two men exchanging a canvas photo print as a gift at christmas

First Impressions Count

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

New VistaPrint research has revealed that it takes just 14 seconds for Brits to decide if they like a Christmas gift or whether it will be returned or regifted. By contrast, shoppers spend an average of four hours choosing the perfect gift for loved ones during the festive season. 

To help make better gift-givers of us all, we’ve looked at the factors that go into this 14 second decision. From awkward regifting confessions to the importance of personalisation, read on for more insights on how to improve your present-buying game. 

To help avoid any awkward regifting incidents this year, we partnered with Honey Langcaster-James to share her top tips on getting a gift the recipient will love: 

  1.  Ensure it feels personal 

Even when a gift itself is relatively inexpensive it can be of great value if it’s seen as personal or involving effort, time or thought. So think about what someone has told you that they love, enjoy or value, or perhaps some shared moments of joy or fun in your relationship in the past. A personalised gift would help convey the fact that you haven’t just picked something up in the sales, but actual thought has been put into it. This will give the impression you really care. 

  1. Make sure the tone is in harmony 

Consider whether the gift you’re giving hits the right tone for the occasion. Think about whether to go for funny, poignant, romantic or practical for example. Either way, think about whether the gift is appropriate for their lifestyle and general activities, otherwise you may risk misjudging the tone, or the person, and your gift might end up seeming insensitive or thoughtless, even though it was well-intentioned.  

  1. Words sometimes do mean more than actions

What you write on your gift tag, or in the card or note which accompanies your gift, can be just as impactful and meaningful as the act of gift-giving itself, in fact sometimes more so. You could send someone something as a gift which to anyone else might seem very odd or random, but if you include a note saying, “I saw this and it reminded me of that time we did x…” then it could turn a gift into something really special and poignant. So think about the words you put on your gift, as much as the gift itself.  

  1. First impressions count, so wrap things in care 

People often underestimate the value of nice present wrapping and extra care and attention being invested into how you present a gift. Gifts often remain unwrapped for some time, e.g. under the Christmas Tree, and can be enjoyed even before opening, so spending time on making your gift look beautiful, wrapping it in personalised paper, or making it meaningful in some way can add another level to your gift.