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Last year, I moved from overseas back to Australia four days before Christmas. It was a challenging time! It meant I had to cram all my Christmas shopping in the hours leading up to the special day. I am usually much more organised but circumstances didn’t allow that last year. However, this year I have started my shopping already and there are a few different ways I stay on top of the gift buying so it’s not left to the last minute and I’ll share them here.
Officeworks is one of the shops I always visit for Christmas shopping. The gifts I enjoy buying most are put together with the person in mind. So it might not simply be just one thing, but a collection of items that will be used and enjoyed. Officeworks always have many interesting, useful and lovely gift ideas that help me build gifts. This year, they have launched an Officeworks Christmas Gift Selector to help you find a gift according to the personality of the person you’re buying for. They have identified six ‘Imagineers’ and curated products to inspire the imagination of each of them. This fits perfectly into how I do my Christmas shopping and I’ll explain how.
1. Start early
It’s not always possible, but I have found starting early a good way to keep the stress out of the last week before Christmas.
2. Write a list
Before I go shopping, I write a list of all the people I need to buy for according to family groups, making note of people who live away.
3. Brainstorm ideas before you shop
This is the biggest help! Before I go to the shops or look online, I do a little brainstorming next to each name with general ideas of what they may like. It’s not a fixed idea, but rather a guide. Otherwise, I feel too overwhelmed.
I’ll draw out two people as an example:
About: My friend runs her own business doing music classes for children in Brisbane called Making Rainbows.
She loves: travel, bags, stationery and humour
About: She is always drawing! We have books and books filled with her doodles from over the years. She says it helps her feel calm.
She loves: drawing, art and reading
The Officeworks Christmas Gift Selector tool is great for inspiration. Below are a few examples of gift ideas for each of the six ‘Imagineers’;
- Creative – Colouring Pack, Fuji Instax Mini 8 Camera and Dot to Dot Colouring Book Tranquillity
- Music – UE Boom 2 Portable Speaker, Beats Studio Wireless Headphones and Bush Dab+ Retro Style Digital Radio
- On The Go – Garmin Vivofit 3 Activity Tracker Regular, Qudo Bluetooth On Ear Headphones and Burrows Recycled Laptop Backpack ?
- Tech – Livescribe 3 Smartpen, Google Chromecast 2 and GoPro Hero4 Session Waterproof Action Camera
- Expressive – Studio oh! Leatheresque Journal, Otto Stationery Gift Set Pink and Studio Oh! Desktop Art Print
- Little People – Crayola Art Set 51 Piece Scarlet, Yoobi Mini Stationery Set and iPad mini 2 Wi-Fi 32GB
My best friend fit in the ‘expressive’ category and my daughter, ‘creative’.
After I have written my list and done a bit of brainstorming, I head to the shops. Below is a vlog of my day Christmas shopping.
I snapped some gift ideas as I was walking around my local Officeworks.
The find I was most excited about was when I was looking through the gift guide online first, and then later at the shops. Faber Castell do manga pen sets! This is the style my daughter enjoys adopting and she is going to LOVE these pens. I’ll go into more details further below about the gift I put together for her.
Here’s an idea: put together a design-your-own journal pack as a cute gift. Include a blank journal, pens, washi tape, stickers and markers.
I had a look inside this Rate Your Day Diary and there’s a star system and a few lines for each day.
These drumstick pens made me laugh. They come in both a pen and pencil option.
Otto packaged gift for stationery lovers.
Perfect for the person who carries their iPad around, this elegant Nifteen case doubles as a clutch.
I have the same model of camera (Panasonic Lumix FT25) at home and it’s a handy (and durable) one for kids.
So, what did I end up buying for my best friend and daughter?
My Best Friend
I mentioned that my best friend runs a business and she loves stationery, so I put together a stationery pack in gold and black by designer Jonathan Alder, and also a bag tag for her next travelling adventure.
I was thinking about my daughter and how she likes to draw. She draws when she’s out and about, and in her room too. I put together a pack for her with specialised manga pens and anime pencils, an organiser box for her room, mini manikin for designing paper clothes, a colouring book, and two art journal pads: one smaller to pop in her bag when she goes out and a larger one for home. I’m so excited about this gift – she is going to love it!
One last tip I would mention is to wrap gifts as you go. I do this as I purchase gifts and put them under the Christmas tree. They look so pretty! The only gifts I don’t put under the tree are for my kids. They go up in my cupboard so there’s no peeking.
While at the shops grab:
- Wrapping paper
- Sticky tape
- Gift tags
- Ribbon or washi tape
I often do bows and the ribbon look with washi tape as shown below. The good thing about this style is the tape rips with the paper so there’s no struggling with ribbon and it’s super easy to stick it on the package. Bows are a little more challenging and I have tutorials on how to do this here: Washi Tape Wrapping Ideas
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
Try the Officeworks Christmas Gift Selector tool for gift inspiration.