How to Write the Perfect Christmas Wish List

Unsure about how to write your holiday wish list? Check out this step-by-step guide on how to write the perfect Christmas wish list.

Originally published on 25th Oct 2022 | Updated 12th Jan 2024

Article key points:

  1. Start your Christmas wish list early, allowing time for quality items and enabling family members to shop well in advance.

  2. Include both desires and practical needs on your list, ensuring a diverse selection of items that cater to various interests and requirements.

  3. Explore experiential gifts and maintain a balanced list with both high and low-cost items, creating a thoughtful and accessible guide for your gift-givers.

A friendly illustrated whale, giving a written Christmas wish list, to Santa

Every year, people in the UK receive almost 60 million unwanted Christmas gifts over the holiday season. That equates to £380 million wasted on seemingly special gifts.

And let’s face it - Christmas shopping is hard! How many times have you said, “I have no idea what to get so-and-so”?

Creating a Christmas wish list can take the stress out of holiday shopping and ensure you end up with a gift you truly love. But sometimes creating that list is easier said than done.

Do you need help compiling the perfect wish list for your friends and family? Then keep reading for our ultimate guide to creating your Christmas wish list, and before you know it, you'll be receiving the perfect gift.

Start Early: Create Your Christmas Wish List in Advance

It’s vital to start your wish list early for two main reasons. First, this gives you time to put quality gift ideas on your list instead of filling it up with ideas off the top of your head. Second, it gives your family more time to shop, which is especially important if they like to start months before Christmas.

Consider starting it at the end of summer. Anytime you think of something you want, put it on the list! This also prevents you from spending money on something your loved ones could have given you for Christmas.

Think of Wants, Not Just Needs

This may seem obvious, but many people are so busy thinking about what they need, they forget to put wants on their list. So, take some time and think about things that you want, but wouldn’t buy for yourself.

This could be a themed makeup pallet, some sports equipment, or the latest piece of tech, like the new iPhone. If you’re having trouble thinking of wants, consider your hobbies and interests.

Do you like to paint? Maybe you want a fancy easel or some new paints.

Do you like golfing? Then you may want to ask for personalised golf balls or a new shirt to wear at the golf club.

Address Your Needs Too

While your “wants” are more fun, there’s nothing wrong with asking for stuff you really need.

Are you down to your last pair of jeans? Do you need kitchen supplies for your new home? Add it to the list of gift ideas!

Try to Replace Old and Outdated Belongings

Take a quick survey of your home. Is anything ripped, stained, rusted, or falling apart? If so, consider adding it to your Christmas wish list.

While your hand-me-down TV stand may be working, for now, it won’t last forever. Putting this on your wish list gives you the chance to upgrade now before it falls apart.

Consider Luxury Gift Ideas

Is there something you’ve always wanted but just couldn’t justify spending the money on? Things like expensive jewellery, designer clothes, and new gaming systems are luxury items you may not want to splurge on yourself.

However, it doesn’t hurt to put them on your Christmas list. While you might think that nobody in your family would get it for you, you may be surprised. Several family members may chip in for a luxury gift or your parents may decide to get you one expensive gift rather than a few cheaper ones.

Explore Experiences: Beyond Physical Gifts

Not all gifts have to be physical items. If you prefer experiences over material possessions, consider asking for tickets, gift certificates, memberships, or passes for activities.

You can typically find these for concerts, music festivals, brewery tours, wine tastings, escape rooms, museums, and sporting events. If you like learning, consider signing up for a class. You can likely find anything from speciality cooking classes to language classes in your area.

But what if you live in a small town that doesn’t have a lot to do? Well, you could also ask for a gift card to an airline or hotel chain to help fund a vacation!

Whatever experiences you might be into, the perfect present might not be a physical gift

Balance High and Low-Cost Items

It’s all too easy to go crazy with your wish list and forget about budgets. But you don’t want every item on your list to be expensive or you may have family members that can’t afford to get you anything on your wish list.

To avoid this, consider including some affordable options on your list, like clothes, bath towels, and kitchen gadgets. If you’re doing a Secret Santa with your friends, don’t forget to ask about the budget, so you know what the limit is for your wish list.

Amazon's gift finder is a great place to narrow down gifts by certain budgets.

Narrow Down Your List: Quality Over Quantity

If you’ve been working on your wish list for a few months, it’ll likely end up being very long. While there’s nothing wrong with having a big wish list, know that you probably won’t get everything on it.

So, to help ensure you get the things you really want, consider narrowing down your list. Start with items that you put on your list a few months ago but that you don’t really want anymore.

Then, consider clothes and shoes. It can be hard to nail your size and style when there are so many options out there. So, it may be better to buy yourself a sweater instead of keeping it on your list and risk getting one that you don’t like.

The same goes for furniture and home décor. You’ll want things that already go with the aesthetic of your home and fit the space you need to fill. So, it may be better to buy yourself a new TV stand instead of being gifted one that’s too big for your living room.

Finalise Your List: Make It Readable and Shareable

After narrowing things down, you’ll want to create a final copy of your list that is clean and easy to read. While you can handwrite it, it’s easier to use Giftwhale from the start to create your wish list.

This allows you to compile your list and share it with all your friends and family members with the click of a button. Just make sure there are no spelling errors or typos that could cause confusion before you share it.

Use Giftwhale for a Hassle-Free Christmas

Optimise your wish list experience with the Giftwhale web app and simplify compilation, sharing, and organisation for both you and your gift-givers.

Don’t let your loved ones guess at what you want. Instead, use the guide above to create the perfect Christmas list.

Are you ready to get started? Register with us today to get ready to receive the perfect gift.

An illustrated whale, with lots of question marks


Is it appropriate to buy from a Christmas wish list, or should gifts be a surprise?

It is completely appropriate to give someone a gift from their Christmas wish list. In fact, it can be helpful for loved ones who may not know what to get you. However, some people prefer surprises, so it's important to communicate your preferences and respect the wishes of others. Giftwhale offers the best of both worlds and providing the relevant settings are set on the wish list, the person won't know which items are reserved before they receive them. So they get both what they want, and it remains a surprise.

Should children make a separate Christmas wish list from adults?

Yes, it is recommended for children to make a separate Christmas wish list from adults. Children have different interests and preferences, and having their lists allows them to express their desires more accurately. It also helps adults prioritise and choose appropriate gifts for each individual. Giftwhale offers the functionality for parents to independently manage a child's wish list. You can read more about how child accounts work for Giftwhale

The Giftwhale Team
*Some links on our site are monetised to help fund Giftwhale. As an Amazon Associate Giftwhale earns from qualifying purchases.

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