Sunday, January 17, 2021

A very unconventional Christmas gift list, but perhaps right for the moment: by James Pinchbeck of Streets Chartered Accountants

James Pinchbeck, Partner at Streets Chartered Accountants, presents gift ideas for business people and employees in the post-Covid world.

With Christmas seemingly the only certainty looming, thoughts will soon be turning, if they have not already, to what to buy for loved ones, colleagues and friends.

Whilst some engage in Christmas present buying like a military operation, many are less organised, perhaps more so this year, relying on casual shopping whether online or in store for ideas for gift solutions.

At the start of the year who would have thought some of the following ideas would be possible presents or gifts for business people and employees alike:

  • The latest edition of the Oxford English dictionary, to include words that have come about since lockdown. Such entries might include Blursday – a new made up word being used to describe the situation when lockdown and working from home has got to the point that you have no real idea what day it is, even that you didn’t realise it is a non-working day.
  • A makeover for their working from home space. With growing numbers of people working from home, a trend which is likely here to stay, greater attention is being given to having a space which is both comfortable and ascetically pleasing. Whilst you might think of the gift of a new desk or chair, you may want to give consideration to interior design too. The idea of a plant or two might not go amiss.
  • For coffee lovers not able to frequent their favourite coffee shop, the gift of freshly ground coffee, even a coffee machine will probably go down a treat. A gift even better complimented with some artisan or specialist chocolate.
  • Many of us will have spent significant time on Zoom, Teams or google hangouts. In the early days it was deemed acceptable that our backgrounds were our own personal space. The luxury of a designed and digital background that works on your device though I am sure will be well received. For those whose back drop is a wall of shelves, then perhaps an alternative is a selection of books with colour coordinated spines. Charity shops have certainly seen a boom in book sales with books being sold by the linear length.
  • With work attire jettisoned to the wardrobe more of us have adopted a more relaxed dress code. As the seasons change and we look to refresh then perhaps it is a good time to think about clothing that might be a welcome gift. These could include an ‘outfit’ based on business attire tops and perhaps loungewear bottoms, through to jumpers for the colder days ahead.
  • Instead of the usual luxury soaps and beauty products, perhaps a posh hand sanitiser selection box could be your gift solution. This could also be complimented with a designer Covid secure face mask.
  • With lockdown restrictions likely to be in place in some time, gifts that help with our wellbeing are surely worth a consideration. Something for the garden or the kitchen, or something to while away the hours such as a jigsaw, game or book are great ideas. As too might be something to do such as lessons or guides on learning or doing something new.

It will certainly be interesting to see what the most gifted presents will be for 2020. Hopefully all will receive something they like and something that gives them a lift. A well thought out and considered gift though should help to overcome the challenge of returning unwanted items.

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