Some days ago I put up an article on how we can save for New Year. A reader dropped a comment that gave a wonderful insight on how to experience less pressure in January. You can find the post here.
However, if you must buy gifts for your loved ones for this Christmas season, you have to put a lot of things into consideration. The tips given below will help you to meet up to this expectation without you having to spend so much.
- Gifts are tokens: Most times we are so bothered about what to gift people that we forget the essence of the gifts. Gifts are just gestures, signs or symbols of our affections and gratitude. Like the Igbos say, “nlota ka mkpa” meaning that to remember someone is the most important thing. So, when you go out to buy that gift, bear it in mind that what matters most isn’t the gift, but the message behind it.
- Gifts won’t cure poverty. Sometimes when we think of what to get for people, especially for the less privileged among us, we tell ourselves that we can’t afford what they need. This notion most times discourages us from giving. Always bear it in mind that you are not gifting that person to elevate his financial status (unless you can afford to do so).
- Gifts should not be expensive. In fact, all gifts mustn’t be bought from the market, as will be shown later. Give what you can afford and what won’t throw you into debts or wants.
- Gifts are easily appreciated. The element of surprise that comes with gifts makes it easy to be appreciated. The most important thing here is that you give the person something he or she will utilise. The magnitude of the gift doesn’t really matter.
- Most of the receivers already know your financial status. Remember most of these people you are gifting have been there for you and therefore understood what you are passing through. A lot of them may not even expect something from you. This is why all they need is a sign of appreciation or acknowledgement from you.
- There is life after Christmas. This is the most important tip here. Always bear it in mind that after the Yule comes the season of hustle. So whatever you decide, remember January is just some days away from Christmas.
Well, here is the list of things you can gift people within this season. But remember that you have to consider your relationship with the person and, of course, the person’s personality, before picking a gift.
- Food and Foodstuffs: There are two options to this. One is buying in bulk, sharing them in smaller quantities and packing them yourself. The second option is buying producer-sealed gift-sized food and food stuffs that are already in the market. The first option is cheaper but it can only be gifted to very close blood relatives and friends. But the second option can be gifted to anyone.Bear it in mind when you decide to give out food stuff that you have to go for the type everyone uses. This means you have to buy higher quality ones. If you are not sure of good brands, ask the sellers, they always know which is good for gifts.Some of the common food stuffs used as gifts are rice, noodles, vegetable oil, tomato puree, live chicken, fresh and dried fish, yams, onions and bouillon cubes. Others are provisions such as milk, biscuits, bread, cocoa drinks, coffee, oatmeal and cereals.
- Perfumes and Deodorants: If you opt for these ones, I’ll suggest you first find out the one the person uses. This is because a lot of people have issues with changing their smells, or worse, feeling that they were given cheap perfumes. But if this is the best option you have, then go for fairly good ones and remember to consider the receivers gender and personality.
- Toiletries and Creams: This option is best for very close relatives, like siblings, parents, close cousins, and aunts. It is also ideal for very bosom friends. Remember to get the one the person uses. Detergents and laundry soaps are also ideal if you want to gift some distant relatives. It will be most ideal if you are using it as gifts for those that will come to greet you when you get back to your village. So, buy as many cartons of bar soaps as possible as you prepare for your journey and thank me later.
- Office Customised Souvenirs: If your office has custom gifts such as desk calendar, pens, jotters and so on, use that for those people whom you don’t know the right gifts to give. Unknown to you, they may appreciate this sort of gift more than any other you can bring.
- Pastries: Nigeria has this very good pastry – chin-chin. This snack has saved a lot of people from disaster. So, make your own Christmas chin-chin, or order for one; then package them beautifully and give out to people as your Christmas gift. You can add some cans of malt or a bottle of wine to it. Alternatively, roast groundnuts and cashew nuts and join them to the gift bag (i.e. chin-chin, groundnut, cashew nut and drinks) and you have made a perfect Christmas gift. Believe me, this gift is the cheapest of them all, except that it is time and energy consuming.
- Books: It is a pity that we don’t have good bookshops in many cities in Nigeria because Nigerian no longer read. However, if the person concerned is a voracious reader, you can consider buying him or her good books as a Christmas gift. In the same vein, if the person is a writer, there is nothing wrong with gifting him or her with writing materials and accessories such as biro, writing pad, reading lamp, pencil holder and so on.
- Clothes: Our children are not the only ones that have clothes as Christmas gifts. Most times it is safer to give people, especially those of the higher class, with cloths. Nigerian wax has made this very easy for us. You don’t have to buy the very expensive ones; those ones that sell for #3000 can go a long way in serving this purpose. One good thing about Nigerian wax is that everybody uses it, and it lasts. This means that the receiver will always remember you as long as that piece of cloth exists.
- SMS and Greeting Cards: Nobody said you must break the bank to show appreciation to people that have been there for you throughout the year. A simple well-drafted SMS can do a great job too. If you can afford custom-made greeting cards, go for it; you will be ever remembered for that.