I don't know about you, but I'm sick and tired of wasting hours and hours of my life on gift shopping. It's not that I don't enjoy giving people gifts because I do, but I resent how long it takes.
Those of you that will understand this the most are the people that have gift responsilities that involve entire families. I love my neices, I love my nephews, I adore all 11 of them, but in the 15 years since we all started having babies and the babies got added on top of the parents gifts, my gift buying responsibilities have soured to painful proportions.
They hurt my pocket and even worse they hurt my time. Time is precious to all of us, few of us feel that we have enough leisure time to fully enjoy our lives, and gift shopping is just one more time vampire stopping us from having fun.
What makes it all even more unsurmountable is that we buy gifts all year long for birthday's and then it's groundhog day for Christmas, when we have to buy the same set of people gifts all over again, but this time ALL AT ONCE.
How to save time
Sure we can spread our gift shopping over an entire year and that's advisable as described in my "Tips To Avoid Last Minute Gift Shopping" guide but for those of us with large gift lists it still amounts to an insane amount of gift purchasing over the year.
I have some ideas and they're going to save you hours and hours of time, indeed it's entirely possible you could complete your entire years worth of shopping in just one hour.
Now these ideas involve clustering groups of families together and purchasing a gift for the entire family, and with this aim it means that these tips will save you time on your Christmas gift shopping, as that's the only time of year when everyone gets their gifts at the same time.
You might be thinking "Hey, this only covers Christmas, what a rip off guide", but bear in mind that Christmas amounts for 50% of your gift purchases each year, and if you have a gift list of say 20 people or worse, you're going to save tons of time with these ideas.
With these ideas instead of buying say five individual gifts for one family (and wrapping them!) you get to buy one gift. Can you imagine how much time it will save you to buy 3 gifts for three families, instead of say 15 gifts for three families?
The object here isn't to save money, if you normally spend say £20 per person, spend the same amount of money still (so if that's your budget, we're talking about £100 for a family of five) but compile into one absolutely amazing gift that the entire family can enjoy.
The gift will be so amazing that no one is going to feel ripped off, it will be clear that the gift spend was substantial and you've simply had a really cool idea to get them a combined gift.
Don't worry if you spend more than £20 per person, or less than £20 per person (or if your family gifts need to be for more or less people than five) my ideas are going to range between approx £45 and £160 so that it covers a range of family gift spend budgets and family sizes.
Family Gift Ideas For All Budgets
A movie projector - who doesn't enjoy watching movies? No one is the answer, no one. It's a fantastic activity for the entire family to enjoy together.
High quality projectors range in price from £43.00 and upwards, meaning you can easily find a great projector to match your shopping budget. Don't worry if the recipient hasn't got a projector screen, all they need is a clear wall in a pale colour. If you really want to impress you could always buy them a screen too.
National Trust Membership - The National Trust own hundreds of properties around the UK. Membership will offer your giftees unlimited access to wonderful houses (many featuring art collections and shops) gardens and lakes for an entire year, providing them with countless low cost family days out. Family Membership for 2 adults and up to 10 children or grandchildren, is just £111.00 for a year.
Check out English Heritage too, which I believe is slightly cheaper, they're a similar foundation to National Trust.
A Happy Machine - What family wouldn't smile at the sight of this snow cone/slushie machine? A great budget option at just £50.00 including postage, and fantastic for family parties and gatherings.
Game For Saving Some Time? - Buy them a carefully curated selection of oh-so-chic Ridley's Games, sure to impress with their stylish lines that don't require them to be hidden under the youngest child's bed, and instead can take pride of place in the living room for the entire family to enjoy together. Because you're buying a selectin of items, you can control the budget with this one very easily.
They Might Kill You - This one is awesome, but they might come to hate you for it; a karaoke machine of course! Now you've got a big budget for the entire family you can get one of those high quality almost kinda professional kits. Can you imagine how cool New Years Eve will be for them after you get them one of these?
Budget option - This relatively feature rich option is available for £75.00 and comes with 2 microphone jacks with separate volume controls, auto voice control, balance and echo controls, and integral speaker. Like the budget option, it isn't pink and so still won't offend dad's eyes. It's worth researching with this one as to where the song display shows up (on the machine itself or somewhere you watch online??)
Splurge - This monolith professional system that can be used with or without the stand, offers a built in 7inch screen, tv connectivity for additional screens, built in speakers, built in iPad holder and voice controls. A professional singing station for £160.00
Take it from here
These ideas help to wet your appetite, but if you really like them, you could be clicking right now and buying those 15 gifts in the one hour I promised you could.
Other ideas you could explore and research include luxury popcorn makers, theatre tickets, giant garden pools for those who have a large garden, or a high quality tent for that camping trip they've always talked about but never taken.
For the Stragglers
Still need a few bits and bobs gifts for people who can't all be lumped together as one?
Check out our online shop, filled with a range of different affordable options and with FREE UK DELIVERY available too. Some samples below of what is available ...