We all know that one person who’s always great at buying gifts. Whatever the occasion, they always seem to find the perfect thoughtful present that’s sure to be loved and treasured by whoever is lucky enough to receive it. Want to know how they do it? You’re not alone. Research suggests that most of us struggle to know what to buy even our closest family and friends, often resorting to last minute dashes to high street stores. Such rushed shopping missions often result in uninspired and disappointing gifts – so why not put in a little forward planning and be the gift-giver everyone else is envious of?

Say it with flowers

flowersEveryone loves to receive flowers, even those of us who profess not to be bothered when we don’t receive them. So why not arrange for a beautiful bouquet to be delivered to your loved one on their birthday? A surprise bouquet of flowers arriving on your doorstep is a lovely way to start a special day. If you know their favourite flowers, then it’s wonderful to choose something featuring them, but not knowing what someone likes doesn’t mean you need to resort to the most popular choice of roses. Why not choose a tropical flower bouquet for something really bright and eye-catching, or a collection of wild flowers for a really romantic touch? Individual plants such as orchids can also make great gifts – visit a specialist store like Bunches.co.uk to find out more.

Practical presents

We’ve all heard horror stories of husbands giving their wives hoovers and dishwashers as Christmas presents, but sometimes a gift that serves a genuine purpose can be the most thoughtful gift of all. Is there a job or task your loved one is always complaining about? Do some research online to see if there’s something you can buy that will make it easier for them. Or maybe there’s a hobby they’ve always wanted to try – why not get them the kit they need to get started? Another great approach to this is to get them a newer, better version of something they use a lot – a brand new pocketknife to replace a worn-out model, for example, or a new speaker for someone who loves music.

Give a little sparkle

jewelleryWe all know that diamonds are a girls best friend, but you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a beautiful piece of jewellery that will make a loved one smile. Instead of trying to impress with multiple carat gems, why not choose something a little different? Jewellery set with ‘birthstones’ representing the month of the year in which someone was born can make great gifts, as can something in a person’s favourite colour. There are often cheaper alternatives to popular stones too, for example someone who likes rubies is guaranteed to like garnets, while blue topaz looks very similar to sapphire and costs a fraction of the price. Try to think a little about what the person already has – for example if you never see them wearing rings, they probably don’t like them and are unlikely to enjoy them as a gift. Check what metal they prefer too – if most of their jewellery is silver, it’s better to stick with that rather than go for something different which could clash and might not be worn.

The gift of charity

charityWe’ve all faced the problem of what to buy the person who truly seems to have everything. Luckily, these days there are plenty of solutions. Many charities have cottoned on to the fact that sometimes people struggle to find the perfect gift, and are offering the opportunity to purchase charitable donations on someone else’s behalf. At Practical Presents, you can choose from a wide array of charitable gifts such as buying chickens for impoverished farmers in Bangladesh or building eco toilets for communities in Zimbabwe. Your money goes towards a specific project, so your intended recipient will receive a pack telling them all about the good that their present is doing in some of the poorest parts of the world. Need a gift for an animal lover? Why not buy them an adoption package? There are hundreds of charities around the world offering the opportunity to sponsor an animal, with a cash donation exchanged for a pack of info on your adopted animal and often little extras such as photos and cuddly toys. A great idea for children too, you can adopt anything from endangered tigers and elephants to animals like donkeys living in sanctuaries in the UK.