Tag Archives: Christmas Gifts

Christmas Gifts for Him

Posted on September 21, 2010 by

Why is it that men seem so easy to buy gifts for, but when it comes to the event itself, it’s the trickiest purchase of the lot? It doesn’t make any sense. There are only two or three things that interest my husband, so it should be straight forward to buy something in relation to those interests. However, I find it so difficult parting with hard earned cash to pay for something that I feel is a complete waste of money that he couldn’t possibly want as a gift for Christmas. And here lies the problem – my opinion of what makes a good present compared to my husband’s opinion are so far removed from each other that it’s not even funny.

Every year I try to find something I think he’s going to love but every year I end up frustrated with my plan and resort to the trusty favourites which are so lack lustre when it comes to the magic of Christmas that I no longer have that excitement about whether he will be as happy with his gift as I am with the act of giving. For several years things continued this way, the frustration grew as I realised that it was never going to get any better until I did something drastic to shake things up. And this is when I decided to break all the rules and have that forbidden conversation with my husband to settle things once and for all.

Instead of guessing what was going to make the perfect present, I took the bull by the horns and asked the man directly for a blunt answer. I wanted to know what would truly make him happy on Christmas Day, which gifts would be appreciated and if he preferred the secretive approach. My astonishment must have been crystal clear across my face by the end of the conversation. This was the day it all changed for me as this was the day I realised that men really do think completely differently to women.

This is what I discovered – a gift of tools and car accessories are great ideas for gifts for men. Personally, that is like a housewife receiving an ironing board and a bottle of bleach as a Christmas present. Nevertheless, I proceed this year with an open mind as he tells me that getting a new set of tools is right up there, in the same category as me getting my favourite bottle of perfume. As for whether secrecy is high on the list of priorities, again I’m slightly disappointed to find that it’s really not that important. In fact, my husband claims he would be just as excited this year if I handed him a gift voucher for the local hardware store because not only could he enjoy picking the tools out himself, but he could wait until the sales in the New Year and get twice as many.

The male brain is a difficult one for a female brain to fully comprehend. My bubble has been shattered; I can no longer have fun picking out fun gifts that I think he will like. Instead, he gets exactly what he wants, and I just have to enjoy the moment of opening my own gifts with trepidation as I keep my fingers firmly crossed that he paid attention to the thousands of hints given throughout the year.

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Christmas Gifts for Her

Posted on September 21, 2010 by

Buying for your wife, fiancée or female partner at Christmas can be at best nerve-wrecking and at worst the deciding factor in the entire relationship’s future. Well, that might be a little dramatic, but you get the idea. If you buy vouchers she’ll think you couldn’t be bothered putting thought into the gift buying process, if you buy her a present you run the risk of getting something she doesn’t like and have to witness that look upon her face of sheer disappointment mixed with fake gratefulness. This is a dangerous path for whoever takes it, so tread carefully. Here are a few ideas to point you in the right direction at the very least.

The most important thing you could do when in the predicament of choosing a Christmas gift for your partner is to steer conversations in your favour then listen intently. Before all the tricks begin, have a clear idea of the style of present you would like to get, for example, perfume, clothing, music, concert tickets, electronics etc. Always have a few alternatives for the plans that are perfect in theory but turn out to be more difficult to fulfil when it comes to the shopping trip. Please note that you will need at least a couple of months to fully exploit this method without being found out or left standing at the shops with bare shelves on Christmas eve.

Once you know the kind of gift you want to get for her, begin leading conversations in a direction where you find out a selection of options she would be happy with. Questions such as: What do you think of…..If you were to choose one which would it be and why…I’ve heard that item is really good, what do you think? Make sure, once you have discovered her true feelings about certain items you have been enquiring about, write it down somewhere safe and secret. A word of warning, if you start this line of questioning in December, she will see straight through you and know exactly your intent. Try to be clever when disguising this intent, or at least do this part as far in advance of Christmas as possible so she may even forget about it by the time Christmas day comes around.

Now that you know what you need to get, it’s time to go shopping. In most instances, this can be done online as well as on the High Street. When it is something very specific you are looking for, do not be tempted to look in bargain buckets. You may find something very close to what you’re looking for but at half the cost. Under no circumstances must you take this course of action. A cheap alternative is most certainly not what your wife or fiancée will appreciate when she unwraps that special gift. Do not take chances; proceed with purchasing the item only when it is exactly what you have been looking for.

It may seem like a long and difficult process, but it is definitely a worthwhile venture. The joy of witnessing your partner’s facial expression change from excited to anxious to exhilaration when she realises that you have given her a gift that she truly wants is prize enough for all your hard work and determination.

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Christmas Decorations

Posted on September 21, 2010 by

Entertaining this Christmas? Want to have an amazing looking table to share Christmas dinner with but have no idea where to start? So long as you have the food side of things covered, then you definitely can afford to spend some time putting details together for a fabulous looking table. If, on the other hand, the food isn’t up to scratch, then no fancy designs in the world will cover that fact so you have to know that the food is good before taking on the next challenge. Assuming this is all good, let’s discuss ideas for creating that magical look for even the pickiest of guests this year.

Table Settings

  • If bringing the Christmas tree to the table sounds good to you, why not arrange evergreen foliage around each plate in the manner of a wreath, or displayed in the shape of a star underneath the soup bowl. This is a very effective way to bring colour and texture to your design while still summing up the very essence of Christmas nature.
  • Sparkles always bring a table to life – whether you choose single colour glitter pieces, or multicoloured Christmas shapes to sprinkle all over the table, or even in isolated spots such as around each place setting, this look will brighten up even the darkest of corners.
  • A simple added touch that can transform your table is to attach a coloured bow to your wine glasses, around each napkin or even around the cutlery set.  It takes no time at all to arrange and yet if the colour scheme is considered carefully, can really make the setting look special.

Centre Pieces

  • Sticking with the nature theme, the traditional poinsettia in a decorative plant is always a beauty to behold on any table with its simplistic elegance and contrasting colours.
  • Candles make an excellent focus point when spruced up with some natural foliage, berries and glitter. Consider placing in a wide low-sided bowl with a snow effect for its base.
  • Being very creative is the key to an original looking centrepiece, and you can achieve this by bunching together some natural tree foliage and assembling on top a favourite Christmas figurine surrounded by some glittery baubles – very cute.

Place Name Cards

  • If time isn’t on your side this year, try looking online for some pre-designed name cards that you can personalise and print out in a hurry. There are numerous designs to choose from, traditional or contemporary, sensible or fun based, get the professional touch without the professional price tag.
  • If time isn’t an issue and you are a fan of arts and crafts, try the original approach and paint names onto Christmas baubles with white glitter paint. These little embellishments to your table will have everyone talking.
  • Painting directly onto Christmas ornaments isn’t always the easiest of tasks so if you want something special for your guests, create a decorative place card from traditional materials but attach to a Christmas item with a decorative bow.

With all these ideas, you’re well on your way to producing a very memorable experience for your guests this Christmas!

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Christmas Presents Ideas

Posted on September 21, 2010 by

During the month of December, it can be so easy to get sidetracked with planning Christmas, getting gifts for family and playing the “Santa” role. However, it is important to spare a moment’s thought for those who so rightly deserve that thought and often don’t get it because of being so incredibly busy with other things. Your kids’ school teachers. They have just finished spending a year educating your child and most likely arranging a beautifully thought out Christmas present for you that they have hand crafted to perfection, or thereabouts. Perfection should never appear too high on the agenda when it comes to kids; it truly is the thought that counts.

Most parents don’t stretch the imagination too far when considering a gift for the teachers and this can lead to a bit of a problem for them. A box of chocolates is a nice idea, but just think about this: if all the kids in the classroom buy their teacher a box of chocolates, which amounts to approximately 30 boxes of chocolates for one person. That’s a little on the excessive side and a rather difficult dilemma for the teacher – housing that amount of chocolate in the heat of the summer might prove to be quite tricky. Don’t get me wrong, teachers usually love chocolates and are grateful for any gift given from their students. Just keep this problem in mind if you do decide to go ahead with this gift idea.

So if chocolates are out of the equation, then what? That can depend on whether the teacher is male or female. For female teachers there are many options available.  Candles are an excellent present at Christmas time as they look very pretty, can be suitable for all budgets and will last long into the new year making it very good value for money and a memorable gift. On the same train of thought, photo frames are another great idea for teachers as they can be personalised with their own photos and changed as often as they require. Both candles and photo frames are gifts that can be purchased online in advance of the holidays so they don’t have to be a last minute scramble. If you are stuck at the last minute this year, you could always go with a bunch of flowers or a pretty plant, both of which are actually best bought just before the last day of term.

For male teachers, candles and photo frames just won’t work. What would work very well are funky and unique cactus plants. There are so many varieties available these days, just go and have a look through the local garden shops and try to pick out a plant that would suit your teacher’s personality. Quirky is always good. Other great presents for male teachers are anything barbeque related – personalised stubby holders, barbeque utensils or a cool apron. The majority of men I know love to show off their cooking skills in the back garden to their friends and family in the hot summer months. Presents like these will be well used.

If buying a present from the shops doesn’t appeal, you could always spend a little extra time this year and get your kids to make a present for their teachers – home made Christmas decorations, chocolates and other such items are always very well received as teachers understand the value of the effort involved in these gifts. You could accompany these little treasures with a sachet of cappuccino and any individual pamper packet (facial mask, foot soak, etc). This is personal instruction to the teacher that now it is their turn to look after themselves rather than all the children for a refreshing change.

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