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Budgeting for Christmas

Published:Thursday | December 3, 2015 | 12:00 AM

The thought that counts

Sometimes, you can do anything you put your mind to. And while grand gestures are always warmly received, you can get that exact reaction with a gift that was well thought out. Knowing what the person likes or wants, tapping into their favourite things and interests, are those elements that will drive you to the right gift. So maybe you might have to do a bit of research, or just maybe you have had the answers all along, but just never really thought of it.

Gift something that you know will pull on their heartstrings, what you ultimately want to achieve is an increase in the sentimental value, which will then lower the monetary value. So without further ado, here are some cost-effective gift ideas that will definitely spark your present pursuit.

For him

If he is a professional, ties, cuff links, even a nice shirt would be suitable. Menswear tends to be more expensive, so here's where interests come in. He may be in need of a stress ball for work, or might be into hats or caps, so you can get him one.

- Picture this for a relationship: A picture frame with a photograph of both of you or a bottle of his favourite alcoholic beverage to keep the 'spirit' of good cheer alive. Gift it with an appropriate pair of glasses or a glass, depending on the man, and you would have won in the gift department (a woman would gladly accept this, too.) Anything along these lines would make an ideal gift for him.

For her

- Flaunt it: Costume jewellery always works well, and if a chain, for instance, has a wonderful pendant attached, saying best friend or my heartbeat, you can't go wrong. And the beauty about it is that it won't cost much. If she has a lot of jewellery, then a nice jewellery organiser is also appreciated. A scarf or a top in her favourite colour will be far more cherished because of the sentiments behind it.

- Common scents: if she's into scents like vanilla, lavender, or coconut, then you could get her a scented candle, or bath oil or massage oils. If you really want to save, you could create your own scented organic body scrubs with ingredients found in your home (check YouTube) she would surely be grateful for a DIY gift that you did on your own.

For children

In this age of technology, a trendy case would be a cool gift for their phone or tablet. And if you want to shy away from gadgets, then gift a toy or a game that they know nothing of and bond with them about a game that once was awesome. (I once gifted bubbles and balloons and they went to town in the yard in bubble land and playing balloon war.)

For a family

Nothing says Merry Christmas like board games! And there are so many to choose from. If they are family-oriented, then you would have hit the jackpot with this present.

General gifting

Earlier, we spoke of giving someone a gift based on their interests. So if he or she is an aspiring chef, then a cookbook or rolling pin. If he or she is a writer, then offer a cool notepad with a personal note inside. If you're gifting a couple, then you could do matching mugs or Ts or something reflecting the union that you know they would appreciate.

A scrapbook is always great at capturing significant moments and makes for a wonderful gift, if they appreciate the simple things in life.

And there you have it. I could go on and on, but I think by now, you get the picture.. Hopefully, these gift ideas have inspired you and pushed you in the right direction. So, keep the merriment alive and gift responsibly.