Thinking of buying Aunt Norma some anti-wrinkle skincare cream? Perhaps you should think again. Giving a loved one a beautifully wrapped, thoughtfully selected gift should be a joyous occasion, though sadly that may not always be the case. What might have started out as a well-intentioned present could land you in hot water. Here are our top tips to avoid causing offence:
Put yourself in their shoes
What would your immediate reaction be if on Christmas morning, you unwrapped a jar of ‘forever young’ moisturiser? Chances are you wouldn’t gleefully exclaim “Oh how kind!”, but instead question how old you were looking, and whether you should skip going out at all. Take a moment to consider how a gift might make you feel if you were the recipient; if that reaction isn’t a good one then it’s time to have a rethink. However, don’t be afraid to give otherwise potentially offensive gifts if they’ve asked for them specifically, or if you know they’ll be much appreciated.
Just because you know someone always wears a certain fragrance, that doesn’t necessarily mean they want more of the same. Perhaps they are desperately hoping for a change and each year predictable Santa pops down the chimney and delivers the same old, same old! If you know someone like a particular perfume or aftershave with musk undertones, do your homework and search out alternative musk scents. Playing safe is just that: sometimes you need to take a risk.
Does the person you’re buying for wear rubber gloves?!
Yes it is a strange question, but seriously, do they don rubber gloves to tackle the dishes after a Sunday roast? If so, there’s probably a very good reason why. An increasing number of the UK population suffers from minor skin irritations, meaning that highly fragranced bubble bath or soap is either going to be ‘re-gifted’ next year or go straight into the charity shop bag. A good alternative might be fragrance-free or hypoallergenic items. You could also consider getting them an intensive hand moisturising cream. Keep it under your hat, but a surprising number of men keep secret stash of hand cream in their desk drawer or glove box.
Don’t buy separate fragrance, body wash and moisturiser
Whilst you may think that wrapping lots of little presents to open is a nice thing, they may actually convey the wrong message. ‘Smellies’ make a lovely gifts, but pop more than one in someone’s stocking and you’re in danger of implying “You stink!”. Why not opt for a gift set instead? You’ll be able to present them with a stunningly packaged box and probably save yourself money too – it’s a win-win situation!
No-one wants to cry over the tinsel and turkey, so take heed of our advice and make sure you send lots of Christmas spirit rather than dodgy gifts. If you need some inspiration, browse through our Christmas shop to ensure your Christmas won’t go ho, ho, horribly wrong.