==I hate shopping - FACT==
I really hate this time of year when everyone is talking about Christmas, not because I hate Christmas, I am the opposite, I love it because it is a special time of year for me as I got married on Christmas Day. The reason it annoys me is because I often struggle to find gifts for people, especially when they never know what they want and usually have everything I can think of that they would like. I am also one of those people who never knows what they want and struggles every year to write a list to give to people. Thankfully Amazon allows me to create a wishlist of things I want and should there be anything left on it come Christmas, then this is emailed out to people who ask what I want (anyone wanting to buy me a gift PM me your email address and the list will be sent to you) and that is the absolute best I can do.
I also hate shopping, I am sure I am one of only a few females who hates shopping with a passion, whether it is food shopping, shoe shopping or clothes shopping, I hate it, that is why I do almost all of mine online, no stress, no hassle, no queues and no rude people. So to be able to do 99% of my shopping online without having to see, speak to or deal with anyone is absolute heaven.
==A gift to remind you==
My best friend, whom I have known now for over 16 years, is one of those people like me who never knows what she wants and always has everything she wants because she just goes out and buys something everytime she wants it.
Earlier this year I really struggled to think of something to buy her and I wanted it to be something special because her Mum had just died and they were very close, more close friends than mother and daughter and it hit her really hard especially as it was so sudden and not expected (she was 52) especially because she hadnt been ill or had shown no signs of illness. The funeral had specified no flowers and cards and instead to donate money to a local charity of which there was at least a list, but I wanted to do something for my friend to let her know I was thinking of her and was there for her if she needed me, whether that was to laugh with, cry with, shout at or let of steam with, all she had to do was ring, text, email or whatever and I would be there with a few bottles of wine and a box of tissues, but as a best friend I wanted to do that extra mile, do something special and thoughtful, something unexpected. So, someone I suggested I got her something to remind her of her mum or something she could relate to about her mum that would serve as a reminder, her mum wasn't the kind of person who liked gardening or flowers, so a memorial tree was out of the question, my one and only idea .
So I looked about online and as ever spent a few minutes Googling version items on remembrance and thoughtful gifts and then I came across Gift Republic which I had used in the past to buy a gift for my Dad and another close friend who adores monkeys, so I was hoping it would be able to help me with this. I opted to buy her the 'Name a Star Gift Box' which cost £19.99, I also have had one of these a gift some months before, so I also knew what I was getting. Ordering it from The Gift Republic is really easy, all you need to do is add it to your basket and then complete the instructions to check out, deciding whether you have it sent directly to the recipient or not. I choose not too because I wanted to wrap it myself and send a card with it.
In 2010 Gift Republic was crowned Business of the Year at the London Business Awards and have over the years won many more awards for their innovative and unique gifts.
Gift Republic are an online website who offer a huge array of gifts from a very broad spectrum. Whether you are wanting to buy a 'Grow our own tea set' or 'some Cluedo Coasters to a gift which has been personalised, you should be able to find it on this website and to be more helpful they also have sections titled "Gifts for her", "Gifts for him" or "gifts for the kids2 to help narrow down your search. As a company, Gift Republic say that they are a company is a leader in offering unique gift ideas for people who are looking for something a little bit different which I find is absolutely true and whenever I find I am stuck for a gift, this is always one of the places I will look first for inspiration, even if I don't always buy something from the website itself.
==Star in a box==
When the box arrives, your 'Name a Star gift box' is encased in a metal tin which has a wrap around of the night sky with hundreds of stars, one of which is shining bright. The once the wrap around has been removed, inside the metal case you will find quite a lot in information inside, starting with:
--> A Welcome Letter - this letter welcomes the recipient to their present and explains further what else is enclosed within the box and what it is about. I think the way this letter is written is really lovely and welcoming without being too detailed and dull.
--> Your Gift Explained - This is another letter which goes into further details as to what the gift is about and what you will find within the metal box. You are also informed that you have 12 months from the date of purchase to register your gift or it will expire. So when and if you are buying this as a gift, you will need to make sure that the recipient is aware of the date rules.
--> Gift Registration Form - This form is to be filled in by the recipient and they are asked to name their star and so on. Then once this has been completed by them, they will then receive a confirmation certificate, usually within 28 days, detailing the name of the new star and then the Stars Registry is catalogued in the British Library.
As things stand you can call your Star absolutely anything you want , so if I wanted to register the 'I love Ryan Giggs' star, there is nothing to stop me doing so, the only advice given is that anything crude would be a no-no and the registration would not be completed or validated. There is also an option to do this registration online which again is detailed on the instructions.
--> Star Details Leaflet - This Leaflet will include the specific location information of your star and using this information you will be able to locate the position of your star in the sky using the coordinates given, these coordinates are known as the Right Ascension and Declination. In doing this it is suggested that you use the Constellations Souvenir Poster which also accompanies this gift and there are also free versions available online to print off.
--> A History of Stars Leaflet and Star Facts Leaflet - Pretty much as it says these are. A compact guide to the stars and a bit if history on the more known constellations. Both of these products are quite short, but comprehensive enough to understand and follow. If you feel that your friend or whoever you have bought the gift for would be more interested to find out more information I would suggest buying them a beginners guide.
--> Stars & Astronomy booklet - More information on stars, constellations and a brief introduction to astronomy. As above, this booklet is quite brief but again it is written in a manner that is easy to understand and comprehend, without going into too much detail and information.
When I handed this to my friend it wasn't what she was expecting to say the least but she did love it and promptly burst into tears because whilst neither of us knew what to say, we both felt the gift said everything necessary and there and then she went online and registered her star in the name of her mum, which I had hoped she would do and then with the help of a mutual friend who owned a telescope and took more of an interest in astronomy came over and helped Laura find her star in the sky using the co-ordinates given in the box. Now I had thought that it would one of those gifts which had good intentions but wasn't all it was made out to be, but in actual fact we did manage after some arguing and discussion to find the star using the co-ordinates and to see the look of happiness on Lauras face was truly priceless, even if it had turned out to be more of a gimmick than a gift.
To this date she still looks out for the star, especially if she is feeling down or is missing her mum and on the anniversary of her mums death a few of us clubbed together to get her a second hand telescope so she could look for her star herself, makes it more private than having 4 or 5 of us around her house arguing over where it is. The chart which came with the gift set is displayed on her wall as a guide to finding the star.
==Where too and how to purchase==
Since I bought my gift I noticed online that many other companies also have this on offer and you can even find it in places such as Asda, prices also vary and you can pay anything from £12.99 right up to £30 depending on what type of package you decide to order, some come with pens and DVDs and others with teddy bears and books, so you can shop around. I choose the one from the Gift Republic because I had ordered things from them before and had always had an excellent shopping experience.
A small Disclaimer
==With this gift comes a short disclaimer which states:==
"This gift does not grant legal ownership or title to a star. It is the enduring and personal sentiment behind this gift that is significant. Neither Gift Republic nor any other supplier can alter the name of well-known stars. The chosen star name will not necessarily be recognised by any scientific organisation or by astronomers and Gift Republic can accept no liability for this. Star names are published in the Gift Republic Star Registry which is stored in a secure location. A record of the Registry is periodically submitted to the British Library to ensure public accessibility and preservation. This is a novelty gift item and must be regarded as such". This you will find clearly stated on a card inside the box and on the website.
So with that in mind I think it is still a really nice gift to give to someone whether it for a reminder of a lost loved one, or as something a little bit of a novelty gift.
Complete kit to name one of the millions of unnamed stars out there.