I can’t believe we’re a good chunk into November already or that we are back in lockdown. Now really is the time to start gift shopping for Christmas though, get prepared and get organised. With that in mind I’ve pulled together a bit of inspiration for you all, hopefully you’ll find it useful.
For me Christmas isn’t Christmas with a box of Guylian Sea Shells. The smooth silky praline and delicious Belgian chocolate are such a treat. I think this year is going to be a bit about treats, whether as a little pick me up for yourself or something you are having to post to a loved one or friend to make sure they smile. As well as the classic Sea Shells Guylian have lots of other yummy options at a range of prices and even offer a gift wrapping service.
Pass the Pugs (or Pigs) is a truly classic game. I remember playing Pass the Pigs on caravan holidays with my parents when I was a child and now there is a Pug version, where the pigs have been replaced by pugs, cute! It’s an easy game to play for all ages, roll the Pugs, see how they land and get the points. It’s super addictive and because it’s small and self contained in its little box it’s perfect to travel with or set up in seconds after everyone is full up on Christmas dinner. Having not played this since I was a child I was super excited to see it again and it’s the kind of thing I hope L will remember fondly in years to come too.
The most useful of gifts is always a diary, but it’s important to make sure it’s a good one. The 2021 Dairy Diary is perfect. What it’s really famous for is its recipes, there’s a new one every week, delicious and triple-tested, so you can be sure they will work every time. In addition to the recipes, there is all sorts of interesting information on topics such as the Art of Calm, Quirky Museums and Gardening for Wildlife. Of course, there’s everything needed to keep organised – a useful notes pocket, dates stickers, reminders, addresses and even gift lists. All of this, and plenty of space to write appointments, thoughts and plans each day.
Enjoying a Tipple
Mermaid Salt Vodka from the Isle of Wight Distillery, is infused with island sea salt for a uniquely smooth finish and flavour ‘like the subtle kiss of a mermaid’. Plastic-free and Net Zero, it’s an environmentally-friendly vodka with a hint of sea air. 40% ABV. RRP: £40.00/70cl. Available from John Lewis and Master of Malt. Plus the bottle is gorgeous and worthy of keeping so maybe gift with a fairy light bottle stop to make it extra special.
VASO launched their range of premium glass straws in the UK at the start of the year. VASO’s range of premium glass straws offer consumers a reusable, sustainable and recyclable product (and packaging) that delivers a 100% pure taste as they are free from plastics, toxins, mineral oils and BPA. The straws are an extremely high quality product, engineered in Germany from toughened glass. They also have a range of bamboo travel cases that have been specifically designed for their straws!
For the Kids
Every year we try to get L a personalised Christmas book, either the elves drop it off, or we give it to him as a gift on Christmas Eve. A little extra festive magic that has him in the starring role! I’m loving the books from It’s Your Story, they include your child’s photo as a character and are just marvellous. With two Christmas offerings, Snowman Adventure and Where’s [name of child]? These are books you’ll treasure forever, they are just so special.
Top Trumps Match is a brilliantly fun game for kids and if I’m quite honest it’s a lot of fun for grown ups too. It’s a quick and easy two player game that is easy to set up, easy to play, stores away beautifully and is just really good fun. I always like to make sure L’s gifts include a game because we do enjoy playing them after dinner each night, so it’s fun to add new ones to the mix. With Top Trumps Match you have to match five cubes in a row, but your opponent can snatch a match from you right down to the last minute. It’s fast and fun and comes in lots of varieties, like Star Wars, Dinosaurs, Emojis or Frozen 2 to name a few.
For the Home
With a huge selection of prints and canvases Ink & Drop really do have something for everyone. I know picking a print for someone can seem a bit risky but I think it shows a lot of thought and care. I lovely motivational print, a favourite animal, a place you visited together or something that is just so beautiful you know it would make them smile every time they walked past. That is a truly thoughtful gift.
Red Candy have so many gifts to choose from it’s almost impossible to leave the website without a basket full of items you never knew you needed. But thinking of Christmas gifts for the home I fell in love with this cute hanging planter. I love bring a bit of greenery into the home and noticed that during lockdown a lot of office plants found their way to new surroundings, this hanging planter is the perfect way to look after them and look great too.
Christmas is all about cosying up, eating great food, watching cheesy movies and spending time with family and friends. With everything going on this year, the spending time with family and friends part could be very difficult. This is why I adore the personalised blankets from Asda Photo. A cosy and warm fleece blanket, perfect for those winter nights, adored with pictures of your loved ones. Amazing! The picture quality on the finished item is amazing. The fleece is thick and luxurious. So so soft and warm. It makes a brilliant gift and you can personalise it to suit anyone.
Spice Pots provide 100% natural, perfectly balanced spice blends to create quick and simple but delicious curries and other Indian-inspired food. They have a lovely Festive Food Survival Kit (RRP £14.95) with
3 Savoury Curry Spices (Korma – mild, Bhuna – medium & Goan – hot in heat), 1 Sweet Spice for festive desserts & baking plus a booklet with 8 festive food recipes. Perfect the days before and after Christmas. They have lots of other lovely gifts to choose from too.
I love a good cook book, the ideas, the pictures, the joy of selecting a new recipe to try. I enjoy just flipping through them as much as actually cooking from them. A Zest for Life ticks all the boxes for me. It is beautiful, really stunning. Packed full of delicious, healthy recipes. It’s useful too, with recipes for breakfasts, packed lunches and afternoon snacks as well as weekday meals and something slightly more special for the weekends. It’s the packed lunch element that really appeals to me as I feel that’s where I’m stuck in a rut. A great gift for any food loving friend.
If you want to make your own gifts, tags or cards but don’t quite know where to start you can buy fabulous cliparts that you put straight into your own creations from Design Bundles. I am a big fan of the Christmas Lights clipart and also of the brilliant Christmas Wreath clipart. You could so much with these designs and with so many to choose from you could go for the perfect theme to match your style. It really is handmade made easy!
For the Animal Lover
Animal welfare charity, Miracle’s Mission is offering a wonderful opportunity to sprinkle some Christmas good cheer for the needy rescue dogs and cats that they foster; to buy them a Christmas dinner or toy. It’s the ultimate feel-good stocking present for the dog or cat lover in your family. Christmas Dinner for a dog or cat costs £5 and a toy for a dog or cat also costs £5.
Dogs Trust’s have so many great gifts for dog lovers of all ages (and for dogs too!) and you also get to help the UK’s largest dog welfare charity care for thousands of dogs every year as all profits go towards the vital work the charity does for the nation’s dogs, from rehoming and training services, to education and outreach projects. I’m loving the True Love Shopper Bag, the Daschund Socks, the fact Pound Puppies are back (I desperately wanted one as a child) and of course the chance to sponsor a dog!
Disclosure – I received PR samples or payment for some of the products mentioned in this guide. I have not included anything I wouldn’t genuinely buy as a gift myself.