Rethinking Your Holiday Shopping List

 The holiday season is a magical time of year. It's full of bright lights, big dreams, snowy scenes, and lots of gifts! It is the season of giving, after all. And as great as Christmas is, there can be added stress as you try and find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. You want to come up with items that help show all the special people in your life just how important they are to you. An ordinary gift won't do, you need to be sure that it is perfect.

While there are plenty of gift cliches like new jewelry, the latest technology, or those classic stocking stuffers, there are also plenty of options to help you think outside the box this year. Especially for the people that it is hard to buy for, you can use all the help you can get to find the perfect item to make their Christmas that much more magical. This year, why not rethink your holiday shopping list to make sure you're getting something special for everyone you love? Here are just a few tips as you're working hard to be the perfect Santa Claus and leave the greatest presents under the tree.

Practical gifts can be useful.

The best gifts aren't always the extravagant items or the fancy new toys. Sometimes, the best gifts are the practical items that your friends and family need but have been putting off buying. If your sister told you she needed new books for school, buy the books! If your spouse wanted new sheets for your bed or fresh towels for the bathroom, invest in some linens. Or if your best friend has been looking for a new phone case, buy one you think they'd really love. These practical gifts are really a gesture to show how much you care and how well you know those individuals. Throughout the year, your friends and family may complain about not having something or needing an item to make their life easier. By listening and solving that problem for them, you are ultimately showing them you love by making their life that much simpler.

You can never go wrong with fashion.

Fashion trends are always changing, so you can never go wrong by helping your loved one update their look to fit their style. Go shopping for casual women's clothing or new items from their favorite store. Especially if you know that person well, you can help pick out a new outfit they would absolutely love. Then you can all go out in style and hit the town once the holidays are over.

Because fashion is so subjective, it can sometimes be difficult to pick out the perfect item. Just know, it isn't a total cop-out to go ahead and buy a gift card. Giving money or gift cards can actually give the gift of freedom to another person. They won't have to pretend they like an item that you bought for them, instead, they can use the funds to pick out the perfect item for themselves to enjoy. It really is a win-win situation all around.

Gifts for pets can be excellent gifts.

As you're rethinking your holiday shopping list, there are some members of the family that you may want to include. Your pets and your family's pets deserve to enjoy a Christmas present too! Consider buying new toys or even food for the animals in the household. This will help your friends or family too because it's one less thing they need to go out and buy to make their pet happy. Just be sure to consider all the animal's needs. Maybe you're accomodating a cat with disabilities or buying for a dog with health problems. It may be a good idea to ask about specific needs before you go ahead and buy something.

This can be especially important if your friends or family have an exotic pet you don't know much about. Like a Tokay Gecko, for example. They aren't going to benefit from a dog bone or play toy from Petsmart. Consider their specific diet, climate, and tank decorations before you purchase anything for those exotic animals.

Shop for experiences as well as things.

Thinking outside the box for your holiday gifts may mean buying something that doesn't quite fit in a box. This year, consider buying an experience for your friends and family rather than an item. Buy tickets for the two of you to enjoy a show in the near future, subscribe to a set of classes you can do together, or plan a special trip or outing for you both to enjoy. Material things are not always the best things to give away. Consider the personalities of who you're buying for and how they feel most loved. If quality time and making special memories will mean more to them, consider how you can give that gift instead of one more item that will just sit on a shelf somewhere.

Consider lending your support to a special cause.

Maybe you're trying to get the perfect gift for someone who loves giving back to their community. Consider a gift where you show your support to them. Lend your money to different causes and make a donation in their name. Whether it is a political campaign, restorations for historic homes, or helping the local animal shelter. By showing you care and are invested in the same projects that person loves and supports you are giving one of the greatest gifts. They are sure to appreciate how much you care about the things that matter to them.

A funny gag gift can be a great option.

If you're having trouble coming up with the perfect gift, you can always use humor to your advantage. Just because something is a gag gift, doesn't mean it can't be a great option. So get that item that reminds someone of an inside joke. Buy a pair of socks with your picture on them. Invest in that special ugly Christmas sweater. Depending on your relationship, this can be an absolutely perfect gift to get.

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