If shopping and spending money were Olympic sports I'd be a good bet for a medal. From online to out-of-town, boutique to high street and bargains to budget blowing; I love them all.
And it doesn't matter what I'm shopping for, it could be a(nother) new pair of trainers, a phone, books, pens and pencils, kitchen gadgets, a blue wooden elephant, the experience is still the same.
And it doesn't even have to be for me. Shopping for other people is just as much fun, sometimes more as I get to browse for things I wouldn't usually be looking for.
I know a lot of people are daunted by shopping for gifts for other people, especially for Christmas when there is the expectation to match or exceed the gifts you receive.
But I can honestly say that a gift that demonstrates you've really thought about the person is always appreciated more than a random expensive gift; unless of course that random expensive gift is something like a Cartier diamond ring or an Aston Martin ;)
And I can say this with some authority as there have quite a few years when times have been tight and I've had to be creative with my gift-giving. Obviously, this is easier if you're naturally creative, but even if you can't paint a picture or knit a jumper you can still give interesting and personal gifts. My favourite annual Christmas present is the big chunky scarf my mum always knits for me. It's personal, thoughtful and unique. I know as well that some of the most treasured gifts I've given my family and friends have been some of the least expensive, but the most meaningful.
So, how do you go about picking the perfect present?
The answer to is to be the BOSS.
Budget. Original. Strategy. Spy.
Step One - Budget
Even if you have £1 million to spend it is still really helpful to set a budget. Where would you even start with an unlimited budget, it just gives you too many options. Setting a budget immediately defines the scope of your search. If you have around £50 to spend then that automatically sets the parameters of your search, and this is especially useful when shopping online as you can set the budget to narrow the field. It's really important with the budget to stick to it. Don't be tempted to just go over it 'a little bit' as you'll then be tempted to do this with everyone. Know your limit and only looking at gifts within it.
Step Two - be Original
Yeah, so this just happens to be the tagline for New GarD, but it's worth taking note of.
Part of the problem with trying to buy a gift online or from the high street is the overwhelming amount of choice. Narrow down the options available and I promise it will be easier to find a more meaningful gift.