What Christmas gifts to buy teachers, family, friends

FINISHING TOUCHES: When you've found the ideal gift make sure you take the time to wrap it, and write a personalised card. Photo: Shutterstock

FINISHING TOUCHES: When you've found the ideal gift make sure you take the time to wrap it, and write a personalised card. Photo: Shutterstock

2020 has been a funny old year. It started with bush fires and, as the year comes to a close, we are still in the midst of the global pandemic that is COVID-19.

For many people, Christmas is the last thing on their mind, for others it already causing stress and worry as they try to work out what gift to give each member of their family and extended community. Rest assured, here we have plenty of gift ideas to suit almost everyone.

I love gift giving and I get as much joy from purchasing and giving a gift as I do receiving them. Resist the urge to hand out gift cards to everyone and read on for some simple ideas to suit even the most difficult person.

FOR THE FAMILY

Don't be afraid to suggest a secret Santa arrangement if you have a large family or if money is tight. Often people are grateful for the opportunity to focus on giving one great gift. It can be very hard to avoid getting carried away when it comes to buying gifts for children. A handy guide is the rule of four principle: Something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read.

Avoid gift cards for immediate family. Part of the joy of gift giving and receiving is finding something you know the recipient will like and showing that you have taken the time and care to select something special.

Take the time to put some thought into their likes and interests and if you are really stuck, take a risk. A book you loved, tickets to a movie or show, a piece of jewelry.

FOR TEACHERS

Please don't leave out the teachers. This year, more than ever, they deserve all the gifts.

Avoid the stock standard candle or mug idea for teachers. If money is an issue, suggest the class all chip in for a voucher of some kind. Movie tickets, a massage, a gourmet hamper or other experience will always be appreciated.

If you are doing your own gift keep it simple but thoughtful. A nice bottle of wine, prepaid coffee card for the local cafe, a handmade item from your child or stationary will all be loved. Another great idea is a special Christmas tree decoration. They will remember your child for years to come.

THE EXTENDED TRIBE

Friends, swimming teachers, soccer coaches, housekeepers; your list may be small or huge.

A bottle of wine or other drink, cook book or quirky personalised items are all great. I once got our swimming coach a personalised stubby holder that said "o-fish-ally the best swim coach" daggy but he loved it. Home made treats (by you or by a local small business) are fun, especially when packaged nicely with a handwritten card.

If you are doing your own gift keep it simple but thoughtful."

Often in an office you will have a secret Santa gift to buy. These can be difficult because not only are you perhaps buying for someone you don't know very well, you also usually have a low spending limit.

If you can't think of anything personal, a mug, chocolates, stationary, hand cream, or Christmas themed gimmicky gift or tree ornament are always a safe choice. So, there you have it. In my opinion, the most important thing is to enjoy the process.

Christmas is a time to show your love and appreciation to those people who are in your life in whatever capacity.

It doesn't have to take a take a lot of time, effort, or money to show you care.