It’s that time of year again. Christmas and all that comes with it is drawing ever closer: cosy (if perhaps a tad high octane?) festive fun with loved ones, all manner of celebrations including those office parties, indulgence in delicious seasonal treats, ice skating, winter fairs and of course – deep breath now – gift buying. 

Think about how you buy, as much as you think about what you need to buy. 

There’s no denying it; gifting can at times be scary and incredibly unfun. The anxiety of battling crowds with a list as long as your arm and absolutely no idea what they want or where to start can be overwhelming. Fear not, this year things are going to be different. 

The best place to start your thinking is our Christmas Shop, but we’d also recommend keeping an eye out on our social media for lots of other help and hints. We wrote this guide way back in 2017, but we think the method still stands. Here is our guide to help you shop for gifts the BuyMeOnce way. 

Think beyond Christmas

Shops heavily promote seasonal gadgetry and novelty items aplenty this time of year. Try to resist. These items have a limited lifespan and are by and large pretty generic. Think beyond festive celebrations, and invest in gifts that are beautifully crafted and made to last. These are much more likely to be lovingly appreciated and add meaningful value to everyday life for generations to come.


Don’t Panic

Don’t wait until Christmas Eve to start your shopping. This is sure-fire shortcut to a spiral of anxiety. Give yourself time, avoid the panic and enjoy what you’re doing. Giving a great gift can be a joyous experience – try not to lose sight of that! Small or large, the best gifts mean something to the recipient. These are the ones that will stand the test of time and will not immediately appear in the local charity shop. As stress levels heighten, the danger of the panic purchase increases. We spend money on things we’re not sure about and haven’t thoughtfully considered, so we have something to gift wrap and offer. This, BuyMeOnce-ers, does not a good gift make. A little calm preparation will help you avoid disastrous panic shopping. 


Be thoughtful

List things that your gift recipients are interested in and jot down ideas ahead of your shopping excursion. Think about what they might need. Have they just moved house? Maybe they’ve recently started school/college/university? Do they have a new job? Even if you don’t have a detailed picture of their day-to-day life, asking yourself these questions will help you build a list of items that could offer great value and happiness. Opt for something that you yourself would be happy to receive. If you are buying something for a child – try to tap into the child you! As I said at the top, what you buy is only part of the challenge, it’s about how you buy for them.


Create a budget

Remember that list – the one as long as your arm? Give yourself a budget and you’ll avoid the anxiety of extreme costs and seasonal gift recipient resentment. To help you with this task, we’ve selected a great range of gifts under £20 on our website, so you can shop happily with the knowledge that you’re being mindful of your budget.




From me and the rest of the BuyMeOnce team, I hope you have a safe and gorgeous Christmas.

Still looking for more ideas of how to approach your gift giving? The wonderful Tara Button has also shared some tips of her own below. 

November 11, 2019 — Lily Courtauld