It's the most wonderful time of the year.
And possibly also the most expensive. But hey, that's why we love Christmas, right?
It's obviously not all about the gifts but one of my favourite things to do around the festive period is shop for presents that I just know my family and friends will love.
It's that one time of year that you can merrily treat your favourite people without them feeling awkward and saying 'oh no but you shouldn't have', so I take the opportunity with both hands and start my festive shopping early (we're talking September early).
Rather than denote the recipient of each gift, I'm just going to collate my favourite recommendations into different categories.
Because hey, who am I to tell you if the Murad skincare set I've recommended for a 'Mum' gift would actually make your brother really happy?
So without further ado, here are three months worth of my festive findings!
AD GIFTED - some of these products have been kindly gifted.
Affiliate Disclaimer: to shop any of these products, please click on the product title in bold to take you through to a link. Some of these links (where relevant) may be affiliate links, which means that if you do decide to make a purchase, a small amount of the sale will be given to me in commission as a 'finders fee'. You don't pay anymore for the item for shopping this way, it just means I can continue to spend my time creating content and guides for you to read.
Skincare is one of those beauty product staples that we often leave as an afterthought. I know many of my friends and family members who adore make-up, are stuck in a rut with skincare products they've bought for decades - but with no idea which other options to try. So I always think that treating them to a skincare gift over the festive period is a lovely way to introduce them to some new potential favourites. I quite often gift my personal recommendations, especially if I know they have a similar skin type or comparable skin complaints to me.
Emma Hardie Brightening Collection - Emma Hardie is one of my all time favourite skincare brands because the products are so rich and luxurious, but also extremely hard-working - and I've never been disappointed with a single purchase. Their products are very sought after and highly regarded in the beauty world - so I often wonder whether such items will 'live up to the hype', however when it comes to this beauty brand, they totally do. So I adore introducing family members to their gorgeous delights - and this gift-set features all of their skincare staples, including the famous Moringa Cleansing Balm, the Rosehip Exfoliating Seeds, the Pink Clay Detox Mask, the Bit C Dream and the Dual Action Cleansing Cloth!
bee.yu - this New Zealand based skincare brand offers 100% natural products, with rave reviews surrounding the use of their assiduous ingredients. Their intensive night creme contains prickly pear seed oil - which is amazing at hydrating the skin at every layer - and their hydrating day creme contains bee venom and royal jelly which tightens skin and reduces fine lines and wrinkles. They are expensive but extremely hard-working - and so any product from their range will be quite the treat!
BeGlow Tia - this all-in-one sonic skincare system encompasses a silicone brush head and a dual pulse twin motor, to cleanse and contour your face. It generates low and high-frequency pulsations, which in turn stimulates your facial muscles. This increases blood circulation, improves skin tone and effectively helps to refine cheekbones and visibly improve the jawline. I was cynical of products like this, right up until I had a facial that used one. And then I was VERY impressed. Usually my skin is red and angry after a facial - but after this particular one, it was soft, smooth and my skin felt taut, radiant and lifted.
Ecooking Starter Kit - launching in the UK at the end of last year, this is one of the fastest growing skincare brands in Denmark. Containing over 40 different products, the range is made up of 100% organic oils and the highest quality natural vitamins and peptides. Everything is paragon free and vegan (excluding the lip balms) - and in fact, a selection of products within the range are so pure they're actually perfectly safe to eat. Not that I'd recommend it. The brand's tagline is 'food for your skin', and the starter kit contains all the skincare essentials you may need (in travel sizes), in a compact and environmentally friendly bag.
Peter Thomas Roth Hydration Glow Up - this is a totally luxurious hydrating and brightening 3-piece wonder kit including Water Drench Cloud Cream Cleanser, Potent-C Power Serum and Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream. It's very cost effective to buy it in the set, as they are all full-size versions of the bestsellers and you end up saving around £50!
OWP Rose Nourishing Face Care Kit - handmade in the UK, 100% vegetarian and free from nasty parabens and palm oil, this beautiful set of 3 natural Organic Where Possible bestsellers are a great introduction to the brand. Featuring products to prep, prime and perfect your skin, the formulas work hard to tone, purify the skin and calm the skin, with an infusion of powerful antiseptic, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties to maintain a healthy skin pH balance.
Collagenius EMS Facial Toner - this handheld LED light therapy device is ideal for those family members who love going for facials - and might like to try something in the comfort of their own home. It targets fine lines and wrinkles, using an electric muscle stimulation to tone and tighten the skin. Plus a combination of red, blue and yellow light therapy is said to improve your complexion, diminish blemishes and even boost collagen production. It's quite a hard-worker, pain-free and totally safe! Plus of course, it's portable and lightweight - so if it does become your or your family members skin's new best friend, they can take it along with them on their travels!
My own perfume collection is re-stocked at Christmas every year, as it's not something I typically ever remember to buy myself.
Plus it's amazing the discoveries you can make when someone else is doing the sniffing.
Some of my daily favourites have been found through being gifted a scent I wouldn't have picked up before.
So why not do the same for a loved one...
Clean Reserve Blonde Rose - this brand are one of my favourites - after discovering them while working in the US a few years ago and coming across their gorgeous warm cotton blend, which immediately makes you linen fresh for that 'just cleaned' feeling. The Blonde Rose is a more floral scent, with a luxurious musk layer that is inspired by a warm bubble bath infused with rose petals. The product is also sustainably made, with sandalwood sourced from Sri Lanka.
Ted Baker 88 - this citrus/floral scent comes in a gorgeous baby pink soft touch matte bottle with rose gold detailing. Notes include mandarin, petitgrain, cardamom, lily, rose, neroli, vetivert, soft woods and amber.
Vera Wang Princess - my mum and I traditionally buy a bottle of this for one another each Christmas (or birthday) depending on how much we've gone through. It's one of our classics and yet it still feels super special every time we spritz it on. It's rather worthy of its name, with vanilla notes, apples and water lily, complemented by rich pink guava and dark chocolate to create the most enchanting fairy-tale scent... without being sickly sweet! The iconic bottle is also a dressing table staple, with a crystal encrusted crown lid that holds a keepsake ring - perfect for any modern day princess!
Ted Baker Sweet Treats Ella - Inspired by Ted Baker’s must-have fashion collections, Ted’s Sweet Treats are a uniquely delicious collection of fragrances that blend a classic, soft femininity with a modern sense of purpose. Ella is a warm feminine scent with orange blossom, jasmine, rose, amber, patchouli and vanilla. The Take a Bow gift set option for this fragrance includes a compact mirror and case too!
Atkinsons Tulipe Noire Eau de Parfum - this luxuriously decadent fragrance is a tribute to French author, Alexandre Dumas’ compelling novel La Tulipe Noire. Notes of tuberose, sandalwood, cedar, bergamot, coriander and musk make for a smoky, romantic scent that transports you to new levels of chic dressing!
Jennifer Lopez Promise - with top notes of tangerine, berries and pear, this fruity concoction is a sweet and powerful fragrance - capturing the very essence of J Lo herself!
Everyone loves a pamper now and then (mine is a weekly scheduled event) and so sometimes the gift of a luxurious bath set or body lotion can feel like a real treat.
The Sanctuary Spa Pamper Trio - this cute gift set is filled with must-have mini's to pamper, soothe and moisturise. There's a body wash, body scrub and wet skin moisture miracle, teaming up to make for the ultimate at-home spa night!
So Eco 2-1 Exfoliating Glove - with a textured side and a flannel side, this multi-purpose glove is great for exfoliating skin, leaving it feeling revitalised and refreshed.
Mad Beauty Princess Night In Kit - perfect for any princess, this pampering kit includes an Ariel sheet face mask, a Cinderella exfoliating foot mask, a Rose bath fizzer, a bubble bath lotion and a Rapunzel conditioning hair mask - all themed around Disney's most iconic characters!
Tropic Mini Bath Foam Luxury Collection - treat your loved ones with the sumptuous scents of Tahitian Vanilla and Coconut (my all time favourite - this is INCREDIBLE), Passion Fruit and Ginger Lily, and Monoi and Orange Flower in this luxurious collection of heavenly bath foams.
Norvell Tanning Boost Colour Building Tan Extender - this brand is used by the Strictly Professionals, so of course if it's good enough for them in their shimmering glitzy outfits then, it's good enough for me and my Christmas shopping list. The tan extender makes for a fabulous stocking filler - and the dazzle mist is incredible at giving your skin a glowy finish.
Electrical & Practical Gifts
While I used to wish for snazzy clothes and video games at Christmas time, for the last few years running a hoover has been at the very top of my list for Santa - and to be honest, I would be absolutely thrilled if it was waiting for me on the morning of the 25th! It's the practical gifts, the ones you know you'll use everyday and will become a staple in your daily routine, that can often be the best received. So here's a couple of my top recommendations...
StylSmile Toothbrush- this unique product is SO confident of its teeth whitening powers, it offers you white teeth within four weeks or your money back. Developed by inventor Tom Pellereau (who won BBC's The Apprentice in 2011), the StylSmile includes a Sonic blue light Toothbrush, special toothpaste and accelerator tray, which each work together to create a revolutionary teeth whitening option. It's dentist approved, suitable for use on sensitive teeth and replaces your daily routine, so it's easy to keep up. I won't go into depth about the science behind it, because although amazing - I feel I won't do it justice, however I will say that I've been using it for a week already and have been pretty impressed so far. With a wedding coming up, lots of my family members are looking into perfecting their gleaming smiles - so perhaps this might be an ideal gift option too!
Huski Home Sustainable Travel Cup -also a fabulous option for stocking fillers are these beautifully designed rice husk travel cups, which also happen to be eco-friendly, reusable and biodegradable. They have a twin walled insulation and a leak-proof flip lid, for optimum hot drink portability. No more coffee spills on your white shirt - and no more pricey coffees on the high street in disposable cups. I also love that they are non-toxic, BPA and silicone free, so essentially everything you want from something you might drink from every morning! A great commuters essential that I know I'll be gifting this year.
Speck Phone Cases- designed for impact (so perfect for that clumsy relative who always drops their phone a week after getting their new one for Christmas) this case offers 2 layers of protection, as well as antimicrobial product protection - because lets not even think about how many germs our phone cases must be carrying. We pop them down on counters, pick them up while we're eating - and pass them around from person to person. They've been drop tested up to 4m - so you can be rest assured your new gadget will be in safe hands. They also come in an assortment of colours, as well as a clear glitter option - practical and stylish!
Urbanista Sydney Portable Speaker -easy to slip into your handbag, this beautiful little speaker is perfect for those spontaneous occasions that call for a little bit of music! Compatible with IOS and Android, you can enjoy up to 5 hours of amazing sound (and I mean amazing, the quality is fab) with a simple, easy bluetooth connection. Water-resistant too (these guys really have thought of everything), the sleek design comes in 4 different colour options, green, pink, silver and black.
Mifo Wireless Earbuds- these gorgeous rose gold earbuds (they come in an assortment of different colours) offer an incredible 7+ hours of continuous use in one single charge. As well as smart pairing (connecting to your phone is a total breeze) and being waterproof, the buds also come with a portable charging case, which offers an additional 15 full charges - so you never have to be without them, even when travelling!
TowerMarble 2 Piece FryingPanSet - this is possibly the most sleek and chic set of frying pans I've ever seen, with beautiful rose gold detailing and a white marble exterior design. However far from being just a pretty face, the French grey non-stick coating provides an easy release of your food, meaning that you only need a small amount of oil for a low fat frying method. Made from thick quality aluminium bodies, these frying pans take your cooking from hob to oven, with heat-safe properties that can withstand temperatures up to 240 degrees.
NextBase Dashcam - The Nextbase 322GW is the world’s first Dash Cam in our range to provide Emergency SOS. This revolutionary new feature will alert the emergency services to your location in the event of an accident. Other features include 1080p HD resolution, a HD touch screen, 140° viewing angle, AutoSync and Bluetooth.
Tower Marble Kettle- with a stylish marble exterior, this is another kitchen essential that isn't just a pretty face. Boil your beverages in reduced time with the 3kW rapid boiling heating element of this Kettle, with quiet boil technology - which is ideal in open plan living spaces like ours. The 1.7 litre capacity can make up to 7 cups from a single fill - and there's even an automatic cut-off safety feature for guaranteed safe usage!
Groove-e Aura Wireless Charging Station-this hard-working and multi-functional device not only wirelessly charges your devices, but also acts as a bluetooth speaker and LED touch light. The 3-in-1 product has 3 light modes, touch control and a 7W speaker, which is amazing considering it also looks rather sleek on the bedside table!
Thermomix - if you follow me on Instagram, you'll have seen that we have a new addition in the house - a life-changing, kitchen wonder - the Thermomix TM6.
Performing up to 20 different functions, including grinding, blending, stirring, sautéing, cooking, steaming, precision heating, weighing (just to name a few), this incredible device makes cooking a total breeze.
If you - like me - are absolutely terrible at following recipes, then this is the fail-safe you need, as the touch-screen digital recipe book (with over 40,000 recipes) walks you though step-by-step how to make restaurant worthy dishes.
You truly do need to experience it to appreciate what this can do for yours and your family's health and wellbeing, because it was only when it was demonstrated to me in person that I realised what a privilege it would be to use and cook with on a daily basis.
And while it does seem like a costly initial outlay, the benefits (and savings further down the line) far outweigh it.
We waste far less food, because we pick our recipes for the week in advance, use the Thermomix Cookidoo app to generate a shopping list based on those recipes - and save ourselves getting carried away in the vegetable aisle!
They've also got a fabulous holiday collection of recipes for the festive season, this year - I'm giving gingerbread a whirl.
Furi Knife Set - Perfect for gifting to foodies, or for any friends or family who have just moved into their first home and are stocking up their kitchen, this set is a reliable and affordable cooking companion. The scalloped indentations on the blade reduce cutting friction to make slicing faster and easier. The set also comes with a Sharpener to keep your knives as good as new!
I don't know about your other half but mine only ever re-stocks his 'grooming cupboard' around the Christmas period. He never considers buying products for himself but is always excited to see them pop up in his stocking, so here's a few that may sneak in this year...
O'Keeffe's Guaranteed Relief Set -a staple in any bathroom cabinet, these hard-working products for hard-working hands and feet are a welcome gift set for lots of guys (and gals). The set contains the popular Healthy Feet Cream, Working Hands Cream and the Lip Repair balm - which each work to soothe, mend and provide guaranteed relief from extremely dry cracked skin!
Bluebeards Revenge Soap Stack - A colourful stack of soap bars with three unique fragrances. Suitable for showers, baths, hands and bodies - the cuban gold edition is a firm favourite in our house - as is the 'big blue bar of soap for blokes'!
Bluebeards Revenge Slick & Shine Hair Kit -this kit contains 100ml of the hair gel and 100ml of the pomade, each designed to uphold styles from dusk til dawn. Plus 50p from the sale of each tub of hair gel goes towards helping to prevent male suicide.
Whether it's the person who has everything or the person whose extremely fussy - let's face it, you can't really go wrong with biscuits, sweets or chocolate?
And so if you're completely stuck for choice, perhaps one of these options would be best received (or should I say, consumed)...
OGGS Luxury Handmade Mince Pies - for the dairy-free eaters among us, Christmas can be a bit of a disappointing time of year in the treats department. Yule logs, mince pies, eggnog and cheese platters are out the window, as we have to miss out on an array of festive delights.
So imagine my excitement when I discovered the brand OGGS who make a plethora of cakes and sweet treats to satisfy plant-based eaters and satiate sweet cravings.
These vegan mince pies are filled with spiced mincemeat, laces with brandy, topped with a pastry star and dusted with sugar. They're not dry or underwhelming like you'd imagine a 'free-from' product to be, in fact they are quite the opposite - and so they make for the perfect treat for any dairy-free or vegan diners at your dinner table this Christmas. They also offer salted caramel cakes and chocolate cakes, so I'll be sure to stock up!
Popcorn Shed Gourmet Popcorn - this award winning brand have a delectable selection of gluten-free treats, including Cherry Bakewell Popcorn, Vegan Caramel, Toffee, Chocolate and Pecan Pie, as well as some savoury options such as Goats Cheese & Black Pepper. The 80g 'shed' boxes make for perfect gifts, or for a real treat - you can opt for the 200g gifting jar.
Lir Discovery Collection Chocolate - a delicious collection of chocolates to surprise and delight.
Includes some unusual (but delicious sounding) combinations such as Persian lime truffle and cinnamon and raisin cream, as well as some classic favourites including raspberry & pistachio, sea-salted caramel, hazelnut gianduja, pecan caramel and coffee crunch. Yum!
Booja-Booja Dairy-Free Chocolate Truffle Box - this brand is my ALL time favourite for dairy-free delights, as they taste rich, decadent and luxurious, everything you want a traditional chocolate truffle alternative to be.
The box features a selection of their award-winning treats, including the Hazelnut Crunch, the Rhubarb & Vanilla Fool, the Stem Ginger, the Around Midnight Espresso and my all-time favourite the Almond Salted Caramel. I may just be keeping this box all to myself...
Seed and Bean Gifts - this 100% organic, ethical brand has something for every chocolate lover, with 22 fabulous flavours. You could opt for the Christmas cracker giftset, which includes 4 x 25g vegan bars, in spiced ginger, orange & thyme, extra dark and espresso flavour. Or you could go for their wild and wonderful botanical range, with coconut & raspberry, mandarin & ginger, lemon & cardamom and orange & thyme. My personal fave is their orange & thyme!
Fiona Cairns Rudolph and Robin Fairy Cakes - perfect for any cake lovers among your party, this adorable little set contains six chocolate sponge fairy cakes topped with chocolate fondant icing and decorated with sugar paste decorations in the shape of Reindeers and Robins. Almost too cute to eat! But then too temptingly delicious not to!
Salcombe Dairy Bean to Bar Chocolate - Salcombe Dairy have been making award-winning ice-cream in Devon for forty years, using local natural ingredients. The bean to bar chocolate is their gifting option, with Peruvian cacao nibs and raw cane sugar, for high quality sweet treats. The Evening Star Coffee is a dark milk chocolate bar with Kenyan coffee beans, for those coffee lovers with a sweet tooth. And the Midnight A Darker Dark Chocolate is 85% cacao for a beautiful flavour! They tend to run online offers where you can have gift boxed bars delivered to your door, so you don't have to make your way down to Devon to enjoy this treat if you don't want to.
Alcohol & Drinking Gifts
Cranes Cranberry & Blood Orange Liqueur - this gorgeously fruity concoction is perfect for any budding cocktail makers or drinks connoisseurs who want to try something a little different. Add a splash to a glass of prosecco for a spicy festive flavour!
Salcome Gin Rose Sainte Marie - Exceptional, multi-award-winning gin, created at their waterside distillery in the stunning coastal town of Salcombe, including their newly launched ‘Rosé Sainte Marie’ which is perfect for adding a subtle sweetness to your favourite G&T concoction.
Jenkyn Place Sparkling Rosé - perfect for any festive toasts, Hampshire’s Jenkyn Place has added a vintage 2014 sparkling rosé to its range - and it's crisp, fruity and oh so delicious. It's a dry, elegant rose that will evolve beautifully for years to come, if you prefer to savour, not sip!
Taittinger Prestige Rosé - Pretty in pink and perfect for that someone who loves a little glamour. This beautifully presented drink has gorgeous aromas of soft red fruit, including raspberry and wild strawberry with a smooth, elegant and fruity heart!
Demi-sec NV Seyval Blanc - the enticing aromas of brioche and pear are complimented by an underlying honeysuckle quality. This wine has a broad mouthfeel that is soft and rounded and gives a long lasting, sweet apple finish. Divine with a slice of rich Christmas cake or an excellent aperitif.
Gosnells’ 4% abv meads - Gosnells' new concoctions in colourful cans would make for great little stocking fillers, however they also come in a four-pack set in case you wanted to gift one of each of the new flavours. Choose from Gosnells Citra Sea - a tempting blend of honey, lemon, tarragon and Citra hops. Or Gosnells Hibiscus, which is their only pink mead brewed with hibiscus flowers for a fruity tart finish. Then there's the Gosnells Hopped, with a great floral finish. And lastly, Gosnells Sour - a puckering sourness intermingling with sweet, tangy honey notes.
Coole Swan Premium Irish Cream Liqueur - this decadent drink combines single malt Irish whiskey, Belgian white chocolate and fresh Irish cream to deliver a the ultimate velvety indulgence. The addition of Belgian white chocolate is unique to Coole Swan and is the secret to delivering its distinctive brilliant white pour!
Christmas is the time when family friendly games really come into their own. The beaten old Monopoly board makes its annual outing from the cupboard and the deck of cards (notoriously with one missing) becomes a table staple. My grandmother takes it upon herself each year to bring a new game to the festivities - and enjoys putting together quizzes for everyone to take part in. Games bring the whole group together, so why not treat your family or friends to a new addition to add to their collection. Here are a few favourites this year to add into the stockings...
Mr & Mrs Pocket Edition - how well do you know your partner, your family or your friends? Pair up and prepare to answer questions about your partner, uncovering things you may or may not know about your nearest and dearest. Includes the Paddle Round where players answer questions about each other such as ‘Who is most likely to lose their keys?’ or 'Who is the grumpiest?’ . Blank looks, blushing faces and laughter may ensue!
Strictly Come Dancing The Card Game - the hilarious family friendly card game inspired by the hit BBC show. Be the first to collect a complete dance routine in card form, while partying in live show activities along the way. No former dance experience is required, just a desire to be the most FAB-U-LOUS!
The Really Nasty Horse Racing Game - Enjoy a 'day at the races' with this devious horse racing game. Players race their horses around the board to win at all costs, whether your horse places first or not. Be devious, bet on your own horse or someone else's, but don't tell anyone who you've bet on! Beware, this game gets competitive and bluffing and double-crossing may be rife. Which member of your favourite is the most devious?
The Very Merry Christmas Game - All the fun of Christmas, in one box! Compete with the other players to fill your stocking with the most lavish gifts. Or steal from others stockings user the 'cracker' card. You may even have to burst into Christmas song to save a few of your prized prezzies.
True Colours - True Colors is the revealing party game that will uncover just how well you really know your friends and family! After a game card is read, players secretly cast votes for who they think fits the description most. Do you think you'll get some, all or none of the votes? Full of surprises!
Escape Room: The Game - Enjoy the thrill of an escape room game, only in the comfort of your own home. You have 60 minutes to unlock yourself and 'escape', solving puzzles, riddles and codes along the way. There's even a chrono decoder included for the ultimate experience!
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire Card Game - containing over 100 questions, you can put yourself in the hot seat of one of the nation's favourite quiz shows and take on the iconic money ladder. Can you make it to £1 million?
The Chase Card Game - based on the TV hit quiz show, outwit The Chaser AND your opponents in the race to win the most cash. Then gamble or play it safe, it's your choice!
Catch Phrase Card Game - go head to head with your family members to say what you see in this fast-paced family card game, based on the favourite TV show! Which of your crowd will be crowned Catch Phrase Champion?
With the party season taking up the majority of December, all the styling, colour and heat treatment can really take its toll on our locks, so I'm positive that a haircare treat would be extremely well received come the 25th.
Lee Stafford Coco Loco You Drive Me Coconuts Gift Set - the Coco Loco range from Lee Stafford is one of my favourites. Whether it's the distinctive pink packaging that immediately draws you in, or the gorgeous tropical coconut scent - I can promise you the products themselves don't disappoint either, as they are well and truly engrained in my own personal haircare routine. This lovely little set contains the two hero products - as well as a handy keepsake travel bag. Give the gift of great hair, I'm pretty sure it will be well received!
StyleDry Turban Shower Cap - this little innovative beauty would make for a great little stocking filler too. Essentially it's a very effective shield for preserving your festive party season blow-dries as it cleverly shields hair from the water and humidity that causes frizz. The soft outer layer means no pesky elastic imprints, and since it's made from quick drying, wrinkle free Lycra, it scoops up wispy hair and leaves your hair just as perfectly preened as before. So you can freshen up, without messing up your hair! Genius!
OGX Damage Remedy Coconut Miracle Oil - this range encompasses a miracle oil hair mask, a shampoo and a conditioner, each of which aim to soothe dry and damaged hair with ultra-rich reviving coconut oil and vanilla bean extract (so yes, you guessed it - it smells amazing too). You can pick them up from most high street beauty stores, so they are great little additions to the stocking, or even as a standalone gift!
Sometimes it's lovely to surprise someone with a totally unique gift that they weren't expecting. Usually the best examples of these are when you personalise something or find something different on the minefield of the internet - so many pages deep that others are unlikely to buy the same thing!
Cook's Diary - these 2020 diaries are not only beautiful in design, with gorgeous gold effect marble covers and floral designs, but they are also totally unique, with their week-to-view pages sitting among weekly triple-tested recipes, providing inspiration to get up and cook something from scratch! All of the recipes that they feature are rigorously tested by the general public to ensure they work perfectly every time, with irresistible and easy-to-prepare ideas for main dishes, desserts, starters and snacks. I know a few people in my life who would LOVE one of these - and it certainly takes organising what you're going to cook to an entirely new level.
London Sock Co Gift Box - this 'socks on the rocks' gift-set is an incredible collaboration with Glenfiddich whisky and the London Sock Co. Three exquisite whiskies from the world’s most awarded single malt whisky distillery are paired with stylish, high quality socks for the ultimate gift!
GANT Red Sweater - is there anything better than receiving a big wooly jumper for Christmas? I think not. So while it might not technically be a 'unique gift' as stated in the section header, it's definitely a underrated Christmas staple! This gorgeous soft wool turtleneck comes in a beautiful vibrant festive red colour!
Motif Photo Book - having a tangible keepsake of your memories in photo-form truly is a gift like no other. The smiles on family and friends faces after presenting them with a gorgeously printed photo-book is truly so special and it's now a go-to for any thoughtful gifting opportunities. Motif is a great platform to use if you want to print photos from your phone, because you simply download the app, create your book and order. I was so impressed by the quality of the finished book and the ease of the process - because quite often you can have a few cropping disasters! However on a smartphone it's so straight-forward and there's no fiddling about uploading your photos to a laptop either.
Skagen Connected Mens Signature Smartwatch - this rather traditional looking mens wristwatch is actually a hybrid smartwatch with a deceptive analogue design. Compatible with IOS and Android, it offers an in-built sleep tracker, calorie counter and pedometer, as well as the option of setting activity goals. If you know someone who loves the traditional appearance of a wristwatch but would benefit from the functionality of a smartwatch, this is a great introduction!
Infini Roses - for the family member or friend who adores flowers, these long-lasting roses might just be the perfect present. Lasting over a year (which is basically 52 bouquets if you consider fresh flowers might only last a week), these gorgeous floral displays are the ultimate gift and come in an assortment of colours and arrangements. Choose whether you'd like to gift a keepsake soft touch box or a diamond acrylic square vase.
A couple of years ago a relative kindly bought me a set of make-up brushes and it was possibly the best gift ever, because they were the most high quality in my collection and I've used them religiously to this day. Again, like pampering - often we forget to treat ourselves to new make-up bits, so receiving them in your stocking is a guaranteed winner!
Kat Von D Crazy For Kittens Set - this travel friendly favourites set includes the mini everlasting liquid lipstick, the mini tattoo waterproof liner, the mini go big or go home volumizing mascara and the alchemist holographic palette. I know a few ladies in my life who would be VERY excited to receive this beautiful make-up set.
Bobbi Brown Christmas Collection - one of my all-time favourite brands to wear myself (and for gifting too), I've had quite an affiliation with Bobbi Brown over the past year as I've actually taken two family members into store for one of their make-up lessons, both to test the waters on what products they like - and also to help them learn a few new tips and tricks. Because we all get stuck in a rut with our make-up routine from time to time, right? The Christmas collection is absolutely stunning - with a Luxe Gem theme for a luxurious hypnotic finish! The beautiful limited edition eye-shadows in highly pigmented jewel tones are perfect for that party-ready look and if you're gifting anything, make it the Luxe Jewel Lipstick, a shimmering glittering and decadent pearl finish!
Kat Von D Lolita Eyeshadow Palette - this gorgeous palette is full of beautifully pigmented soft rose and blush shades, perfect for blending to create a rosy smoky eye. When the original shade from the palette debuted, it sold out in a few hours - so you can be guaranteed the recipient of this gift will be pretty pleased. I love capsule collections of one single colour range, as it makes it far easier to find complementary shades for a full make-up look - so I personally am a huge fan too.
Guerlain Goldenland Collection - this sparkling, glitzy collection is perfect for the party season, veiling every make-up look with a soft, subtle (and rather festive) shimmer. Filled with vibrant tones and pigmented gold textures, the products help to highlight and diffuse light, for the ultimate glam finish.
Candle & Reed Diffuser Gifts
Candles and diffusers make for the perfect gift as it's a real treat to be able to infuse your home with gorgeous, rich and luxurious scents! I've always had such positive feedback when I'm popped a candle into a gift mix or a stocking - and so I really don't think you can go wrong, especially if you're buying for someone who has everything. I mean, has anyone ever said 'you can have too many candles', ever? Or can your home ever smell toogood? Definitely NOT!
MOR Northern Lights Reed Diffuser- MOR is the perfect gifting brand because their packaging is so ultra luxurious and beautiful that even the box feels like a treat in itself. Their scented home library of gorgeous fragrances and reed diffusers is a one-stop-shop for gorgeous gifts - but my personal favourite is the Northern Lights Nordic Amber & Plum Diffuser. The smell is absolutely heavenly - a rich aroma of strong plum and warm amber, it adds a festive delight to any room it sits in!
Ted Baker Residence Scented Candles Trio-beautifully scented and packaged, this luxuriously fragrant gift set is perfect for anyone who collects candles (guilty as charged). The scents include Fig & Orange Blossom, Pink Peppet & Cedarwood and Bergamot & Cassis.
Often several tiny gifts packaged in a beautiful stocking will be just as, if not more, well received than a larger more expensive present, so don't feel like you need to spend the earth to create an amazing gift.
For the actual stockings themselves, I love opting for something personalised, for that extra special touch.
For the second year running, we've gone for Santa sacks from Harrow & Green - as they really do add that finishing touch on Christmas morning.
We've got one for each family member - even little Ralph!
The initial stockings are also beautiful if you've got a mantel to hang them on (we're still working on that one).
Elegant Touch Nails - for a more low maintenance and cost effective manicure, I use Elegant Touch nails regularly, as they last at least a week - and they don't involve an hour's sitting in a salon. Plus you can change them up as regularly as you like, from the comfort of your own home. I've introduced quite a few of my family members to their gorgeous designs over the past few years - and so they now make for excellent stocking fillers. They've even got a festive special - 'What the elf?' set, with adorable elf and Santa hats. The only question is, when do I pop them on?
Eylure Lashes - along the same train of thought as the above, lashes are a great stocking filler - especially as most of us will have depleted our stash over the Christmas party season. Some gorgeous limited edition favourites over Christmas are the 'Stars in her Eyes' and 'Stargazer' versions.
Fiona Cairns Iced Gingerbread Biscuit Lollies - although you could argue these adorable little biscuit lollies are far too adorable to eat, this addition to the Fiona Cairns Christmas range is sure to be popular for stocking fillers - with her luxuriously decorated sweet treat available to order online in an assortment of designs! Do you go for the penguin, the reindeer or the polar bear. Or all three?
Tropic Mini Complexion Trio - this adorable trio of miniature treatments is an ideal stocking filler skincare treat. Let your recipient discover their perfect skincare combination, with the mini Fruit Peel resurfacing treatment, the Glow Berry brightening serum and the Rainforest Dew Hydration serum.
Mad Beauty Disney Face Masks - these Disney inspired face masks make for amazing stocking fillers, with cooling cucumber to hydrate, soothe, moisturise and cool the skin.
Critically Endangered Socks - these stylish socks also support the world's most endangered animals, with a portion of each sale going to animal charities. The soft material is eco-friendly and made from a soft and sustainable blend of cotton and bamboo. Each pair (for which you can choose the Borneo Orangutan, the dolphin, the leopard, the turtle or the elephant) comes with an endangered animal fact sheet in a bespoke recyclable box.
Cake Smooth Move Hair Mask - this ultra buttery, decadent mask melts into your hair to inject your strands with moisture, leaving them silky smooth, soft and nourished. A perfect hair treat for any stocking recipient!
SIGG Sports Bottle - this elegant yet functional design is an ideal stocking filler for the gym go-ers and adventurers in your family. Made from recyclable aluminium, it is lightweight, robust and super easy to fill and clean. The range also comes in an assortment of bold colours!
Bio-D Sanitising Hand Wash - Bio-D is the UK’s leading brand of environmentally responsible, ethically sound, hypoallergenic, vegan cleaning products. Their scented hand washes, in rosemary and thyme, lime and aloe vera, fragrant geranium or fragrance free, make for great little additions to those adult stockings!
Pact Coffee Subscription or Pact & Planato set- for the ultimate coffee lover, Pact is the UK's leading speciality coffee subscription service that provides an assortment of flexible delivery plans, offering ethically sourced fresh coffee direct to your doorstep. With over 13 different coffees to choose from, including exclusive roasts from every corner of the globe, there’s a flavour for everyone. Pact pay at least 25%-125% above Fairtrade and the higher premium for Pact helps to secure their farmers’ livelihoods and in return, the health of the coffee industry. As well as a festive Christmas blend, the Brazilian Planalto is a real crowd-pleaser (it even won a Great Taste award last year) with notes of malt milk chocolate. Team it with the V60 Hario Coffee Dripper and you're good to go for brewing yourself a fabulous cup of coffee!
Zyliss 4 in 1 Avocado Tool- if you're an avocado fiend like me, then you'll probably appreciate the sheer number of messy worktops, knives, forks and spoons it takes to get out all the good stuff. You have to cut around the stone, scoop out the flesh and watch out for the flying pieces as bits of green shoot out the sides. And yet, when you go to a restaurant their avocado is always perfectly sliced. Well now I know their secret - and it makes for a perfect little stocking filler. This neat little tool has a serrated plastic edge to cleanly slices through avocado skin without damaging the flesh inside. The metal teeth grip the stone for swift and easy removal (it's a quick twist manoeuvre), with a fan blade to effortlessly slice the flesh, ready to serve. Plus - added bonus, it's dishwasher friendly!
Nordic WareHoliday Teacakes pan- this adorable cakelet pan is perfect for budding bakers and star bakers alike, with adorable festive designs! I'm going to be trialling out some gingerbread cake - wish me luck!
Tog24 Womens Knit Slippers (in deep port)- I don't think there's one single family member who wouldn't appreciate a new pair of slippers in their stocking - and these beauties are gorgeously festive, with a knit design in a warm plum shade. With a super soft inner layer, one thing is for sure - the recipients feet certainly won't be going cold this Christmas!
Dr Paw Paw Hello Gorgeous Giftset-containing three of their best-selling cruelty-free and vegan wonder-balms, this mini gift-set is even designed to hang on the tree, for extra festive pizazz. The original balm hydrates and nourishes lips, skin and cuticles.
Fiona Cairns Undecorated Shortbread Holly Biscuits-a great stocking filler for little ones who might like to decorate their own festive biscuits this Christmas.
Roger & Gallet Jean-Marie Farina Perfumed Soap Coffret- presented in a beautiful deep-red gift box, in luxurious pleated silk-paper, this is the ultimate special gift for anyone who loves Parisienne chic pampering. Inspired by the shape of the macaroon and scented to the heart, these beautiful soaps are a true French classic. Made from 100% natural essences, the soap’s vegetable base makes it fully biodegradable and each 100g soap lasts for one hundred showers.
Ciate Watermelon Burst Hydrating Eye Patches -infused with brightening watermelon extract, these patches restore and revitalise the skin under your eyes to leave you feeling refreshed and awake within no time. Perfect for giving a little boost post-party season!
MOR Merry Marshmallow Bauble -I've discussed above how gorgeously packaged these products are - and this adorable soap-filled bauble is no exception. The Triple-Milled bar soap has luxuriously silky formula with Vitamin E and Shea Butter to smooth and soothe your body, leaving behind silky-soft skin!
So Eco Tools -whether it's a detangling hair brush, an exfoliating sponge, a duo fountain & concealer brush or a spa headband, So Eco offer an array of handy bathroom and dressing table tools that make for perfect stocking fillers. Plus, everything is made from ethically sourced, compostable, recyclable and bio-degradable materials. Planet-friendly gifting, at its finest!
Prodigy Chocolate Bars - these healthy, vegan and gluten-free chocolate bars have the seal of approval from our household, as six managed to disappear within the space of a day! The brand uses coconut cream to emulate the milky, smooth texture of chocolate, while also being refined sugar free. The end result is a decadent, luxuriously creamy and rich chocolate bar that makes for the perfect stocking filler!
Children & Baby Gifts
This section may not apply to you just yet, but we have a few babies in our family (and a few making an appearance next year), so I always keep my eyes peeled for suitable gifting ideas.
MAM Self Sterilising Bottles -These anti-colic, self-sterilising bottles are the ultimate hard-working baby essentials. Developed with medical experts, they are ideal for on the go!
MAM Ellie the Bee - 100% baby safe and made with natural rubber (that is BPA free), Ellie is a handmade developmental toy that makes for the perfect baby gift!
If you've been following me on Instagram, then you'll know that earlier last month, we had a new addition to our family - our miniature dachshund puppy, Ralph! Admittedly I have been spoiling Ralph already with little gifts, because I can't resist - but I've also stashed some away for Christmas time too!
Pet Love Furzz- with a squeaker in the stuffed head and a floppy body, this toy is the ultimate fun for playful dogs!
Nylabone Teething Chew -we've got Ralph a few Nylabone chew toys already and he absolutely loves them, so we already know that this bacon flavour teething chew will be well received. Gentle enough for puppies, chewing on these key toys soothes their gums and encourages proper chewing habits! You know... rather than on our sofa or my new shoes.
Nylabone Puppy Snacks -these turkey & sweet potato flavour healthy edibles are a perfect complementary treat alongside their food. Ralph loves them!
Mikki Puppy Grooming Kit - we're quite lucky with Ralph in the sense that he's quite a low maintenance dog. His fur is short and he doesn't need much in the way of grooming. That being said, we still want to get him into the routine of keeping him clean and brushed - so I can't wait to introduce him to this kit!
Dogsy gifts - for the ultimate dog lover, this brand offers you the chance to make your own set of matching pjs - for you and your canine companion! And if that's a little too much for you, then you could opt for a cushion or hoody with your fluffy best friend on the front. Such an adorable idea for anyone who adores their furry family members. And YES - I have had a cushion printed with Ralph on the front as a surprise for one of our family members who absolutely loves cuddles with him! Soon, they will have their own version of Ralph to curl up with.
Chuckit! Glow Ball-this fabulous rubber ball glows in the dark, which means you don't have to stop playtime outside just because the sun goes down. For maximum glow, expose the toy to a bright light source for five minutes before you head out!
Personalised Dog Treat Advent Calendar Box- Ralph is in for such a treat this festive season, with this adorable personalised dog treat advent calendar. Presented in a beautiful handmade textured box, behind each door is a mini knotted bone, a sausage roll treat and there might even be a special toy between door number 25!
What's on your Christmas gifting list this year?