With Christmas just around the corner this can be a stressful time if you are not a great gift buyer and you have friends or family who you need to get things for. I can really sympathize with this as in the past I was dreadful at coming up with ideas for people, and generally got it wrong more often than not. I sought out the support of my great friend Alexander Sabadash, the guru of gift buying who just always seems to get things right on the money. For 3 consecutive Christmas’ I tapped into the brilliant brain of Alexander and started to really up my gift buying game, so much so that I now receive genuine compliments rather than one followed by a face of horror, progress indeed. Alexander really has the formula, and this is what I have learned from him, try this out and your fortunes will change. 

Understanding The Character  

Before you even start to think of what to buy people or what kind of things they like, you have to start a little deeper, and begin to think about what kind of character the person is. For example, they may be pragmatic and enjoy gifts which they need and will use, alternatively you may be buying for someone with a more adventurous spirit, which gives you a much wider range of things to choose from. First identify what type of gift receiver they are, then you can get into more detail. 


If you know the person that you are buying for extremely well then you can skip this step, if you don’t, it is time to start doing some research. Speaking to friends, family members or partners of the recipient is going to be the best way to find out what type of thing they need, or would like. Don’t just jump on the first thing they say, use this info to understand more about what type of gift they need, rather than the exact gift. 

Previous Gifts

Try to have a think about the previous gifts which you have bought this person, which did they like more, and which weren’t they a fan of? This can also help to guide you in the direction of what type of thing to buy. 


Alexander always used to tell me that the phrase ‘It’s the thought that counts’ is genuine and should be taken seriously. With this in mind, you have to put less pressure on yourself and simply use the formula and trust in it. For example if you are buying for someone pragmatic, look at what they enjoy doing and buy a basic gift, for example if they like to garden, get them some great new gardening gloves, if they already have some then no worries, they will need more in the future. if you are buying for someone more adventurous then get them a gift that you think they would like, and take the risk. If the gift is boring such as gift card then it shows you have put little effort in, anything else will show thought and be well received.