The Gift Wish List – How to Get Your Friends to Buy You Presents You Want

Whether it’s for Christmas, Valentine’s Day or a birthday, we’ve all received gifts that we’d rather not have – from granny-style cardigans to last year’s wooden wedge heels. In fact, it’s likely that everyone has a mental wish list of gifts that that gets a little longer as the days go by – but how can you make that gift list shorter when people seem to insist on buying you presents that you don’t like? Never fear: with a little careful manoeuvring, you’ll be able to convince your friends and family to get you the gifts of your dreams without actually ever having to explicitly ask.

Firstly, never underestimate the power of dropping discreet hints into a conversation. For example, if you’re out shopping with your friends and you see a handbag or a piece of jewellery you like, make your feelings known. Then, next time you see them, remind them of how much you liked said handbag or jewellery and, if they’re paying attention, they’re sure to get the message. By the same token, if you’ve recently found a new shop or online store whose products you adore, tell your friends about it. The likelihood is that they’re visit the site or shop there themselves and, while buying new things for themselves, find something that you’ll love too.

Getting your family to buy you the ideal present could be a little tougher. If you’re married or have older children, enthusing about a particular dress that you “absolutely love but feel guilty about buying” could be the way to get your spouse and kids to take notice.

Your parents or your siblings, on the other hand, could prove problematic. After a lifetime of buying you gifts every year, they may be suffering from a lack of inspiration or simply relying on gift vouchers to make sure they’ve done their part. But next time they’re at your house, or you’re visiting theirs, try pointing out household and garden items that you’ve taken a particular shine to, and mention similar things that you’ve seen around the shops. If you’re lucky, you’ll get that designer deckchair or mahogany bookcase you’ve had your heart set on for months.

Of course, in order to expect amazing gifts, you need to be able to give them. It’s more than likely that if you give your friends and family the gifts you know they want, they’ll do the same for you. And if you’re really looking to set high standards, make sure you opt for a more unique approach to gift-buying. The vast number of specialist online retail stores means that you’ll be able to ditch traditional high street offerings and instead find personalised gifts that will suit your loved ones to a tee. Whether it’s a one-off jacket or a one-of-a-kind stationary set, personalised presents won’t just show people that you care but that you listen.

More sophisticated personalised gift sites even let you compile that secret mental gift wish list in material form – and allow you to make that public to your friends if you wish! This can be particularly handy around Christmas, when people find it hard to remember what their nearest and dearest want. It’s also a great way to give your partner a nudge in the right direction on Valentine’s Day.

But however you choose to go about getting the presents you want, remember that the direct approach might not always be the best approach – and that giving good presents will likely increase the quality of those you receive!