Buying gifts. It’s one of the most stressful activities that dominate the calendar year. Christmas, birthdays, christenings and anniversaries – life is merely a never-ending cacophony of who to get what and why, with little help from the majority of recipients, who always ‘just want a surprise’. Or vouchers.
If you want to play it safe, the kids get a toy, your dad gets socks and your mum gets a candle, but when you start branching out into friends and family that seemingly have everything, things begin to get a little more competitive. Let’s take a look at a couple of alternative Staffordshire treats to knock the socks off that tricky customer at their next celebration.
Some experiences claim to be of the money-can’t-buy variety, but the fact is that just about everything has its price. From chilled-out spa days to high-octane track day experiences, an enjoyable day out awards the recipient something a little bit different and it’s a hell of a lot more imaginative than some of the worst gifts going, per Lottoland – butter biscuits, socks and ugly, generic ornaments. They’ll appreciate it a hell of a lot more and whilst a bottle of decent plonk always goes down smoothly, memories last a lifetime.
There is no shortage of companies offering out experience days, of course, and with such a crowded marketplace comes competitive prices. Where a track day, for example, used to run into the hundreds, these are far more reasonable nowadays, with the likes of Virgin Experience Days offering Staffordshire-centric days out from just £12.50. The unimaginatively named, but always excellent Experience Days run a range of events at similar cost, including paintballing, Segway and even life drawing, all of which reside in our fine county.
We live in a beautiful part of the world, ladies and gentlemen, and in terms of artistic inspiration, our local creative folk couldn’t be in a better spot. Gifting a piece of stunning artwork might seem pretentious to some, but it can be the ideal way to gift something personal and a little bit special. It needn’t be all that expensive, either. Sure, getting hold of an original piece can cost an arm and a leg, but a nice frame and a reprint can be just as stunning and will go down just as well on the wall of a loved one.
Whether it is a local spot of natural beauty or a piece of fan art put together by a fan of one of Staffordshire’s passionately-followed sports teams, the subject of any work of art can be incredibly personal for any recipient and light up a room. A lot of the proceeds of local art goes to charitable causes and outlets such as Gallery@12 and Trent Art provide some of the most stunning art Staffordshire has ever produced, and again, it’s a hell of a lot more thoughtful than another Next scarf and gloves set.
So whether you’re looking to buy a great gift for Christmas, a birthday or any other special occasion, it always pays to think a little outside the box and provide something with a little more personality. Whether you plump for a day out or a piece of stunning local artwork, keep your money in the local area and offer something a little different to the one that has it all!
Publishers of Staffordshire Living Magazine