5 Christmas Gift Buying Tips

Tis the season of giving and allcal is an app that prides itself on sharing.

Not only can you share calendars, pictures and events, but with allcal version 2.0 (coming soon) users will be able to use the ETA/RSVP feature to keep track of who’s coming to events and how far away they are.

We not only know that sharing is important, but also recognize the importance of giving, especially during the holiday season. So we decided to put together a list of 5 Christmas Gift Buying Tips that will help spread the cause of giving.

Santa would be proud of us! Hope you enjoy.

  1. Know What Your Recipient Wants or Needs

Boy and Girl Opening Chrismas PresentsAlthough it is the season of giving and it is “the thought that counts,” when it comes to Christmas gift buying you’ll want to make sure that the recipient of the gift actually has use for the item(s) and they’ll enjoy them. Personally speaking, there’s nothing more annoying than receiving a gift that one has no use for or doesn’t like at all – it’s almost better to have received nothing. Rather, this time of year you’ll want to avoid those giving clichés and dig deeper into what will put a smile on the person’s face. Here’s a few things you can do to find out what someone wants without giving up the element of surprise:

Santa IconAsk Their Family

No one knows the wants of someone better than family, especially around the holiday season. Take this time to ask the parents or siblings of your recipient what that person would like the most. They may not be able to give you a precise answer, but this method helps improve gift-buying accuracy and puts you in the right mind frame of what to look for.

Santa IconTake Them Shopping

One of the best ways to purchase surprise gifts for someone is to go on a shopping trip before Christmas arrives. You can take mental notes of what the person is engaged with or the most excited about through simple observation. Who knows? That thing they kept talking about at the mall just might wind up under their Christmas Tree.

Santa IconAsk Questions

One of the harder techniques to master without giving away the surprise is finding out what someone needs through questioning. The most efficient way to do this is engage your recipient in regular conversation, so as to keep them at bay about your real intentions. You can say statements such as “I’d really like that new iPad for Christmas. What are you thinking about getting?” or “I just saw some amazing furniture at Lowe’s that’s on sale. Have you seen any good deals around lately?” These conversational-style probes will help answer your questions, while making the receiver of your gift none the wiser.


  1. Find the Best Deals

Find GiftsThanks to growing online retailers and social media, finding the best deals for Christmas gift buying (especially around the holidays) has become increasingly easier from year to year. From Cyber Monday to Black Friday, better deals are inevitably a result of consumers wanting to find the best items at the lowest price. No longer do consumers have to bear the long lines, waiting hours outside of a store or risk getting into altercations, when you can research just about anything from the comfort and safety of your computer. Although some items may be in-store only offers or subject to availability, the aspect of ecommerce helps provide a simple buying experience for all parties involved. Below are just some of the online retailers who offer Christmas deals and special discounts for the holiday season:

Gifts.com – This site helps you find the best gifts online in regards to several big occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Christmas. It separates your gift finding by categories including recipient, occasion, and personality. You can even create your own customized gift.

Amazon.com – Not many are strangers to this website and for good reason. Amazon.com presents a wide variety of items you can buy and daily deals that are hard to pass up. You can search anything from Today’s Deals, Gift Cards, New Releases, Best Sellers and much more. You can even access product details, editorial reviews, customer reviews, and product promotions to find out everything there is to know about the item you are trying to purchase. What more could you ask for in an online retailer?

Personalizationmall.com – There’s almost no better gift received than something with your name on it and this website is one that leads the way in customization. From this site you will receive 25% off any personalized Christmas Gifts and FREE shipping on orders over $55. This site also provides you with gift recommendations, customer testimonials and customer favorites to help with the buying process. There’s no limit to what you can personalize here, only your imagination and your credit card.


  1. Make Sure Your Package Arrives On Time

Waiting on GiftThis could seem like an obvious no brainer to many, but one of the worst things you can do as a giver is give someone an untimely package. It’s like giving someone a late birthday present – it’s still accepted but frowned upon and the main goal here is timeliness and relevancy. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid this problem. The first solution is shipping. In the realm of online shopping, every site has multiple options when it comes to shipping and what date your gift should arrive. Although all sites aren’t created equally in this aspect, they all will provide preset options of approximately how long the package will take to reach your house or the house of your recipient. Below is just one example of what a webpage could look like when presented with shipping options and options for delivery when purchasing online.

Shipping Screen

The second solution, if it is an in-store item, is to simply purchase the gift well ahead of the time you plan to give it away. The tricky part here can be if the item for purchase is wildly popular, there could be a limited supply of it or simply be sold out in a short time period. If you take this approach, you should be very knowledgeable about how popular the item is and the amount available to make sure you can purchase it when you need to. Budgeting can be a factor here as well if the gift is relatively expensive or perhaps your funds available during a particular pay period. In this case, putting an item on layaway will help reserve such commodities or putting money in your savings account. All of these methods will improve the timeliness of your gift and make sure it arrives safe and sound in the hands of its future owner.

  1. Wrap It Nicely

Gift WrappingThis is Christmas after all! What good is there in finding the perfect gift just to carelessly wrap it in something that doesn’t accurately portray its beauty? The only thing worse than poorly wrapping a present is not wrapping it at all (which you wouldn’t dare do – come on now, that’s just tacky). Rather, find some wrapping paper that exemplifies the glorious gift inside. Moreover, gift giving is all about presentation and the nuances of the way a gift is wrapped can provide the receiver with a sense of appreciation knowing how much effort was exerted. The good news is you can find wrapping paper just about anywhere, including your closet at home. Bring out some unused wrapping paper you’ve been saving for an occasion such as this or visit the nearest store where you can find a wide variety of wrapping to choose from. They’re all relatively inexpensive and add an extra element to the gift giving process. Altogether it seems like such a minor detail, but trust me your recipient(s) will thank you for it.

  1. Surprise Them

Surprise Gift

The whole ta-da of this ordeal and the biggest upside to Christmas gift buying is the element of surprise. As a receiver, there’s nothing better than accepting something that you had no idea you were about to receive. So why not take this approach as a giver? Here’s a couple of quick tips to help out if you’re unsure how to go about this.

Santa IconFind Out Their Schedule

If you already have the gift, find out the recipient’s schedule and present them with the gift before Christmas day. Some may not choose this method if you believe they’ll open it before Christmas actually gets here, but at least the item purchased will be out of your possession and in the rightful hands of its new owner.

Santa IconWait Until Christmas

An alternative to this approach is to hold the gift and present them with it on the actual day of Christmas. This can be challenging if your recipient already has plans for that day or you are both very far apart in terms of location. However, if you do happen to be in the same proximity as each other, take a trip to their family gathering or choose a mutual meeting place for the exchange. This represents a fair way for you to meet up with someone if you’re both busy and who knows, if you stop by to visit them, the family just might invite you in for some eggnog.


We know that the Christmas Holidays are a hectic time of year for everyone, but we hope these Christmas gift buying tips will help get your present in the hands of that special someone.

In addition, you can use allcal to help coordinate family events around the holidays or meet up with friends to share in the holiday spirit.

Merry Sharing and Happy Holidays!

For more information about how you can use allcal to share your life with others, check out our website at www.allcal.com or email us at team@allcal.com.

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