For many of us, Christmas gift shopping has become more of a nightmare than a series of pleasant excursions to the local malls and shopping venues. Gone are the days when you’d browse the shops for prettily packaged soaps and bath salts, the latest bestsellers, or next year’s calendar or diary. Christmas gift shopping has become more complicated for a number of reasons:

1. Christmas is now big business.

When I was a child, people could anticipate finding an acceptable Christmas gift for under $20. Books, stationary products and bathroom gift packages were always good choices if you didn’t have the knowledge (or the budget) to buy someone what they really wanted. Everyone seemed pleased by these simple gifts and no one was left seriously in debt after their Christmas shopping spree.

The nature of Christmas Promotional Items has changed over the years from small generic items to more specific choices. Children are given the latest must-have toys, while both teens and adults often receive gadgets and appliances such as ipods, mobile phones, cameras, computers, sound systems and televisions. The cost of the average gift has risen substantially, with the result that we’re are often faced with large credit card bills after loading up our cards with Christmas gift purchases.

2. Most people already own whatever they need.

In the age of ready credit, most people tend to buy things as they need them. We’re not necessarily talking about big ticket items like cars or big-screen televisions, but items like technology, household items, appliances and clothing. Children and teenagers from upper middle class families seem to be especially well equipped with “toys” of all kinds. As for adults, as long as they’re making good money, they tend not to skimp on life’s little luxuries (as well as necessities), so you’re often hard-pressed to find a gift that they’d actually want but haven’t already bought.

3. Most people have very specific preferences.

Even with small items you can run into problems:


  • Does the book lover in your family already own the latest bestseller? Has he or she moved on from reading legal thrillers to spy novels? The same questions apply to DVDs.
  • Do the women in your family still wear the same perfume, or have they chosen a new favorite scent?
  • If someone uses a calendar or a diary, what type do they prefer? Many people like a specific size or page layout and won’t use a calendar or diary that is different.

No matter what the item, do you know the brand or label someone prefers? Most of us are very clear on what we like so it’s a waste of your money to buy something that doesn’t fit that category.

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