Consider this Black Friday as the rocket boost needed to galvanise us into Christmas shopping action!
Yes the madness surrounding Black Friday is slightly intimidating (although nowhere near what the Americans go through) but it has inspired me to compile my first ever Gift Guide that trumps all other Gift Guides (not bias obviously). These ideas actually include examples of realistic stocking fillers that are my go to items, loved by their recipients year in year out, as well as items that I currently love and/or am obsessed with. The following are presented in terms of gift recipient, which is the way I personally like to work, so let the Christmas shopping begin!
Ahh stocking fillers, the bread and butter of the Christmas gift giving experience. I remember when I used to wake up to a stocking that was bigger than me (I am talking of when I was like ten) full of the coolest things. Obviously as we grow up things aren’t quite what they once were (and what is with everything getting more and more expensive per item??) but, there are still some things that work well for all audiences on a yearly basis. Lets start with magazines. Tailored to the interests of the individual, glossies work as a little nugget of entertainment to enjoy over the Christmas period. You can wrap flat or rolled up to throw the receiver off the scent, but either way magazines are an affordable treat for a stocking stuffer. Onto the infamous socks/tootsie toasters, anything that will keep feet warm throughout the winter period is a winner. I am obsessed with these Snoopy slipper socks from Next. These would also make a great Secret Santa gift. Now, a topic very close to my heart…chocolate. Hotel Chocolat has this more than covered and their Christmas range is great, even putting on an offer if you buy 3 or more chosen items. Another cute stocking filler are Joules’ Tweed Keyrings. I got given one of these one Christmas and have never had a problem finding my keys since! They are brilliant! Lastly, if you know anyone who is struggling on the sleeping front, Lush’s Sleepy Body Lotion may just be the perfect stocking gift. This lotion has also featured in a recent post whereby I sing it’s praises even more.
Okay, so, female gifts happen to be an area I have an interest in. Starting with a bit of pampering, Estée Lauder has an excellent nighttime recovery serum. Their Advanced Night Repair rejuvenates the skins surface and does lots of other plumpy smoothy bits as well. Then we have the well-rested look that comes with the gift of a good nights sleep. Deep Sleep Pillow Spray is the next level up from Lush’s Sleepy Lotion in that it literally puts your head in a mist of relaxation and relaxing scent heaven! It’s on offer right now online, or you can find it in M&S main stores. Talking of mists, a particularly good spritz by Gucci is their fragrance Bamboo. Although a tad pricy its well worth the investment and if you can get it in a gift set even better! With regards to cosmetics you cannot go wrong with the Urban Decay Naked Heat palette. I have personally got numerous complements when I use this palette, its stunning, inclusive of shimmer and matte shades and can be festive enough for winter as well as warm for summer. Last on the list here is Tiptree’s raspberry Gin. This stuff is so good it can be enjoyed as a tipple, or combined with Fever Tree tonic water. Their tea-rooms are popping up in lots of locations which you can explore here and some independent shops also stock this nectar too.
Now for him. There are some really nice items out there for guys this season. I love these slipper booties by M&S! I think men should have a break from the all too available Granddad slipper once in a while. Matching the slippers quite nicely is this particular Christmas jumper, Star Wars edition. I love how the fighter pods fit in with the nordic pattern. From pattern to plain and smart, John Lewis have some fantastic offers on backpacks, particularly ones that include compartments for computers and electrical devices, have a browse here. For the guy who likes to bike (and the backpack will fit these recipients quite nicely also) theres a book by the Lonely Planet called ‘Epic Bike Rides of the World’ that makes for an inspiring read. Onto grooming, which with beards being oh-so-fashionable (we’ve all seen the glitter and baubles this time of year) Bull Dog is a very good brand who cater for men on a skincare as well as beard maintenance basis. They are fantastic and there are some great gift sets going, particularly in Boots and on Asos.
For those that are technologically minded here are a few gismo and gadget ideas. First up, we have the smart toothbrush known as the Oral B Genius 9000. I know, I know its a toothbrush, but one year my brother got an electric toothbrush for Christmas and I’ve never seen him so happy! You would have to select your recipient right but this can be a great gift, and with this version you can connect your phone and monitor your brushing skills! When it comes to linking your phone to things, this Mpow Flexible Mini Tripod on Amazon has bluetooth connectivity and makes taking photos easy and fun. It can hold phones of all sizes and most cameras. In true techie spirit, you cant beat a good tablet. Apple are the clear winners for me with their iPads, and the iPad mini 4 is the perfect size for people on the go. For music lovers there’s a particularly good deal on at the moment for Bose QuietComfort 25. They include noise cancelling technology, are over ear and the sound, being Bose of course, is brilliant. For those that like to move, are into fitness or would like to start monitoring their steps or vitals, FitBit have an offer on their FitBit Blaze. Compared to other models, this version at this price is a great deal. It can even monitor your sleep (which seems to be a theme running through this post).
And lastly, for the more stylish customer, you cannot go wrong with the Scandinavian style. Remember hygge? Think cosy, warm fuzzy thoughts and you’ll be there. Basically this section is dedicated to gifts that make an environment snug and…well…more hygge. If you are looking for a great read around this topic a good place to start is Helen Russell’s ‘The Year of Living Danishly’. I loved this book and being a columnist before publishing her book, she writes in a way that is enjoyable and easy to digest and follow. With a good read you need a good hot beverage, and for this exact purpose I love this Hygge Me Mug. Of course to snuggle down with a book and beverage you need a blanket and the one here is from Dunelm at a really reasonable price. On the theme of comfort Dobbies have a pillow in their Christmas collection this year that really looks the hygge part. Comfortable and stylish this ticks all the boxes for a great present (plus I have to admit I might be a little bit bias as it is my mother’s design). To round up, making a home smell like a Christmas Cookie may be too sweet for some but I can’t get enough of Yankee Candle’s festive scents (and I’m sure people won’t complain about it smelling like freshly baked cookies all the time).
There you have it. Lots of ideas to gift give with this Christmas, in the best gift guide ever! I’m terribly modest I know. Happy Shopping!