Ali Gordon


Today I have decided to chat about gifting. Whilst normally I would share with you the products I would recommend in a gift guide (and of course I spend a fair amount of time sharing products I love and enjoy), today I wanted to focus on my general approach to gifting as in many ways the approach to gifting at Christmas (or any other time) is as key as what you buy.


The key questions are why do we do it and how do we get that perfect gift.

I think we can all agree that the main thing with any gifting is to bring happiness and joy in that moment to the recipient. To make them feel loved and appreciated. I think we can also all agree that a really good gift helps to strengthen any relationship. When I think of great gifts I’ve received I would say that I’ve always felt in that moment closer to the person who gave it to me. This of course is the same the other way and you feel great and closer to someone when you get them a really great gift. There feels a real sense of accomplishment to it.

I don’t know about anyone else but I can sometimes feel pressure and anxiety because I know the feeling of the right gift for the right person and if I haven’t found it I can get concerned that I won’t find it time.

I think where this all links in to an approach to gifting is that it highlights what the key thing is…the reason behind the gift. If the gift is given with meaning and the aim of making the receiver feel valued, loved and appreciated then it’s the right gift and your relationship with that person will be ever the better for it.

For family and friends you can use all your knowledge on what makes them who they are and hone in on those existing or developing interests. This can be a functional gift or what I would call a lifestyle gift. A functional gift is aiming to help with some sort of process that an individual does in their life whilst a lifestyle gift I think of as more to enhance someone’s enjoyment within the parameters of what they already enjoy.

A functional gift example that hones in on someone’s interest could be (if that person say enjoyed playing golf) a golf caddy (motorised buggy) or a new golf bag if you’ve noticed that theirs is quite worn. Using this example you can target key interest areas for people like gardening, cooking, make-up/beauty, etc.

A good example I have of a really thoughtful and meaningful gift is a knee cushion. Now that may sound strange but the individual this was bought for by a friend is a keen gardener and they were constantly on their knees out in the garden. The knee cushion therefore represents clear thought and appreciation for the individual and then sits in the functional gift bracket of enhancing their hobby/something they enjoy.

Thinking in terms of someone’s quality of living can be a good place to start when looking for the right gift. I find for some people it can be that the right gift is an experience as they are the sort of person that would relish a great experience that they can talk about and have memories of rather than a physical product. Whilst this is more difficult in Covid times, as we hopefully move into more socially open times these can be things like track days, theatre tickets, mini breaks etc. It’s also nice as an experience can be something the individual wouldn’t do themselves unless it was something bought for them. I think we can all be guilty of not taking a break or treating ourselves to something due to some irrational thought that we don’t deserve it or something.

Another approach to buying a physical gift that has always helped me is thinking in terms of what can improve on or replace an item I know the recipient already enjoys. This approach ensures that I am buying something they already love or would be in an area of interest they already hold as well as shows great thought and therefore appreciation of the recipient.

An example of this is if a person loves to write letters and you notice that they use a bog standard pen, then it could be that a really nice pen is therefore a great and meaningful gift. The same works for alcohol. If you know someone is a fan of their whisky you can look into a highly recommended whisky brand which shows lots of thought behind the gift.

This is already a far longer post than usual so I’ll cut it short here as I’ve gone on long enough. I hope this was useful in some way and maybe goes some way to help if you are struggling with what to get someone or a number of people this Christmas.

I should also note that of course gifting is only a part of Christmas and the aim at the end of it all is to bring as much joy & happiness and you can to others.

If you’ve got this far on possibly my longest blog post ever you will now get the context of the images to the post as Blenheim Palace is my recommended day break experience. I recently went to Blenheim on a shoot and had the privilege of also being invited to experience their incredible Christmas lights show. A trip to Blenheim palace is exactly the sort of experience I mention above. You can do afternoon teas, 3 course lunches (both in style) and then walk around the 2,000 acres of Parkland and explore 300 years of history. A great day out to really be remembered.

Have a wonderful Christmas & New Years.

Blenheim Palace – HERE 

Tuxedo Suit

Jacket – HERE 

Trousers – HERE 

Bow Tie – HERE 

Shirt – HERE 

Shoes – Manolo Blahnik : OOS