Whether celebrating the winter solstice, Eid, Chanukah, Christmas or other holidays, it is important to many of us to find the perfect gift for those we love. Recently, it has become increasingly important that our gifts are not only appreciated but environmentally friendly or sustainable.
One of the ways to keep within budget and be eco-friendly is to use talents to create handmade gifts, which should leave you with more money to spend on gifts that you cannot make for your nearest and dearest. Here we look at Christmas, Easter and Valentine's Day gift ideas that will be appreciated by your recipients and can be used for anniversaries, birthdays or a proposal.
Case of wine
If you want to buy a gift for a wine connoisseur, an introductory deal from a company who supports independent winemakers usually includes a case of high-quality wines for half the usual cost. A case could include six bottles of wine (three whites, three reds), perhaps with an extra bottle of prosecco and a couple of wine glasses. This is a great present for a couple, saving you searching for two separate gifts. Even if there are no wine glasses and there is a cost for delivery, this can still work out as a good deal.
Outlet stores offer lower prices and everyday bargains on quality branded products. Many major retailers use outlet stores to sell overstock items and out-of-season items at a cheaper price. Others use them to sell damaged or returned items, whilst other brands use lower-quality material in the products they sell at outlets in comparison to the material they use for items they sell in their retail stores. Outlets are typically built in inconvenient locations, so plan ahead.
Jewellery is a very popular gift on all occasions. From classic to bold to ethnic, there is a style of jewellery to suit everyone, with prices that suit your wallet. Rings have symbolised status, union, permanence, and adornment for hundreds of years and are a romantic gift but be careful if buying for your girlfriend if you have no plans to propose as this piece of jewellery could be confusing. Instead, earrings are the perfect budget gift idea. Laboratory created diamonds are now so well made that it is hard to see the difference to the real thing when wearing earrings.
The personal touch
Gifts do not have to cost money. Giving your time may be the best present you could give to someone. You can promise your beloved a back rub, let your children have a sleepover, or you can babysit for friends who have young children. Create your own “gift cheques” to write in your own present to family or friends. You can download a template online and add breakfast in bed, a romantic picnic, a trip to see an exhibition or a movie, or even control of the television remote control for a weekend. You can offer to be a taxi driver for the day or treat your parents to a home-cooked dinner. These may not sound exciting but are likely to be very much appreciated.
Finding a gift for someone who has everything they want, a gift to charity in their name can help in ways in which they can identify. Your donation can be used to save lives overseas, to buy livestock for villagers or for charities at home, such as for cancer research or support to particular groups. Charities offer tangible gifts, but many will usually allocate the donated money to where it is needed most.