The Day of Giving – A Gift Giving Guide
So, it's that time of year again?
The scent of peppermint is in the air, your Neohome is trimmed gracefully with garland, the trees outside sparkle with faerie lights and your hands are warmed by a mug of fresh borovan...
You take a sip of that malty asparagus flavoured liquid paradise but almost spit it out as you realise that you've forgotten the most important of all The Day of Giving traditions! Gifts! Oh no!
Well, dear festive spirit, never fear as I am here this year to guide you through the pleasure and process of selecting the most perfect gifts for your loved ones!
Step 1: The Gift Recipient List
You will need to create a list. Yes, that's right, Mr or Mrs Lazy. You need to put some thought into this, so hop to! Grab yourself a piece of paper and a trusty old pen.
Write down, in no particular order at all, everyone you wish to send gifts to this year. Think a while on this step as you do not want to miss anyone! You may even like to give gifts to your very enemies! This sounds ridiculous, I know, but it's the holiday season and wouldn't it be nice for everyone to get along? Yes, yes it would.
Right, so you've written down everyone you wish to give a pressie this year. Your parents, grandparents, sisters, brothers, cousins, friends, neopets, petpets, petpetpets, Sloth, Fyora, the magical blue discarded plushie (seriously, that guy deserves a present, he gives away so much free stuff all year round!).
Step 2 : Budget
The second step to gift giving is to set yourself a budget.
If you're a multibillionaire Neopian, you may just like to skip this step entirely and go to town without a budget in mind at all, but for the rest of you average Joes and Janes this step is probably going to be a pretty important one, so give it some thought.
Now you may like to do this in two ways. I prefer the second method myself, but rich or poor, everyone has a preference. So here are the two ways on figuring out your budget. You can either:
a) Decide on an appropriate amount of Neopoints to spend on each person, count up how many people you're buying for, and multiply the per-person-amount by that number.
b) OR you could decide on an appropriate amount to spend in TOTAL on gifts for The Day of Giving first and then divide that total amount by the number of people you are gifting to this year.
You will have to decide which one of the above will work best for you. As I am pretty low on NP I usually go with b) because I already know around about how much I can afford to dish out for presents.
The third step is almost as important as the two previous steps because you don't want to go shopping blind. If you go shopping without a properly thought out idea in mind about what you'd like to get for the people on your list you will most likely 1. Blow your budget and 2. Give your friends and family completely useless or oddly random gifts. Both of these can be avoided by following through with this next key step.
Step 3: BRAINSTORM
You will need to think about the people on your gift list and consider their interests, what they already own, what they need, what they'd like, any hints of gifts they really want this year and anything else you can think of that might factor into finding a gift to match them perfectly. Think about it this way, you wouldn't want to match pink polka dots to a green and blue argyle sweater, would you? Ok, maybe you would; I admit it does sound like an interesting outfit.
Maybe not the best example. The point is, you'd like for your gift to be a memorable one that your gift recipient won't feel bad about receiving. Do you really want to see that 'oh you shouldn't have' fake smile on your Blumaroo's face? No. Do you really want your Skeith to turn his nose up at that pink Sweetheart Ball Gown you spent weeks trying to trade for? No. So make sure you brainstorm, and if you get stuck try and investigate your gift recipient a little before you decide on a gift to give them. Subtly ask them questions that could lead to gift inspiration, like, what do you like to do in your free time? Do you play any sports? Would you like to go to the craft store sometime? What do you want for The Day of Giving this year? Alright alright, maybe not that last one.
After you have spent some time noting down your ideas and thoughts you may think that it's time to put your list into action. Well, not quite, my friend; there is still one more step before the practical!
Step 4: Where?
Have a think about where you will be able to purchase your gifts. The Neopian Food Shop might not be the best place to look for a new petpet for your beloved Draik, just like how the NC Mall wouldn't be a good place to find your battledome enthusiast a few new codestones.
Use your common sense when it comes to this step because if you don't you may not end up finding that perfect gift for your pets, friends and family. Or if you do, it may take you twice as long! The Day of Giving is a very celebrated occasion and every boy and girl and their Lupe will be out and about searching for the perfect presents, you will want to do your shopping in as little time as possible to avoid the crowds and brawls at The Neopian Toy Shop!
Step 5: Shop!
Now, the moment you have all been waiting for! Fold up your list, put it in your pocket and make sure it is followed by your purse or wallet because you will be needing that NP/NC very soon!
Head on down to The Market, The Neopian Bazar, NC Mall, where ever / whatever you wrote down for Step 4, and get those gifts!
You may be breathing a sigh of relief right about now but I must stop you there. We're not quite done yet. Yes, the above is a brilliantly great awesometastic guide that should be able to get you through the gift giving process with minimal embarrassment, but there are a few tips and tricks that need to be shared with you before you go. Here they are:
a. Don't spend over what your budget allows.
b. Do your Day of Giving shopping a few weeks in advance (if you can) to avoid out of stock gift idea catastrophes.
c. Be confident in your gifts; it may not have cost the world, but if you followed the steps above, you put a lot of thought into that gift and everybody knows that it's the thought that counts!
d. Try to give without expectations. You may or may not get a gift in return.
e. Don't worry. If you can't afford a gift you can wrap and put a bow on, give a smile or a few kind words this year! Sometimes those kind of gifts are the ones people cherish the most.
Be sure to have a very happy Day of Giving and a most wonderful New Years!
Merry Day of Giving!