The Art of Shopping this Christmas
As we approach the festive season, it is worth thinking about the art of shopping for others. Most of us start our shopping list a few weeks before Christmas, (unless you are super organised and buy presents throughout the year), however many leave their shopping to the last minute and lose the opportunity to give something that will touch the person they want to show their appreciation to.
Here are 7 tips to make shopping for others more meaningful, fun and successful:
1. Step into their shoes
To find really meaningful gifts for others, the first step is to put yourself in their shoes. Understanding their interests, what they love to do and perhaps what they are missing in their lives is a great way to start. Take a minute to write these interests and needs down. Have they talked about something they wished they had lately or talked about an author, or artist they enjoy? Do this for all your family, friends or colleagues that you have on the list. You may find that some have similar interests, which is just fine as you can bulk buy and save time (as long as they don’t each other!!). Otherwise reconsider your choice or vary the colourway or design.
2. Work out your budget
Most of us need to buy to a budget, especially during these difficult times. So once you have your shopping list, start putting a price range next to each. Some gifts may have a wide price range to choose from, depending on quality, style and brands, while others are standard across most retailers. It is worth checking what is available online – there can be special offers available, however, be wary of websites that show designer-quality images at super low prices – if it looks too good to be true, it probably is! Choose reputable websites and if you are not sure, check out the retailer online reviews.
There are some items you just can’t skimp on, some such as scent, soaps, confectionary, and candles. Giving personal gifts which appear to be cheap options can impact negatively on the person you are gifting. Make sure you keep some of your budgets for extra packaging and cards that you may need, plus any costs in festive decorations and foods needed on the day.
3. Plan your shopping day
Once you have your shopping list ready, look online for the best value on offer. It may be good to go to one retailer for many of the items especially if they have special offers such as “Buy over $100” and get 20 % off or get free delivery etc. You may want to start up your cart or start a wish list, and come back to it later, to make sure you have found the best option before purchasing. Better still why not finalise your online shopping after you have had your fun day of shopping in stores, where you may be presented with ideas you hadn’t thought of. Many like to make shopping a special outing with a friend. Dress up and have lunch out. For most of us, this will still need to be a COVID safe visit to stores, but at the moment we need to support retailers and cafes as much possible so they can get through this economic downturn. It is always great to get your friend’s feedback on purchases as long as they don’t distract you too often with ideas that take you off course.
4. Buy Australian Brands
When shopping online or in stores try your best to buy local and to support Australian brands. We all have to pull together to get our community, and our small business back on track. So when faced with a choice that doesn’t make a huge difference to your budget – make it Australian, and of course, our Christmas candle would be a perfect gift as it is Australian made and one of the best candles Australia wide.
5. Choose with Care for Mother Nature
When shopping, we can make a difference in the effect we have on the environment or not. So when choosing your gifts for others, think about what impact they make on mother nature. Is the brand conscious about sustainability? Buying Australian made is a great start as generally the fuel emissions and therefore the carbon footprint would be lower. Also, products using recycled materials in their packaging is a positive reason to choose one brand over another. That’s why we think our Oscar Amherst candles which are handmade candles made here in Australia with recycled packaging is are positive and considered gifts for candle lovers.
6. Make Sure you Buy in time for Xmas
Another important shopping tip is to allow enough time for your online orders to arrive before Christmas. All companies will outline their leadtimes, but nearer to Christmas it is better to allow for more time so you are not dissappointed. At Oscar Amherst and other companies, it usually takes 3-5 days for local deliveries for the busy Christmas period they suggest to allow 7 working days just in case, and at least 3-4 weeks of anything that you are getting from overseas - unless they have a guarantee delivery service to Australia, or you are happy to pay a lot for express delivery.
7. Wrap with Love
Just like dressing up for those we love, our gift wrapping says everything about the way we feel about the other person. A gift given in a plastic bag can indicate a lack of care. Make the packaging something special. Many keep gift paper and ribbon from their gifts to recycle which is great, and this can be done well. Others like to buy a themed paper design and ribbon and decoration, which is used for all their gifts, which can save money if the wrapping is bought in bulk. It can look so effective when you come through the door with baskets of presents in the same wrap design. For others, the wrapping and card can become something they can create themselves or with their children and is a beautiful personal touch. Always take time to write your thoughts on the card. People can tell if a note is written with care and if comes from the heart. Some gift packaging is so beautiful in itself it may only need a ribbon and card added to make it complete like our first limited edition Christmas scented candle "All I Want", which is a great Christmas gift candle. The packaging is so festive and fresh, and the candle gift box has a beautiful burst of green fireworks as its design, just is the perfect Christmas holiday candle.
This then wraps up our tips for shopping for Christmas this year. It has been a devastating year for most of us, and if any Christmas means more to us as a family, as a community, and a nation, it must be this one. Let’s make it a great one and at Oscar Amherst, we are here to make your Australian Christmas special.
Hopefully our Christmas shopping guide helped you! Check our range of scented Christmas candles at www.oscaramherst.com and wrap up your Christmas list today.