because you can buy almost anything. As a book lover’s gift, it gives access to electronic and hard copies. For most women is far more useful than the old-fashioned book token.
Gift vouchers are available from individual businesses and online selling platforms. The disadvantage of a gift voucher as a Christmas gift for her is that she knows exactly how much you chose to spend. The advantage is that she can choose something she wants and more expensive, possibly by combining several gift vouchers.
Although cash is always more flexible, gift vouchers ensure that she will purchase a gift. As the giver, you can dictate the nature of the present – a pamper session, art materials, or garden supplies.
Increasingly digital gift vouchers mean you don’t need to risk your gift getting lost in the post. They are ideal for friends on the other side of the world.
Best Christmas Gifts for Her
You can shop for your Christmas Gift for her from the comfort of your sofa. You have access to unique, exotic, and practical gifts. In the end, the best Christmas gift for her is one that appeals to her values, beliefs, and interests. A Christmas gift is about the special bond between the giver and the receiver. Your great aunt or the love of your life, what you give says everything about you and your feelings as well as hers.
Play it safe by sticking with generic gifts of flowers, food, beauty products, and small trinkets? You can go left field by thinking outside the box and gifting an experience like llama trekking or learning to fly a plane. You can give a personal gift or a practical gift. When it comes to giving, try to give the gift she actually wants rather than the gift you think she ought to want.
If you feel a voucher is the way to go, then jazz up your presentation, in a silk-lined box with some gourmet truffles. When it comes to Christmas gifts for her, it’s the effort as well as the thought that counts.
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