Fun gifts vs practical presents: what should you buy?

Gemma Greaves

One of the biggest problems people face when present shopping is choosing between what kind of present they should buy. Do you choose a fun and exciting present the recipient will enjoy but does not need, or a useful present that the person does need and will get use out if, but won’t do cartwheels in excitement over? Though only you can make this decision there are some things you can think about which might help you to decide on way or the other


Fun or practical gift:

things to consider

• What is the gift for? If it is a housewarming present then a useful gift is more than suitable, however, for an anniversary or a special birthday present (such as a 21st birthday present) something fun might be a little more appreciated.

• What other presents are they receiving? If they are receiving a lot of useful gifts, then a fun present might be a good idea to inject some excitement into the presents. Equally if they are receiving lots of fun gifts than a useful present might be a good idea.

• What do they actually want? If they are asking for something useful it may be that they actually need it and so would like it as a present to save them the money and hassle of having to purchase one themselves.

Pros and cons of fun and practical gifts:

Fun gifts are exciting and often not just for the recipient, it is not always easy to get a fun present so the recipients tends to get more of a surprise and often the recipient may receive something that they hadn’t even considered they wanted. On the down side, fun gifts tend to get boring quicker, tend to get used less and may even get broken quicker. In addition, a fun gift is always a bit more risky, you have to make sure you get something the recipient will really like and will get some use out of.

Practical gifts, though they aren’t as exciting and can often be guessed, will generally be used more regularly. Being used for a specific reason rather than for play, these items generally last quite well and are usually received with gratitude. However, they can feel like quite a boring present to buy, with little thought going into it and very little personality injected into it, therefore, they aren’t always ideal especially for special occasions.

Fun AND practical gifts combined:

Still can’t make up your mind between a un or a practical gift? Then why not purchase something that is a little of both, examples include:

• Accessories for their mobile phone and smart devices, things like wireless chargers, a personalised case, Bluetooth speakers, etc. These not only enhance user experience but are also gifts that the person may not buy for themselves as they are more of a luxury item and less of a necessity.

• Things like a mini fridge, ice bucket or a thermal cup, something that will allow the recipient to eat/drink their favourite thing wherever they go.

• A barbecue or something for the garden.

• Vouchers, not the most fun gift idea, however, you give the gift of allowing someone to shop for themselves, which they may actually quite enjoy.
Whatever gift you decide to buy, if you put some thought into it and buy something you know the recipient will like, you can’t go wrong, whether it is a fun or a practical present.