The Great Gift Buying Conundrum: How To Find Perfect Presents For Everyone

If you have a large family or an ever-expanding social circle, you may find that you’re on a constant hunt for great gifts. Buying a birthday present or Christmas present should be enjoyable. It should make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. If it doesn’t, and you end up stressed and broke, don’t panic. This guide will help you to find ideal gifts for everyone.

how to buy gifts


Before you start considering ideas or pounding the high street pavements, work out a budget. You don’t want to leave yourself short because you’ve been optimistic about your finances. At the beginning of each month, work out your income versus your outgoings. Include any events and special occasions and additional costs, such as birthday or Christmas gifts. Doing a budget will enable to plan your spending, and give you an accurate idea of how much you can afford for each present. You can either use good old-fashioned pen and paper, create a spreadsheet, or download a planning app.

Finding inspiration: Gorgeous gift ideas

If you read gift guides, you’ll probably come across the perennial pleasers. Barbeque tools, aftershaves and polo shirts for Dads and other halves. Perfume, candles, and PJs for Mums and sisters. These are lovely gift ideas, but sometimes, it’s better to go for something unique and a little different. You can often find inspiration from searching online and having a wander around shops and stalls. But in case you’re pushed for time, here are some suggestions for those special people in your life.

Gift ideas for kids

Do you have younger siblings or nephews and nieces? Have your friends got children? Do you have a godson or goddaughter? Buying for kids should be fun, and there are some incredible ideas out there. If you’re buying gifts for a newborn baby, go for something they can keep, or a personalised present. Frame an image with their name and birth weight, or buy a personalised money box or teddy bear. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out sites like Other popular options include collections of classic stories, baby books, and photograph frames.

If you’re shopping for older kids, toys are always a good idea. Ask their parents what they’re into and look for presents that match their interests.

Presents for friends

When shopping for your friends, the golden rule is to think about what they like and what they would spend their money on. Do they collect vintage bags or shoes? Are they obsessed with cooking or baking? Do they enjoy sewing, writing, or shopping? Channel their passions and hobbies and use the Internet to look for a unique gift. Listen out for hints when you chat. They can often provide you with golden opportunities to buy gifts that will be treasured.

Shopping for your dad, husband or boyfriend

Buying gifts for men can be tricky. For some reason, it seems much harder to find perfect presents for men than women. Again, focus on the person you are buying for and think about what they spend their time doing and their interests. Are they a football or rugby fan? Do they live for DIY or enjoy driving?

If you can’t find a gift that suits, why not consider buying an experience? You could book tickets for a big game, or organise a stadium tour? You could hit the track for a supercar experience, or fly high in the sky with a hot air balloon ride. Book some golf lessons, or arrange a wine-tasting masterclass. Whatever your loved one’s hobbies, there is sure to be something out there that appeals.

Vouchers are also a good option for male relatives. If your dad is always spending money on other people, why not treat him? You can buy vouchers for almost anything these days. If he’s not a fan of retail therapy, why not buy restaurant vouchers, tickets for a day out or pay for a relaxing spa retreat?

Perfect presents for female relatives

Are you on the lookout for a gift for your mum or sister? If so, why not give makeup, clothes and toiletries a break this year? There are lots of other options out there. Take inspiration from their style and taste. Think about what they like to do in their spare time. If your mum loves cooking, you could buy her some new recipe books and a personalised apron. If she’s a fan of spending time in the garden, why not treat her to a comfy seat to enjoy the sunshine? Is your sister a fitness fanatic or a shopaholic? Could you add to her home gym collection, or treat her to a new pair of shoes or a statement necklace?

Sometimes, time can be more precious than material items. If you don’t see your mum or sisters much, why not plan a weekend away or a day out? You can spend quality time together catch up, and have a laugh. Book a table for lunch, go shopping or have a cocktail. Catch a show or go and watch a concert.

Shopping made easy

Time is a luxury for many of us these days. Thankfully, the Internet has made shopping much faster and easier. You can use search engines such as to look for inspiration and locate stockists. This is particularly beneficial if you have a specific item in mind. You can also order vouchers, book experiences and hotels and reserve tables. Shopping online also enables you to compare prices and save money on the high street RRP. You can also get gifts delivered directly to the recipient, so they get a nice surprise on their birthday.

Buying gifts can be a conundrum. But with this guide, hopefully, you can crack the code and ensure that shopping is fun, easy and affordable. Be original, and always have the person you’re buying for in mind. Use their interests and hobbies to give you ideas and don’t be afraid to be different. If you’re struggling to find something, why not think outside the box and go for an experience? Making memories is a present that special someone can cherish forever.

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  1. A
    November 10, 2016 / 6:27 pm

    This is very encouraging, thank you. Experience gifts look like a really good idea for people who don’t seem to have much of a wishlist.

    • November 7, 2017 / 8:40 pm

      I think I might have to revert to them this year too as they’re so nice for people to receive

  2. Susan Smith
    June 10, 2017 / 4:04 pm

    What a fabulous blog, thank you have given me ideas

  3. Ashleigh Allan
    November 12, 2017 / 1:51 pm

    Very helpful at this time of year

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