GEM Recommends:
Perfectly Practical Gift Giving!

The holidays are fast approaching – and that means open season in the shopping market. Everywhere around you, shops are putting up sales signs, companies are throwing huge budgets behind their advertisements and the holiday spirit – a mixture of eggnog and marketing slogans – is thick and heavy on Main Street. And why shouldn’t it be – the Yuletide is a time of over three trillion dollars in retail sales.

For the customer, that means it’s time for the annual question – “what should I be buying for Christmas?” But wait! Don’t panic! It’s easy to look out the window and feel the pressure dangling over you like a Damoclean blade, ready to snap in three weeks and change. But thankfully, this is the age of the Internet and ideas lurk around every corner. Just look to retailers like Lumens for your holiday gift guide inspiration – from curiosities to practicalities, there’s more than enough out there for you to find just the right thing for your friends and loved ones.

If you’re still at a loss, take a step back and realize making the right choice is just a matter of following a couple basic, simple tips.



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There’s a reason simple gifts often make the best ones – they’re hard to mess up and often come straight from the heart. Simplicity appeals in ways intricacy and complexity don’t, because simple designs often lead us to impose our own thoughts and tastes on what is otherwise a reflective design, and that makes for a great gift. It doesn’t matter whether or not you know the tastes and preferences of every one of your friends or relatives to a tee. What matters is that you’ve taken the time to understand something they’d like and not overcomplicating it.

Staying classy is important as well. If you’re not sure what you should be getting your friends and family for Christmas, then you can’t go wrong with something elegant. You don’t necessarily have to come up with original ideas – you can replace old keepsakes, in buying a modern coffee set made of copper and brass, or replacing your uncle’s old cigar box with a new, mahogany-built and engraved case.


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It’s a timeless fact – the gift one can use is the best gift to give. Although some people love their superficial artefacts more than others, ultimately no one can resist the lure of something practical and beautiful to boot. Chefs love good knives with high-quality German or Japanese steel. Or a cutting board that isn’t ready for replacement in two or three months. Or an innovative plating set for better presentation of their dishes.

Writers like things to write with. Even those who work on novels and short stories from their weary keyboard can’t say no to a beautifully bound notebook and classic fountain pen. Painters would love a set of naturally-pigmented oil paints or watercolours, while someone doing free-running or weightlifting wouldn’t say no to a pair of minimalist sports shoes.

You don’t have to go straight for someone’s absolute biggest passion, but it’ll mean more to the person that you took the time to think about what they’d not only like, but use. A new kettle for the tea-lover, an elegant cognac glass for the connoisseur, a 19th century shaving kit for the resident man’s man – these are the kinds of gifts people don’t forget, and if you know where to look, you won’t be punishing your wallet for other people’s tastes, either.



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Your best bet for finding great gifts is online. It’s safe, simple, and if you’re buying locally , shipping should be rather minimal, if not free. That, and retailers online are abundant and extremely competitive – it’s an easy market to enter, but a hard one to dominate, and that’s good for customers on the look-out for great deals and opportunities for a perfect gift.

And the stats confirm it! Get this: Statista reports that Black Friday sales were up over a 150 million dollars over last year, for a total of 1.6 billion dollars. Couple that with the fact that Americans are looking to spend $830 on average this Christmas – up from $720, according to a Gallup poll – and it’s clear the economy is more than ready for the Christmas season.

Hang around general retailers and you might find something you know your dad would like, or a little something your mom would adore. A gift for your siblings, a present for your cousins, and that one thing that can’t help but remind you of the love of your life. At the end of the day Christmas isn’t about the gifts, but the caring and reminiscing of time spent together. So get out there, take your pick, and don’t overthink it!

So who’s the hard-to-shop for person on your Christmas list?