I think that everyone assumes they are easy to buy for - I certainly do! But I've come to realise that I'm actually not. I'm not FUSSY, you see. I'm just... PARTICULAR. I know what I like, and I assume that everyone else does, partly because I'm one of those people who finds it hard to internalise anything, which, if you follow me on Twitter, you might have noticed. What are thoughts for, if not to share with the entire world? But apparently I am, slightly, an enigma, and also a nightmare to buy for, which I've noticed from the look of fear on my friends' faces when I open their gifts. I'm sorry, guys! I love your presents! I love ALL presents!
Marks & Spencer asked me to put together a few of my personal hints and tips for getting the right gift out of someone, like this pretty lingerie set they sent me - IT SO PURPLE. I would be overjoyed to get this in my Christmas stocking, but lingerie is tricky - I think you have to know someone very, very well to buy them lingerie. Probably in the sense that you see their lingerie on a regular basis. Ellie has put together a fab lingerie specific buying guide here, but I thought I'd go a little bit broader. So here are my top tips for ensuring you get what you want in your stocking - heck, sometimes it's fine to be a little bit selfish, no?
1 - Make a list. It sounds obvious, but if you actually TELL people what you want, you'll probably get it.
2 - Be clear what you don't want... in a nice way. For instance: 'So many people assume because I like making cakes that I want baking stuff for every birthday and Christmas, but I kind of have enough now, y'know?'
3 - Be obvious about common pitfalls such as misconceptions about sizing - this should gently encourage partners to check your labels and get it right
4 - Enlist friends and family members in hint dropping. You'd be amazed how often this works.
And, hey, just as a bonus, here are my top 4 tips for choosing awesome presents:
1 - Listen, listen, listen. Those hints you've been dropping? Your loved ones have been dropping them too.
2 - Manipulate the crap out of them. This works well with best friends - point them towards something that 'you've been thinking about buying' (a bag, shoes, etc) and get them to tell you which variation they like best. And then buy that for THEM! Mwahahaha!
3 - Pay attention. Do they never wear long necklaces? Do they only ever wear silver jewellery? That's probably not a sign they want a long, beaded necklace, you see.
4 - Ask other people they know for hints. Ask your partner's best friend, your best friend's sister, your sister's boyfriend... etc. Also, with kids, you can just ask their parents what they want! Exercise caution though, because otherwise your poor nieces and nephews may relive Christmas for me when I was 11 when we got a kitten and my mum told everyone I wanted cat accessories like a scratching post and cat books. WHO WANTS A SCRATCHING POST?
Anyway, I'm super excited to get presents now, even if I may have put the Fear into everyone I know who is planning on buying me things due to how strict my rules apparently are. It's okay you guys! I've been subtly manipulating you all year long!