The perfect gift

ecember is nearing and with it the nagging thoughts of buying/making Chrismas presents. But there is not only Christmas, but there are also birthdays, anniversaries, weddings and all sorts of occasions that might warrant the thought to think of a present.

When it is difficult to find just the thing

I always feel that it super tough to come up with the perfect gift, especially if the person, who I want to spoil already has everything and doesn’t want anything in particular or even worse, buys everything they want right away. My mother rarely bought presents for my dad (when she did, they weren’t what he really wanted), instead, she painted or sculpted a present for him (this is what he always really wanted). But I know, not everyone is comfortable with creating their own gift. Do give it a go!

Personally, I rarely know what I want for my birthday or Christmas, I feel that I have everything I need. Still, I appreciate when the present comes from the heart and it is not some sort of nick-nack that was picked up just to have a gift or to make sure that everyone has the same amount of presents… Giving or receiving money as a present is no fun at all, I fell it is the definition of lacking creativity, just think a bit about the person, I am sure you’ll come up with something. If you really want to give money, you can check if you can participate in a group present, that way, you don’t have to give much thought and won’t be spending over your budget.

A little list of 9 gift ideas, from home-made to store-bought

A cake decorated with fondant that my cousin received for her first day of school a few years back.
  1. How about you bake some nice cookies and buy a nice biscuit-tin or use one gathering dust in your cupboards? The internet is full of recipes, and  I am sure you must have one or two cookbooks (that you never open) or a little note where someone kind jotted down grandma’s Cinnamon Star recipe. Cakes and tarts are great for birthdays, especially if the recipient has a sweet tooth. If you aren’t much of a baker, maybe you are a decorator and will be able to show off your fondant talents. 
  2. Do as the kids do! Sit down with some paper, some colours and draw, pain, cut glue! This is what my mom used to do and her presents were always very popular. 
  3. Write! Often times I find myself without the fitting idea. But you know sometimes a nice letter is worth more than most presents that you might be able to buy. This is especially true when the person is of a certain age (and loves letters) and already has a house fully equipped with his or her heart’s desires. Time spent with loved ones is so much more valuable and reading the words of a loved one (be it a letter, a poem, a book) are just great!
  4. Pay a visit to a loved one. Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles or a good friend can sometimes be very happy with a simple visit. This is especially true if you live far away. Spending Christmas with young grandchildren (or great-grandchildren) can bring a sparkle to quite a few eyes in all generations. Paying a surprise visit to your dad on his birthday with or without your siblings can make ageing a bit sweeter for them. Sometimes when money or time is tight, distances are too far then picking up the phone and letting your grandparent hear your voice and catch up with your life. Just showing that you are there for someone without giving a physical gift and only with your mental presence can be a great geasture of kindness and love. 
  5. Give a book written by an indy author! That way you’ll help an author. They might gain a new reader and you can be quite sure that the gift you are giving isn’t going to be something that the person has already received in the past, or will receive at the same time by someone else. I recommend that you check out the following three authors (there are many more that I enjoy reading, but these three are always great)
    • Luzy Brazier with her PorterGirl series. You can find a review of First Lady of the Keys here. In the past, Lucy has participated in the Advent Calendar (2015, 2016). And if that’s not enough head over to the PorterGirl blog to get an idea of her writing style. (I did gift one of Lucy’s books as a Christmas present last year).
    • Trust me any book by Geoff Le Pard is worth every penny. Okay, I confess, up to now, I have only read two (if you want to give me a Christmas present let me know). I reviewed his book Buster & Moo quite a long time ago but still remember it fondly. Geoff (find his blog here) is a great writer and has been a very loyal participant of the advent calendar (2015, 2016,2017 Day 52017 Day 17).
    • And then there are the books by my dear blogging friend Trent McDonald, I am currently reading his newest which is The Halley Branch. He too has been a very loyal advent calendar participant, just check out his contributions and you’ll agree that he can write. (2015, 2016 Day 16, 2016 Day 18, 2017).
  6. Buy an art print! Many artists are selling their artwork on the internet. Browse Etsy, Society6 to see what you can find. It’s always great to support a living artist, still you might want to check out my mom’s artwork and her cause. My mother passed away in 2016 and her last wish was to use her art to raise awareness regarding HPV caused cancers and to raise funds for HPV related cancer research. With the Nicola Werner association we are doing just that, selling prints of her beautiful creations to fund the Nicola Werner Research Award. 
  7. You have a fashionista you want to please, but you don’t have the cash to do so? Stop right there and think again. Many young creators are proposing amazing quality and designs at affordable prices. The young Parisian brand Marigance makes handbags (bucket-bag) with haute-couture fabrics, Marie-Isabelle Dussart uses end of fabric rolls to make her bags, they are then sold at an affordable price. And they are super cute (just check out the post’s main picture) as you can see on her Instagram. And orders can be passed here, it looks as though shipping is worldwide. 
  8. Do you have someone you know that is always trying to learn new things? That has restless fingers drumming along to the latest hit playing on the radio? That is spending too much time on Duolingo? Why not give them the gift of learning? Call the nearest art school to see if you can gift a wheel-throwing class, ask your contacts if they know a good piano teacher or send me a message and book some Skype lessons in German with me
  9. And for idea number 8, I thought that maybe a very simple everyday object fits the bill. I bought myself a Péla case for my phone this summer, it arrived the day after my birthday (perfect timing). Now, I was lucky to change phones and am a bit sad that I no longer have my biodegradable turtle phone case. My early Christmas present will be Pela case, and if you are interested this link will give you 10$ off your flaxtic case and mine too.

I could go on, cook a meal or go to the restaurant. Invite your loved one to a concert. Serve some tea in bed in the morning for a nice birthday-wakeup. But I have decided that for now 9 ideas that you can build on shall be enough for today. They shouldn’t break your bank, many of these gift ideas are available for less than 50€/$/£, some are completely free, some are a bit more expensive. Just remember it is not the price tag that counts but the quality of the gift and the thought that you put into the present. 

What type of present do you enjoy receiving? 

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