Unusual Christmas gifts: It’s time to shock the family

By Isabelle Coetzee

We all have relatives who shrug impassively and tell us to just get them socks for Christmas. They already have everything they need, and they can afford anything they desire.

So how can we ensure they experience the joy and wonder of receiving a fantastic gift this festive season? Only two types of gifts remain: the thoughtful gift, which will make them feel warm inside, and the quirky gift, which will put a grin on their face all evening.

It doesn’t matter how capable someone is, no-one can give themselves either of these – it must come from someone else. Choosing a thoughtful gift can, however, be challenging.

According to Real Simple, thoughtful gift givers embody the following seven habits:

  • They plan: They don’t wait until the last moment to run to the store. Instead, they take time to consider the person they intend to surprise, and they let an idea develop in the back of their minds.
  • They make gifts personal: When you receive a gift from a thoughtful gift giver, you immediately feel as though they truly know you. They listened to the remark you made a few months back about wanting a see-through teapot and they considered what you might need for your upcoming trip to Egypt.
  • They enjoy giving more than receiving: Studies have shown that people receive more joy from giving than they do from receiving gifts. This is particularly true for thoughtful gift givers who put everything they have into choosing the perfect present.
  • They can also get crafty: Thoughtful gift givers are happy to build, compile, and create a gift from scratch. From repurposing old materials to professionally constructing something new, they are always ready to go the extra mile.
  • They consider the presentation: It’s not just about the gift, but also the way in which it is delivered. These nifty gift givers often create treasure hunts, triple wrap a small present, or place toilet rolls around a book so that you won’t be able to guess what’s inside. Sometimes a simple gift can become thoughtful because of its delivery.
  • They’re not afraid to ask: It’s not easy to plan multiple gifts, and there’s usually one person you struggle to find something for. So why not just ask? Sometimes this is the best way to get them something they actually want.

But this final suggestion also brings us back to the age-old problem of the perpetual “sock request”. If the above suggestions still leave you perplexed, and asking the person doesn’t get you anywhere, then it might be time to consider getting them the quirky gift.

This is basically any gift that will simply put a smile on their faces, or give them a fun or odd activity to do during the holidays.

Here’s a list of suggestions, their prices, and where you can find them:

Speciality Appliances: What’s more exciting than a chocolate fountain on the dining room table, or homemade candy floss for the kids to enjoy during a movie? These appliances are fun and can involve the whole family on Christmas day. The person who receives it can enjoy leading the project, and they can amuse themselves with how these treats are made.

Pet Accessories: If the person you’re trying to choose a gift for has a furry friend, consider giving them a fun pet accessory. Nothing will make them laugh more than seeing their beloved Garfield hop around in mittens.

Helpful Books: Grabbing your loved one’s attention with a comedic title about something they experience daily can be a lot of fun. From hilarious “how to..” guides to laughable colouring-in books, books may not be the “boring gift” you remember as a child.

Smartphone Gadgets: Looking to please your tech-savvy sibling with an interesting gift? Surprise them with a special microscope they can place on their cellphone, or a projector they can use to share visuals from their smartphone.

What on earth is this?! Perhaps you’d like to take the unusual a step further and shock your family with a board game where you eat fried worms, or a two-piece suit made out of bubble-wrap for everyone present. These are the perfect gifts to create the most memorable holiday pictures!

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