So, we’ve covered how to jazz up last year’s Christmas party outfit with some sparkly goodness enabling you to happily get away with wearing it again, but how about the inevitable dilemma of the dreaded Secret Santa? It’s all very well if you pull out the name of someone you know and love, but the likelihood is you probably won’t, and that mild stirring of panic will set in as you trawl the internet desperately searching for something unique and interesting that slips snugly into the under £5 bracket (which is no mean feat these days).
In 2014, Professor Karen Pine of the University of Hertfordshire was commissioned by Debenhams to come up with the perfect formula for present buying, and we think it might just help (although it will rely on a little bit of undercover observation of the intended receiver!).
(Lx2) + O = E2 – PD + EM = PP
(Listening x2) + Observation = Effort – Personal Desire + Empathy = The Perfect Present. Simple!
Listening + Observation: What are they into? Any hobbies they might have mentioned in passing? How old are they? Are they married? Kids? If in doubt, you could always ask a colleague who knows them, but you’ll be amazed what you can pick up by just quietly observing from afar, even if it’s as simple as the colours they’re drawn to.
Effort 2: This is the hard one when it comes to Secret Santa. So stressed out are you by the rapidly expanding To Do list, the Secret Santa slips to the bottom, until distribution day when you find yourself rushing out in the morning tea break to the local Newsagents to grab a box of chocolates. If you achieve the (Lx2) + O, you can avoid this altogether as you’ll be prepared, probably with more than one idea bubbling away, so the E2 (‘2’ as in extra effort) will be more like just plain old E!
PD: This is a crucial one and applies to all gifting. Take your own likes and desires out of the equation and just focus on the Lx2 + O. No matter how small, an accurate observation can deliver a gift that means something to the receiver rather than something you think they’ll like because you do.
EM: Once you’ve observed, listened, and removed your own desires, just throw in a little empathy. This is a harder ask when it comes to colleagues, but it’s not impossible. Are they generally relaxed, or is stress more their style? Do they walk into a room and hold court, or remain on the edge with a cup of tea? Try putting yourself in their shoes, even if you can only do this in a work capacity. Understanding a little of what makes your recipient tick will help massively when it comes to committing to a gift.
Aside from helping you to buy a better Secret Santa, this easy little thought process will allow you to get to know the recipient better too, so it’s a win win, and how chuffed will they be when they realize there has even been a thought process! Of course this formula works for all gift buying, but we’re particularly focusing here on the £5 and under.
From sparkling Sequin Heart and Star keyrings to beautiful bookmarks, bracelets, anklets and rings. There’s also our Bees Bracelets where you get a biodegradable pot of wild flower seeds to go with it. Just sprinkle them in a garden or into a pot, and let Mother Nature do her thing.
For us Disco Fairies, the idea of giving a comedy gift that will never see the light of day beyond the initial reveal, and is likely to only end up in landfill, is something to be avoided this year, so hopefully now we’ve given you a few tools to help you do just that.
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