Ready of her favourite time of year, Niamh Cullen shares tips for budget presents, how she likes to give her followers some fun content and the best gift she ever received.
The 30-year-old social media star has been a gift-giver her whole life and is now using her platform to spread the Christmas cheer — even to those who might find the season harder to bear.
“Christmas can be a really hard time for people, it can be a weird one,” she admits. “I know in my time I’ve had a couple of tough Christmases.”
Whether a general Grinch or something deeper, the Dubliner encourages people to take it in small steps to get through to the New Year.
“It can be as simple as writing out a little list of your favourite people or someone who has done something kind for you this year and setting out to get them a token of appreciation,” Niamh says.
“Christmas can be hard for people. And you don’t want to push it on anyone who finds it tough. But I think it helps to pick out one person that you’d love to get a small gift for and go into town and make a day of it.”
Armed with a festive hot chocolate, a list and her partner Jamie, the pair have made a Christmas tradition out of her shopping strategies.
“I’m so funny though,” she laughs. “I’ll usher him around the place with a clipboard like Monica from Friends saying ‘Right, what’s on your list? Tick it all off.’”
Niamh joined forces TK Maxx who offers gifts in a range of prices. As the budgets for buying shrink, she says her top tip is first deciding how much you want to spend so you don’t end up overdoing it as the big day approaches.
Her fool-proof present plan? “There’s no harm in gathering wish lists! Jot down three options for each person in your life and your budget.”
For the notoriously tough to buy for — or the unfamiliar Secret Santa — Niamh offers a wildcard: a board game.
“Everyone loves a good game! Or something personal like a journal. Or slippers — all of those little basic home comforts that people love.”
Not a fan of a gift card that runs the risk of being impersonal, Niamh offers another hack that will get even the simplest of gifts over the line: “A handwritten note with a little reason why you’ve given it can be lovely. That little bit extra goes a long way.”
The fashion guru confesses she is much more of a giver, and is often mortified when it comes to opening up her own gifts — her best ever being an electric Barbie car unwrapped when she was ten.
Her social media following has rapidly grown to almost 200,000 people watching as she makes fashion, fitness and lifestyle content. It’s a platform she doesn’t take lightly.
“Do I feel pressure with such a big platform? Absolutely, I suppose that’s just the way it is when you put yourself out there,” Niamh admits.
“You’re always really conscious that you’re saying the right thing. I would have a lot of young followers [so] I’m always trying to be very conscious of them. When you’re young, you’re quite vulnerable.
“I try to be aware of how I put things online but then again, I’m a pretty normal girl too. I like to keep everything really light and nice and positive on my page.”
Niamh joinsTeamKMaxxto help shoppers find the perfect gift this Christmas. See tkmaxx.ie