Christmas Presents: How To Buy Gifts That Will Be Treasured

Buying Christmas presents can be a very daunting task. After all, no one wants to come across as thoughtless or unappreciative of their relationships with people.

Here are some tips to help you come up with more thoughtful Christmas gift ideas, so that your presents will be cherished and treasured.

First off, you should definitely plan early. As Christmas gets closer and closer, stores sell out of merchandise and last-minute shoppers are stuck with leftovers. You don’t want to come across as thoughtless or unappreciative of your relationships with people, so planning your Christmas gift ideas ahead of time is an absolute essential.

Another one of your primary thoughts to consider should be your relationship towards the gift recipient, and what your budget is going to be. It might sound simple, but it really will help you focus on your Christmas gift ideas.

Think about your recipients’ interests. If you’re not sure, then pay attention when you talk with them. Put effort into listening to the little things that they casually say, and you might come up with some amazing Christmas gift ideas.

For example, if they offhandedly mention that they are going to a basketball game, take note of it. Basketball-related merchandise might be a great present choice that you would have otherwise not thought of.

If possible, go shopping with the recipient. Even if they are shopping for somebody else, this can be very beneficial. Take stock of the things that they look at and mentally mark them in your head. This is one of the easiest ways possible to come up with Christmas gift ideas.

Ask people. To begin with, you can ask the recipients’ friends or family. They might be able to tip you off to some great Christmas gift ideas, or possibly even want to pool their time or money together with yours and upgrade the present.

You can also ask salespeople. These are the people that deal with the public on a daily basis, and likely know the Christmas gift ideas that are popular with certain demographics. Even if you want to get a personalized present, this can be a great way to get some Christmas gift ideas.

There’s also the option of asking your recipient. Have you ever heard the saying, “A good surprise lasts for five seconds, but a good gift lasts forever”? A lot of people will appreciate being asked; not only does it make things easier for you, but they know that they are getting something that they actually want.

When you put some of these ideas into action, it will become a lot easier to come up with more thoughtful Christmas gift ideas. After all, you do want your gifts to be cherished and treasured by the ones you love.

Your Presentation: Graveyard Session or Angelina Jolie?

They may be rare – few and far between – but some presentations are like watching Angelina Jolie go by in a short skirt. They compel your attention. And if the presenter really knows their stuff, Angelina might even stop, indulge a wink and blow a kiss your way. But sadly, most are not. Most presentations are more like a Sunday afternoon in an unused municipal graveyard…in bad weather…in uncomfortable underwear.

So if you’re determined to treat your next audience to Angelina, rather than a crow-ridden plot, where do you start?

Well, logic dictates that we begin by asking what goes into creating a graveyard presentation and then, by reverse-engineering, we will work our way back to a really top notch talk.

Creating the Graveyard

Most graveyard presentations suffer from these three ills:

1. Too much dry fact, and not enough emotive language
2. Too much explanation, and not enough relevance
3. Too many slides, not enough imagination.

Presentations are not about fact. They are about Impact.

Turning your presentation back into Angelina is actually not difficult. Your task is to take the most important and poignant facts and make them really come to life. Remember: the facts are not the important thing. The impact that they make; that’s what truly matters.

So, how do you make dry facts impactful? With stories and metaphors, the two legs that Angelina stands on.

Creating Angelina

Using stories and metaphors is actually quite easy. It is simply the act of saying, “It’s like…”, and then creating a small series of mental pictures.

Using ‘It’s Like…’ is a wonderfully effective way of taking a complex, abstract idea and turning it into something that people can ‘see;’ something that they can ‘get’ quickly. It’s the difference between saying, “We’re a small company competing against big brand names,” versus: “We’re that four foot nothing martial artist that takes on the six foot boxers… and flattens them all!”

You can use metaphors in your speeches, sales pitches, articles and interviews. In fact, use them whenever you need to persuade. Metaphors get the job done quickly, in addition to being novel and memorable. Here are some examples:

An American professional speaker describing what it’s like to speak for the Youth market: “You have to smuggle your messages in-between stories. You have to be like a motivational ninja!”

The Chief Financial Officer of an investment firm, after the Recession: “This time last year, you were lost in the forest and you were afraid, and you turned to me for guidance. What you didn’t know was that I was equally scared. But that wasn’t good enough. So we dug deep, and pulled on a hundred years of experience, and sought real answers. We found a glimmer of light in one direction and led you that way. We are proud to say that we are now emerging from the forest, and the choice we made for you was borne out as the right one.”

If you regularly watch the television show ‘Top Gear,’ you will have heard the mastery with which Jeremy Clarkson makes dry car facts come to life. Here are a few of his gems:

• “It was a bit like putting a sticking plaster on a leaking nuclear missile!”
• “Look at the way it’s shaped. It looks like a dog hunkering down to do its business.”
• “Most supercars make you feel like you’re wrestling an elephant up the back stairs of an apartment building. But this one is like rubbing honey into Kiera Knightley!”
• “This thing has so much torque, it could tear a hole in time!”
• “It’s about as feminine as a burst sausage!”

The next time you’re toiling away at a PowerPoint presentation, ask yourself whether you are creating impact, or simply listing facts. If you find you’ve done nothing but record dry details over sixteen slides, consider whether you can’t do better. You may want to try your hand at turning fact into impact. Your tools are simple: stories and metaphors.

Appeal to the imagination and you will be memorable. You will have impact. Your presentation will be the intellectual equivalent of Angelina catching your eye…and blowing a kiss!

Creative Present Ideas

Do you want to give somebody a present that’s a bit different?

Whatever the occasion, be it a birthday, an anniversary, a thank you gift or a housewarming gift you can give a present with a bit of flare.

Here is a list of creative present ideas for you to give to someone special:-

Homemade Cupcakes

Everyone loves home baked goodies and cupcakes are very fashionable. You can make all types of flavours from strawberry, chocolate, and blueberry, to lemon meringue, banana split and raspberry ripple. To be creative go with an unusual flavour, buy cases with an abstract design and once you have iced the cupcakes add crystallised flowers for that extra special twist of creativity. These cupcakes are perfect whatever the occasion.

Gift Baskets

No matter what your recipient’s interest is, or whatever the occasion, you can create your own gift basket. For a thank you gift basket you can add a candle, a box of chocolates, a bottle of wine, a luxury hand cream or soap, anything you know your friend will like. For a book lover you can add a new novel, a bookmark, a bookstore voucher and a collection of tea or coffee. You don’t have to be artistic to make a beautiful gift basket, just fill it with items you know your recipient loves and you instantly have a creative gift to give.

Handbags/Purses

If you have creative hands then you should try to make a handmade handbag or purse. There are lots of patterns available online or at your local craft shop and the beauty of this is you get to personalise it with fabrics and colours your friend loves. Alternatively you can buy a handmade bag or purse that has been beautifully crafted to give the wow factor.

Stained Glass Gifts

Whatever your budget is you can create your own stained glass present. A candleholder, a sun catcher, a window decoration or picture, you decide what you would like to make. Again if you aren’t gifted with creativity then there are many companies specialising in stained glass present for you to give as an unusual and creative gift.

Embroidered Pillows

To give a creative present, make your own pillow. The possibilities for patterns and designs are endless. You can embroider a poem or message on the front or sew a beautiful design lined with sequences and colourful threads. Have a relative help you if you aren’t skilled at sewing or visit your local gift shop for a handmade pillow that gives a personal touch to your present.

Family Tree

For a relative you can create them their own Family Tree. It can be a hanging tree, a mounted tree or computer generated. Have their family give you pictures of themselves and ask them to write a short message to the recipient to add to their family tree. Not only is this a creative present, it is very kind and thoughtful of you to have gone to the trouble of involving their family and making it unique.

Whatever you decide to give, rest assured that it will be greatly appreciated as everyone loves to receive a unique, unusual and creative present.