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How to Turn 5 Clichéd Gift Items into Memorable Christmas Presents

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Joanne Poh

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People judge others for the kinds of Christmas gifts they receive from them. Try offering your child underwear for Christmas and prepare for a lifetime of sulking.

You can never win when it comes to buying Christmas gifts. Give overly generic gift items and you’ll be branded unoriginal or thoughtless. But finding appropriate and personalised gifts for all 30 people at your Christmas party that won’t make you go broke is stressful and difficult.

Never fear. How’s how you can turn five of the most clichéd Christmas gift items ever known into thoughtful and memorable presents.

 

Chocolate

A box of chocolates might be a reasonable Valentines’ Day gift for someone you met two weeks ago, or a Secret Santa gift for that guy at the office you’ve never actually spoken more than two sentences to in your entire life. But when it comes to someone you know rather well, this is one gift item that’s a bit too much of a tired cliché.

Instead of buying a generic box of Ferrero Rocher or Guylian chocolates, get customised chocolates for your recipient instead. Spell out their name in chocolate letters or include a label with their name on it. This Carousell store is offering customised chocolate wrappers at a reasonable price with a ten piece minimum order.

 

Vouchers

The $20 voucher is a classic Secret Santa gift at office Christmas parties for good reason. It’s basically a polite way to give someone cash, and the easiest gift option for someone you don’t know well.

Instantly make a gift voucher look more thoughtful by presenting it with a handmade card, or a store-bought one with a personal note. A card on its own might look a little inadequate, especially if your recipient gave you an actual gift, but a card + voucher is gold.

 

Wine

If you’ve ever hosted a Christmas party at home, 80% of the gift items you received that year were probably bottles of wine. Now, we’re not about to complain about free alcohol, of course, but if you’re afraid your own contribution of merlot will get drowned out by everyone else’s, decorate the label and bottle to give it a personal touch.

You might want to remove the original label altogether and stick a photo of you and your recipient on it. You could also stick little cut-outs of stars, dots, candy canes, etc all over the bottle.

 

Bath and body products

At some point in their lives, every Singaporean is going to receive a Body Shop product for Christmas.

Many of the body products are fruit-/seed-/food-themed—there are strawberry, satsuma (looks like an orange), olive and green tea body washes, and even a mojito shower gel.

Make your gift a lot more memorable by packaging it with one of the abovementioned food items. For instance, if you are getting your friend a strawberry body product gift set, throw in a box of strawberries from your local NTUC FairPrice.

 

Stuffed toys

Unless you are buying a gift for someone under the age of fourteen, it is rarely acceptable to give random stuffed toys unless it has special significance to them. After all, stuffed toys take up a lot of space at home and have the tendency to collect dust and mites over time. Plus, they are pretty cheesy.

So always find out which cartoon characters or animals your recipient is a big fan of. It is not acceptable to buy a generic stuffed bear for someone just because you think it’s “quite cute what”. Your recipient must have a particular penchant for Minions/Stitch/Olaf to qualify for a stuffed toy in their likeness.

Have you ever received any of the above gift items for Christmas? Tell us which ones in the comments!

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Joanne Poh

In my previous life, I was a property lawyer who spent most of my time struggling to get out of bed or stuck in peak hour traffic. These days, as a freelance commercial writer, I work in bed, on the beach, in parks and at cafes, all while being really frugal. I like helping other people save money so they can stop living lives they don't like.