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Top 10 Gift Ideas for the Holidays

By  Justin Carreiro     9:32 AM    Labels:,,,,,,,,,, 
The holidays are upon us and the shopping season is in full gear. There are those that wait until the last minute to make their holiday purchases, but I am no procrastinator. I have to get the gifts before Christmas Day so that I can ensure that those closest to me will have their presents. I've thought long and hard about the Top 10 things people should get for the holidays. Let's start with #10:

10. Gift Cards and Certificates
People may perceive this gift as passé and boring. Sometimes it is just really hard to find the perfect gift for that special person. A traditional staple is to get them a gift card or certificate for their favourite store(s) so that they can choose what they want.

I have a bias with an important issue regarding this gift. DO NOT: get a gift card/certificate to the mall. The card screams that you have no idea about their style and what they like. If you choose to go down this route of gifts, make the effort to at least figure out what they would like.

9. Food: Chocolate, Gingerbread, and Champagne/Wine
Food, technically, shouldn't be a gift that you give as their sole holiday present. However, people have provided it as a basis for a quaint offering. Stick with the traditional basics like FERRERO ROCHER® and POT OF GOLD when giving someone chocolate. Gingerbread men are delicious and instantly bring up the image of the holidays; creating a gingerbread house for that person is going a step too far. For adults and people over the drinking age, wine and champagne are a great idea.

8. Jewelry
This type of gift is presented to only those who mean a great deal of significance to the purchaser. There are gimmick-y gifts that people buy for each other like style jewelry such as headbands, plastic rings, "gold" necklaces and de-valued charm bracelets. However, the important factor to realize is that if the person is of true value to the heart, a significant and particular gift purchased from high-end stores does matter. Even antique stores can provide great finds for rings

7. Clothes
We all need clothes to function. It's a natural part of life, except for you naturalists who like to live free to the breeze. My lists are going to include such stores as H&M, American Apparel, Le Chateau, Gap, and Urban Behaviour. A special note to parents: while clothes are important gifts, please do not purchase only clothes for your children like socks, pajamas and underwear. Trust me, you will see the disappointment on their faces and that frown won't go away.

6. DVDs, CDs and Video Games
I consider these types of gifts like tree stuffers compared to stocking stuffers. There is always a favourite movie, video game, CD, TV DVD, and electronic disk that people will purchase. Just make sure that people do not get you more of the same item because chances are you're not going to use both copies.

5. Money
It's simple. It's quick. It has no real thought. It's perfect! Nobody will turn down money for the holidays because there are a million uses. Boxing Day is still a huge shopping attraction in Canada so having disposable income to shop is key. The reason this is higher on the list than gift cards/certificates is because that you may not choose the best location for where the card can be used. Just having money and a touching card with inspirational messages can mean a lot to someone.

4. Donations
When you want to give someone the joy of receiving a gift and something for the holidays but no one to give it to, make a donation to an important charity or cause. People are selfless during the season so maybe an option would be to make a small donation to an important cause that interests them. Also, someone once mentioned that if you made a donation then you might receive an ornament as a sign of your contribution.

3. Furniture, Decorations and Appliances
These can be expensive gifts. Home decor pieces like art, carpets, vases, and statues are great ideas; however, taste is a determining factor if they really like the gift at all. Furniture should ONLY be a gift from family-to-family. The best option in this category will be the cooking appliances because people like to pretend that they are the next Rachel Ray or Jamie Oliver.

2. Electronic Devices
I lean more to this department when I think of things that I want for the holiday season. These are incredibly expensive so if you are going to be purchasing products like the iPad, iPod Touch, BlackBerry, computers, laptops, and/or an iPhone 4 then be prepared to pay a lot. A new item to get would be an Android phone like my friend Zaira constantly recommends as a great phone to purchase or the Xbox Kinect as a new video gaming addition to have as the must-have item.

1. Family and Friends 
We can all think about what we want to have under the tree or what we want to give someone but let's face it, no matter how we feel about them...we want to spend the holidays with family. To think about how people are separated by cities because of work or other important issues is depressing. Maybe take a trip home to spend a couple of days with family and friends, it will cheer up your season and remind you of what is truly important instead of material gifts.

Just remember the important ones this holiday season and not to blow your entire financial budget. Gifts are nice to have but being able to pay for a day-to-day life should be the top thing on your mind. Don't spend thousands of dollars on yourself if you really don't need to be purchasing gifts. Make each gift matter and remember: Happy Holidays.

About Justin Carreiro

Justin is a longtime TV buff and gamer. He loves chatting about shows, playing video and board games, and his not-so-secret love for reality tv. He is also a fan of horror movies, music and a bookworm at heart. He spends his time in Toronto working in PR and Social Media.


  1. Improv Toronto has a pretty cool idea where you give gifts to strangers! Maybe that could be on your list here too! I love the fact that you put this up, it's given me a few ideas now! :) Thanks!

  2. I disagree. I would MUCH rather get a gift card then clothes that 1) don't fit or 2) aren't my style.

    And how come money is more "okay" then a gift card to a mall? I think that's wayyyyy less personal then a gift card.

  3. So right Biotch! I HATE it when people give me clothes that I dont like! I do like money so youre on your own there