There is only one thing better than getting a present - giving one.

Although, it does depend a little on the reaction you get. Recently, I gave a gift and got no acknowledgement at all. Not that unusual, you say, they probably haven’t got around to it yet, or maybe they sent a nice old fashioned letter… but no. They were stood in front of me.

It was at this point I realised that raising a smile, adding a little ray of sunshine and giving something that makes someone happy is where the biggest joy lies.

With some people it’s difficult. They are simply hard to buy for. I have some people that I need to buy Christmas and birthday presents for who are so difficult I’ve stopped caring – I just buy the first thing I see and randomly seem to hit joy. There’s no pattern, I’m certain.

"giving something that makes someone happy is where the biggest joy lies"

As someone who is hard to buy for, here is my guide to buying for a bloke like me.

1 - Find something they identify with

  • Watching or playing sport: Golf, Football...
  • Computing, Work, Money...
  • Coffee, Tea, Beer, Wine, Whiskey...
  • Health, Exercise, Gym...

And so on...  Anything that shows a relationship with something I care about is a winner. However, tread carefully. If I get a mug saying "I Love Spreadsheets" and I spend all day designing stuff, it's actually a bit worse as it shouts "I don't know you at all".

2 - Get a gift they haven't already got

Thinking back to presents past, I can remember a few outstanding gifts. Most of them are memorable because they were the first time I discovered something or had never seen it.

"Something unique - take a risk."

Don't stick to the same bottle of whiskey or pair of socks, go all out - win or lose - it's better than the status quo.

Something unique - take a risk.

When I open an item that's completely useless to me, but I've never seen it before, I'm still very happy to get it. There's something about a unique gift that shows thought and breaks through a grumpy reaction.

3 - Something practical - Something I can use

Anything I get that I can actually put to use, rather than save or look at is good. Anything I use every day is great. Something that becomes my new favourite - that's a winner.

Anyway, I'm not really hard to buy for. I don't really want chocolate - I get even fatter. I don't really want stuff I can go out and buy myself - I can buy it myself. I don't really want money or vouchers - I'm not 12. I don't want something that will break instantly. I don't want anything too expensive - it's pressure to like it. I don't want anything too cheap.

Anyway, I'm not really hard to buy for.

So, hopefully a helpful, yet simple, three point guide to buying for someone like me. I'll bet you that I still get socks, which is really great cos Christmas is all about giving not getting anyway - which, I think, is where we started.