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Christmas is right around the corner now, and it's high time for all of us to get a start on our gift buying process if we haven't done so already.
Of course, this time of year can always be quite daunting simply because we'll be getting our heads around Christmas gift ideas as well as mentally keeping track of all the people that we'll need to buy for.
A lot of us tend to take the confusion out of our Christmas shopping by putting together some lists of all the friends, coworkers, and family members we'll be buying for this year.
But of course, there is more to your Christmas shopping than knowing how many presents you'll need to budget for. We're all tempted to find the 'perfect' gifts over just ticking boxes.
But what does the perfect gift even look like? It is, after all, a highly subjective concept. It's also safe to assume that the tastes of your recipients have changed to an extent after months and months of growing and changing in COVID-19 lockdowns.
However, with all this in mind, you can still find the perfect gift for all your gift recipients this Christmas by asking yourself what type of gift may best align with their hobbies, interests, or even their values.
Here are the types of gifts to consider giving your loved ones this Christmas season.
Gifts for gift recipients who are gearing up for travel
With many Aussies preparing to have another COVID-safe Christmas, chances are high that a large majority of your friends and loved ones are looking to stay firmly put this holiday season.
For those preparing to embark on interstate getaways, however, the ideal Christmas gift is likely to be an accessory that they'll be able to take with them.
Items like power banks and high power flashlights can be well-received by avid adventurers who can never have too much road trip gear.
Along similar lines, you may even decide to gift more specific adventure gear like a brand new backpacking pack, or accessories for their camera gear.
Loved ones who are experiencing some serious wanderlust may even appreciate a gift that's representative of their love for travelling and adventure, like a spinning globe, a brass compass, or vintage maps that they can hang at home.
Customisable gifts for that personal touch
If you have friends or loved ones who appreciate a personal touch with all their Christmas gifts, it may be worthwhile looking at gifts that are customisable to ensure that your recipient receives a one-of-a-kind Christmas find.
With laser cutting and other forms of engraving now being commercially available across Australia, there's a growing selection of customisable gift items to choose from nowadays.
You may decide to get some stationery or a 2022 diary monogrammed for a recipient who's known for being well-organised.
Other kinds of customisable gifts that can be given from the heart include items of clothing with the faces of pets printed on them, personalised mugs or keepcups, and personalised photo frames filled with snapshots of cherished memories.
The perfect customised gift may not even need to be something you get engraved or monogrammed. In fact, you may even choose to go DIY with your gift customisation this year! It's all about what you feel your recipient will be likely to appreciate.
Experiential gifts to enrich the holiday season
Although some of us are looking forward to staying put this holiday season, that doesn't necessarily mean that you can't have some exciting things to do in and around your family Christmas celebrations.
In fact, this summer may be the perfect time to inspire your recipients to have a little 'staycation' and enjoy all the sights and sounds of the city that they call home.
You can encourage your recipients to seek a little excitement this holiday season by giving them a thoughtful experiential gift.
Experiential gifts can vary in their nature, ranging from wine tasting gift packages or painting lessons to parachuting, archery, horseback riding along the beach, and a myriad of other highly fantastical experiences.
The 'perfect' experiential gift may be something that your recipient loves to do, or it could even be something that they've never tried before! You may even decide to buy an extra ticket and come along with them to turn your gift into a fun bonding experience.
Charitable gifts to pay it forward this Christmas
Finally, it wouldn't be Christmas without a little bit of charitable giving here and there. Many of us go about our Christmas giving in our own ways, with donations being given across Australia in the forms of money, food items, and donated presents for younger children whose families may not be in a position to provide them with a truly magical Christmas experience.
A modern and emerging form of Christmas giving is the construct of the charitable gift. A charitable gift could be a gift that is a donation made in your recipient's name, or a gift item purchased from a social enterprise whose mission statement is to donate a certain percentage of its profits to a meaningful cause.
Regardless of what form your charitable gift takes, gifting your recipient with a Christmas present that directly contributes to a cause that's close to their heart is likely to be a truly heartwarming gift indeed. There's nothing quite like a gift that gives back!
Whether you'll be spending this Christmas season eating dinner with your friends and loved ones, or organising a Zoom call for some COVID-safe Christmas celebrations, the gifts you give are going to be a small source of joy in the grand scheme of things.
Christmas is a time to spend connecting with your loved ones and your wider community far more than it is a time to spend sprinting through shopping centres.
Even if you don't find those 'perfect' gifts, setting Christmas Day aside to be with your friends and family in any capacity is likely to be a gift that your loved ones will appreciate in itself.