A guide to thoughtful giving for inquisitive, creative minds 

"It's far better to give than to receive". This age-old saying, which traces back thousands of years to biblical times, has well and truly wedged itself into popular culture. It was uttered by Cher Horvath in cult '90s movie Clueless, and unsuspecting teens the world over have undoubtedly felt the words ringing in their ears, offered up as sage advice from doting mums and bossy nans.

It's fair to say that somewhere between the Bible and Clueless, the concept of giving has lost its way a little. Its sparkle has been dulled by the 'treat yourself' culture of where our material desires are satiated at the click of a mouse, and the numbing insta-limbo which makes us covet things we don't need.

This is amplified even moreso at Christmas, a time where the frenetic hamster wheel of modern life seems to go into overdrive with deadlines, social events, life admin and family commitments. Your Christmas shopping list can start to feel more like a to-do list: an amazing race of impulsive purchases designed to drain the energy and the pockets. 

A gift is truly only worth the thought that has gone into it. So, to avoid Christmas feeling like meaningless exchange of 'stuff', spend a little more time tapping into the psyche of your recipient. What are they yearning for?  What inspires and excites them?  What are their goals and dreams and what tools do they need to help them get there?

We promise the joy of a thoughtful present - as opposed to another iTunes gift card or a lazy bottle of spirits - will be ten-fold for the giver and the recipient, the Bible and Clueless told us so.  Click through the Gallery to discover Ros Brennan's edit of the best creative, insightful and inspired gifts for your nearest and dearest. 

The culture lover's Christmas gift guide