I’m both slightly smug and embarrassed to say that I started Christmas shopping back in September. When it comes to all things festive, I absolutely love getting into the holiday spirit early because once the 25th arrives, it all seems over too quickly – so I figure why not make the most of the build up!
This year, I decided to put together a mammoth Christmas gifting guide for all my favourite finds – featuring suitable presents for every member of the extended family. Focusing on food, interiors, beauty, fashion and other quirky gifts, hopefully it will inspire even the biggest of scrooge’s to indulge in a spot of festive shopping.
You know what they say, it’s always best to be prepared! So here goes…
YSL Black Opium | £55.95
Fragrance Direct offer some really fab discounts on a huge range of fragrances which are ideal for gifting, however the best discovery I’ve made as of late is their sale of the YSL Black Opium – a classic that I’ve heard so many fantastic things about! Inspired by darkness and mystery, the first few notes that come through are coffee and pink pepper – an intriguing combination but nevertheless very lovely, complimented by the vanilla, jasmine and orange blossom that come through as you go on. It’s very sexy and sensuous – and the scent subtly lingers for days afterwards, so it’s super long lasting! It’s a fab treat for your deserving bestie – who I’m sure has heard the hype surrounding this beautiful fragrance too and can’t wait to try it out!
Blank Canvas Master Series Palette One | £30
This is probably the one and only neutrals palette your best friend will ever need – with 11 velvety matte shadows and 1 beautifully pigmented shimmery champagne highlighter. Ranging from peaches to dark browns, it’s the ultimate party look-book – taking you through from daytime natural to an evening smouldering smokey eye! Plus, the chances are – you’ll probably be borrowing this when getting ready for a night out – so you may as well make sure your BFF is well equipped with the right tools!
TIGI S-Factor Vivacious Lustre Gift Set | £12.95
When TIGI first announced their collaboration with S-Factor, I was ridiculously excited! The result was an array of products with chic white packaging, everything smelt like sweets and my hair felt better than ever! So when they popped two of their staple products into a gift-set for Christmas, I couldn’t not include it! The Vivacious Lustre Set for ‘glamourously smooth hair’ contains the ‘Smoothing Lusterizer’ for de-frizzing and taming and then the ‘Vivacious Hairspray’ for locking down your party style. If your best friend is a beauty addict who loves experimenting with her hair, this is a must-gift!
Lumie Bodyclock Iris | £160
No-one really wants an alarm clock for Christmas – since it signifies the epitome of everything un-festive – early mornings, work, grouchy parents and so forth. However this little gadget certainly bucks the trend since it features an array of in-built lights which mimic a sunrise, waking you up naturally. Blaring bugging noises no more! I’ve heard rave reviews about the Lumie from fellow bloggers but there’s also claims that waking up this way improves mood, energy, productivity and the quality of our sleep. We all know our mums go on about having a peaceful nights sleep – so maybe this is the answer! The Iris version also has twin aromatherapy chambers so you can add morning and evening essential oils!
Fabriano Positano Clutch | £61
The Fabriano Boutique has a wonderful array of beautifully made stationary, leather goods and notebooks, perfect for anyone that loves great quality classics. This brightly positano clutch, made with 100% natural cotton and a leather strap – is perfect for doubling up as a clutch for an evening out, a make-up bag for your mum’s travels or a little handbag divider for all those essentials you don’t have time to dig around for. It’s really pretty but not too over the top – perfect for a classic gift!
Handbag Clinic Handbag Essentials Care Kit | £49.99
The whole premise of handbag cleaning has only recently been introduced to me (yes I’m a little late to the party) but ever since, I’ve been astounded by just how much of a difference getting your handbag cleaned and cared for can make – especially if it’s an expensive one that you want to keep looking pristine! The Handbag Clinic have brought out a rather pretty Essentials Care kit just in time for Christmas which would work really well as a gift if your mum has a prized handbag possession that you just know she loves taking care of! The brand itself has a store in Chelsea – where some of the most beautiful, exquisite and expensive handbags are looked after and cleaned – so you know you’re in good hands! The kit features a leather cleaner, a leather protection cream, a liquid leather protector, fabric cleaner, fabric protector, a handbag hook, two cleaning sponges and two cleaning cloths!
EMU Australia Jolie Slippers | £48
I was treated to a pair of these gorgeous slippers recently and I practically haven’t taken them off since they arrived. Not only are they soft, comforting and warm – but they look so pretty too, with the entire sole coated in a fluffy layer. Everyone loves the feeling of slippers (especially around the festive period) so while I have included these in the ‘mum’ suggestion, they’re suitable for every member of the family! They come in an assortment of colours, including grey, black and brown – however my favourite is the Mushroom shade – which is a gorgeous autumnal plum grey.
Green People Revive Body Wash & Lotion | £19.95
In a refreshing Lemongrass & Ginger scent, this special edition organic set is guaranteed to impress. Not only do the products smell amazing but they’re also enriched with silky soft essential oils – plus the pretty butterfly designs make for the perfect gift for grandmothers!
Janjira Refresh and Revive Body Duo | £35
This pretty gift set contains two of Janjira’s hero products – the Thai Lime & Ginger Sugar Milky Body Scrub which uses refined sugar to help exfoliate, enhance, smoothen and brighten the skin and the Thai Lime Ginger Body Butter which helps to replenish, moisturise and soothe the skin. Your grandmother will no doubt appreciate the gift of pampering!
Royal Horticultural Society Colouring Diary | £12.99
Not sure about you, but diaries are a BIG thing to the ladies in my family. Whenever we’re at a social get-together, towards the last hour, everyone will whip their diaries out to plan the next occasion and check over dates. So whenever we buy a diary as a gift, we want to make it special. The RHS version is a little unique, in the sense it offers a pretty colouring offering for each week – with pages upon pages of swirling floral arrangements and leaves left blank, in case you fancy decorating it yourself. It may sound odd, but colouring has been proven to soothe the brain and promote mindfulness, so it’s a perfect activity in times of stress. I love the wonderful idea behind this diary and think it would make for a perfect gift!
Long Barn Lavender Hamper | £55
Lavender is such a beautifully calming scent – and it also makes for the perfect gift, especially when it comes in luxurious oil, pillow spray and lotion form! Long Barn in Winchester offer a gorgeous range of lavender scented products, which together in hamper form – offer a relaxing, tranquil and very well received Christmas present! The Pillow Spray is ultra soothing and promotes good sleep, banishing nights spent tossing and turning! And for an extra boost of spa-like zen, try burning the candle just before bed! It’s the ultimate ‘me time’ gift set!
Weleda Luxury Chest of Goodness | £31
This is a treasure trove treat of delicious smelling goodies, with five small samples of Weleda’s finest scents. There’s the Wild Rose Body Oil, the Pomegranate Regenerating Body Oil (which I can confirm, smells incredible), the Arnica Massage Oil, the relaxing Lavender Body Oil and the Sea Buckthorne Body Oil. Your grandmother is bound to love one of the scents, if not all – and they’re a lovely alternative to moisturiser!
Heyland & Whittle Gifting | Assorted
British handmade soap and herbal merchants Heyland & Whittle have launched a rather amazing gifting selection this Christmas, so if you’re buying for a certain someone who loves all things scented, you’ll want to look here first! I love the Soap, Votive Candle and Fairy Cake Bath Melt Gift Set, which is a gorgeous mix of citrus, festive frankincense and myrrh. It all comes perfectly packaged up in a keepsake black and yellow box – and it’s something you’ll feel privileged to gift!
Whitewall Photobook | £25
If you’re looking to gift something a little more personal, you’ll want to head over to Whitewall, where you can create an assortment of beautiful and affordable photo products. The online lab can turn your photos into pieces of art – with photo-books, canvases, calendars and gift boxes. It’s super easy to use – you simply pick a product, upload your photo and tweak everything to your preferences. Then you confirm, pay and it’s shipped out to you that day. I usually write these kinds of things off as being ridiculously expensive but a 24 page photo-book is just £25 – and it’s a gift you can be sure they don’t already have!
Glamoriser Straight & Style Speed Brush | £49.99
Probably long gone are the days where your sister is sneaking your straighteners into her own room, but hey – you can still gift for old times sake, especially with the introduction of this amazing new Straight & Style brush from Glamoriser. In a nutshell, it works like a straightener but looks, feels and you use it – like a hairbrush. The heated bristles and barrel smoothes your hair with every brush stroke, taming any frizz and straightening it out for a sleeker finish. It keeps all fly aways at bay and can be used on already styled hair to re-do any strays. If you fancy a more swishy blow-dry esque look, you can simply wrap your hair around the brush bristles for flicks and curls. It’s the quickest and easiest thing for styling (especially when you don’t have time to do much with it in the morning – who does these days) – and hey, your sister might even let you borrow it. You know, for old times sake!
Nailed Gel Wear Classics Collection | £24
These polishes have a unique patented formula to closely match the look, feel and wear of a professional gel polish. They offer between 2 and 3 days more non-chip wear than a normal polish, yet they don’t have the hassle of going to a salon for a full gel manicure attached. There’s also no damage (from the UV) associated – so you can change up your look without any of the breakage – something I’m sure any fashion forward sister can appreciate! The classics collection features the ‘Dirty Blonde’ nude and an Autumnal burgundy – along with two top coats!
The White Company Winter Signature Candle | £20
For me, The White Company is a brand that oozes luxury and embodies those gorgeous plush white ‘interior inspo’ Pinterest images, coated in their beautiful linen and home-wear accessories. Their classic, but chic aesthetic is one that captures my attention every time I walk past my local store – and I know I’m not alone. So I suppose it’s only natural that I include something from them in this gift guide! Their beautiful Winter Signature Candle is a warm, spicy scent that instantly wraps your senses in everything that makes the festive season so well loved. Top notes include cinnamon, clove and orange – reminiscent of the most deliciously steaming mulled wine! Of course, this is all wrapped up in one of their gorgeous glass jars, perfect for sitting pretty on the fireplace! I’ve actually got one of their Winter Signature Candles to give away (either the winner to gift – or keep for themselves), so if you’d like to have one for yourself, leave a comment below saying what your favourite thing about the festive season is! The winner will be announced next week!
Godiva’s Christmas Truffles | Assorted
When it comes to chocolate, Godiva is the like the Chanel or the Prada. The top dog. There’s nothing that quite rivals it’s taste, design and overall luxury feel. This Christmas, they’ve gone all out with a beautiful nutcracker themed box, gently placing 12 of their most popular deliciously melt-in-the-mouth truffles inside. Among some of Godiva’s newest additions include a Matcha truffle, a Raspberry Rose truffle and my all-time-fave (hypothetically since I’m dairy-free so I’m going off how it looks, smells and sounds alone) – the Mousse De Lait.
Tutti Rouge Lingerie | Assorted
I know buying lingerie is a bit of a personal thing, but it still makes for such a lovely gift if you know the person well enough (note before; buying this as a secret santa present or for your mother-in-law might not induce quite the same response). I’ve recently had to chuck out all of my bras and underwear (more on this another day) because I lost quite a bit of weight – and my boobs went out the window with it. Unexpected not-so-bonus, but hey! New bras time! And along my quest, I came across Tutti Rouge and their gorgeous range of underwear! Everything seems to maintain a very pretty, feminine and beautifully lacy feel, giving you that little added boost of confidence from wearing something special. But then again, it’s not too raunchy that you’ll feel uncomfortable having your sister open this around the Christmas tree with the whole family watching. The Liliana Nude and the Fifi Rocks Pink sets are lovely for every day wear – but still gorgeous, so I’d go for those if you’re stuck such a plethora of choice available!
Simple Human Mini Sensor Mirror | £99.99
Finding the right light to apply make-up can be more of a difficult task than you think. We’ve all had the moments where our make-up has looked great in our rather dimly light bedrooms, before escaping outside to realise that… ooops… the colour now looks REALLY quite orange in natural light. The Tru-Lux Light system has come up with a rather snazzy mirror to combat this problem, with a kind of ring light sensor mirror which detects when you’re close to it and lights up! One side has 10 x magnification which is initially quite a shock but then comes into its own when you get used to the fact that *yes you do have pores, everyone does* and you can apply your liner more precisely than you’ve done before. It recharges with a USB, although one charge lasts up to 5 weeks! And it folds in case you want to take it abroad with you. It’s amazing – and your sister totally deserves one!
Pyro Pet | £25
For sisters who love something a bit quirky for their home, you can’t go wrong with Dýri – a very special reindeer who will become part of the home for years to come. Essentially, Dýri, is a cute reindeer candle with golden antlers but simply light the wick and as the candle melts, his delicate golden skeleton is revealed. The idea behind is was created by Icelandic designer Thorunn Arnadottir, who used to watch as candles melted to reveal nothing but a pile of wax. She wanted to create a candle which would give people something to look forward to seeing as it melts. It lasts approximately 22 hours but you won’t want to burn him all at once!
Carmen by Sam Faiers Hands Free Hairdryer | £69.99
As I’d said before, I’m always a bit dubious about celebrity ranges however having tried out this range before, I can vouch for it personally! The hair styling tools are much better than I expected and they’re also beautifully presented in black and gold designs. The Hands Free Hairdryer would make for a perfect present, since it’s still affordable and accessible but offers something different to your average dryer! Not only does it have Keratin Protech technology (with 50% more protection from breakage) but it also has a detachable base, so you don’t have to stay in the tangled mess of wires your hair tools reside in to achieve the perfect blow dry! It’s super easy to use – and creates a really healthy, smooth shine!
Johnny Loves Rosie Chokers | Assorted
I love the little story behind this brand! Each product has a ‘story so far’ on the packaging which says ‘There once was a boy called Johnny, And his one true love was Rosie, He gave her gifts, to win her heart, And so began this true love story.” They basically stock the cutest accessories and I especially love their chokers at the moment. They’re so on trend and so easy to throw on with any outfit, and they have some really pretty, unique varieties to add to yours (or your sisters) collection!
Sudio Rose Gold & White Wireless Earphones | £69 (or £56.95 for 15% off code SCARLETTLONDON)
Everyone knows the peril of putting a pair of earphones into your bag, only to pull them out again the next day to use and your heart sinks – they are tangled beyond belief. What on earth do they do in there?! Plus of course there’s the torturous moments that your wire gets caught on your coat button and is ripped furiously from your ear, right as Bieber comes on. What is this? Do we deserve this? Anyway, to save your poor sister from these problems – you’ll want to invest in a swanky pair of these for her. Not only are they spectacularly gorgeous – in a chic rose gold and white design, but they offer studio quality sound, they have a built in microphone for taking calls on the go, you can control your phone from the remote and they are compatible with all Bluetooth devices. They make listening to music so much more enjoyable – and there’s hardly any noise escape!
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Green People Hydrate Men’s Skin Kit | £15.95
The majority of the men I know aren’t into their skincare – yet whenever questioned about the miraculously fast disappearing expensive moisturiser of mine – start a spiel about fantastically soft their skin now is after trying some. So I figured this is the year where they get their very own sets – and that’s where Green People’s gift sets come in. Their skincare sets, perfect for every skin type (even sensitive) are simple, basic but amazing (I’ve used the women’s versions). The Grapefruit & Green Tea ‘Hydrate’ package contains a basic ‘starter kit’ – a serum, a face wash and an exfoliator. They won’t know what they’ve been missing! Or maybe they will… when we repay the favour and borrow some!
Ted Baker Padrec Dressing Gown | £80
There’s nothing more comforting over the festive period than a new pair of pj’s or a new fluffy robe – and I think the guys are secretly in on it too! If you’re going to make any kind of cosy purchase this Christmas, make sure it’s one of these Ted Baker dressing gowns, featuring the softest navy blue terry towelling lining you’ll ever come across and a silky cotton exterior. Gorgeous purple embroidery provides an extra touch of detail and sophistication (meaning that although it’s extremely comfy for lounging – it’s although rather stylish) and the classic wrap around design is complimented by tie up fastening. Your boyfriend will no doubt adore this gift – and just think, you can borrow it too!
Braun Beard Trimmer | £39.99
Now I’m not an expert on beards, but apparently shaping and maintaining a ‘beard style’ is pretty difficult with a normal razor. You need some specialist equipment! The Braun Beard Trimmer has a precision dial with 20 length settings, so that you can trim and preen the beard to your specific style. It’s fully washable for easy cleaning and there’s 2 rechargeable batteries which have 100% constant power for 50 minutes. In other words, it’s quite a good bit of kit for your money – and it makes the whole styling and grooming thing for men, a lot easier! Even if they’re just a beginner!
Personalised World Travel Map | £59.99
Travel truly is the only thing you buy that makes you richer. David and I have an unending amount of wanderlust and we’re always chatting about the next destination we want to tick off our bucket list. And so rather than creating a list out loud, we decided to get a world travel map to physically pinpoint the places we want to try and explore in the next couple of years. Often life gets in the way and you don’t always appreciate where you’ve been before – and where you’d like to go, so pin-board map seemed like the perfect answer. However i just love it goes one step further, offering a personalised pin-board world map for you to chart your global adventures. The map comes complete with 100 colour-coded pins (that’s a lot of trips) and you can personalise the message in the corner. So we’ve got ‘David & Scarlett’s adventures – where in the world shall we go next’. I think it’s such a lovely, personal and meaningful gift!
Ricoh SP 150 printer | £96.41
A printer might seem like a bit of a mundane present but this snazzy number will be greatly appreciated for the home office – especially as it acts as an extra gadget for the home. This particular model has been designed with the primary purpose of allowing the user to copy, scan and print at the touch of a button via a smart phone or tablet. It’s a new age alternative to your usual outdated printer solutions – and having tested it, it’s also much, much quicker! It looks rather sleek (and fits in with our ‘all glossy white’ theme for our office. So it’s a win, win!
The Complete Vinyl Collection | £149.99
Now I’ve always been intrigued by the experience of listening to vinyl, because I know that it provides a much richer, deeper sound than anything else. Both David and I have never really got the ‘vinyl bug’ but we both adore music and so when I spotted this ingenious invention, I thought it would make for an incredible gift! Available from Curry’s and PC World (so super easy to pop down and get) this is a 2-in-1 MP3 and Vinyl speaker system – and the set includes 20 LPs to kick start your collection. The stylish presentation box (which comes in an assortment of colours but we chose a sleek black) makes for a beautiful standalone decor item however if you do fancy turning the sound up, you can choose from the selection of ‘Disco Fever, Jazz Masters, Soul Classics, Ultimate Divas, Movie Hits, Jukebox Giants, Blues Masters, Route 66 Legends of Rock & Roll, Sensational 80’s, Sensational 70’s, Best of the 60’s, Country’s Greatest & Reggae Hits’ – catering for a variety of musical tastes!
The Naked Grouse | £25.26
A small batch, craft whisky from The Famous Grouse, this has a smooth character and a rich, spicy taste. I’m not a huge whisky expert (despite having toured an entire whisky factory) but the fact that this particular variety is often compared to ‘Christmas cake in a glass’ means that it’s pretty much guaranteed to be flavoursome and festive! It has a smokey, fruity aroma with hints of plum and cinnamon. A gift that would be well received I’m sure!
Sheaffer White Resin Pen | Assorted
Now I’ll be honest here, I’m not into my pens – so I wouldn’t know a snazzy one if I saw one. Unless you know, it looked snazzy. But according to my research – if you have a relative who does appreciate a great pen, you’ll want to go to Sheaffer. They’ve got a big collaboration with Ferrari coming up but other than that, they stock an assortment of very posh looking pens – the kinds that are keepsake and come presented rather fancily in a suede lined box. Their white resin ballpoint is a little bit more accessible to the modern man if he doesn’t want a fountain pen – however their collection is definitely worth a look in!
Balvenie Tasting Pack | £15
Containing three tasting samples of some of the finest handcrafted varieties in the world, this gift pack is the perfect gift for even the most seasoned of whisky lovers! Distilled at The Valvenie Distillery in Scotland, these are single malt scotch whisky’s offering a variety of pungent flavours. The Doublewood 12 has a smooth and mellow flavour is a hint of cinnamon while the Caribbean Cask is rounded with vanilla and has a fruity character. Finally, the Doublewood 17 is sweet with dried fruits, toasted almonds and spice. Apparently it tastes a bit like creamy toffee and deep vanilla!
Robinson & Dapper Classic Navy Tie | £77
A tie is a great gift for dad’s – especially if it’s of really high quality! Robinson & Dapper make an amazing array of 100% scottish wool ties, with a luxurious feel and a smart, classic look. The brand, who are Scottish-owned but based in Denmark, make everything by hand and pride themselves on combining heritage fabrics with modern design for the modern gentleman. They are relatively expensive (in my eyes, but then I’m not a tie expert) however additionally they’re very hard-wearing and raved about online – so you’ll put your him ahead in the trend stakes!
The Macallan Gold | £35
Also available in a limited edition gift tin, this single malt whisky is the perfect accompaniment to all the festive feasts over Christmas – with notes of sweet vanilla and dark chocolate. It’s a little lighter and more floral in its flavour, meaning that even the most seasoned whisky fan will enjoy it’s unique special taste! A perfect gift for dad!
Bull Dog Skincare Duo Set | £10
I think men appreciate skincare more than they let on. I take evidence of this from the fact that whenever I’ve bought my dad or my brother skincare in the past, it’s always been taken pride of place on their chest of drawers (a rarely used space other than to store used socks and drinks cups) and actually gets used! So with this in mind, I thought I’d get a little skincare set for both this festive season – and Bull Dog is probably the best place to start! The duo set contains a Face Wash and Moisturiser, two staple products to kick start even the most basic of routines. I’ve heard rave reviews of their products from other male relatives (and their female companions) so I always turn to them for all things men!
Gtech Multi Cordless Hand Held Vacuum Cleaner | £149
Again, a bit of a practical present but totally worthwhile if your dad takes huge pride in his car (and is forever cleaning it out) or loves a bit of DIY. This super sleek, easy to use hand held gives you the versatility to make short work of cleaning those hard to reach places in your home or even the car interior! It’s cordless, so there’s no fiddling about with wires (a complete god send) and it’s so compact, you don’t need an extra large cupboard to store it neatly.
Krug Baumen Mens Watch | £199
A watch is one of those staple presents that you can really afford to make special. While us women have an assortment of accessories to wear and gift, for men – you’re rather limited, and so the gift of a watch is often very well received! The online world of watches is admittedly a bit of a minefield both in price and style, however this lovely gem is certainly a great place to start. Stocked by ChrisElli (which has a whole host of great watches to choose from), this Krug model is sleek and stylish, but understated – perfect if your giftee isn’t particularly blingy and likes a classic style. The black leather strap and dial work in harmony with the metal case to create a ready-to-wear item for both the day and night.
VARTA Power Pack | £7.99
If your brother is anything like mine, he’ll be addicted to his technology – or at least, very fond of it. So it seems rather fitting that I’d suggest one of VARTA’s power packs (the 2600 to be precise) to gift him. I’m sure we’ve all been through our fair share of portable chargers in the past. I know personally, I have wasted over £100 on ones that have worked on the first charge and then slowly let me down – even if I make every effort to prepare it properly. VARTA’s version is affordable and reliable, with an LED charging indicator, an interchangeable lead (so it’s compatible with all smartphones) and a sleek, lightweight design. It’s ready to use as soon as you take it out the packaging – and can give your phone 1 full charge. You can also attach it to a keyring as it’s super small and you simply re-charge it via USB. You may want to purchase an extra one to keep…
Bluebeards Revenge Gift Set | £24.99
I’ve bought many a male gifts from Bluebeards and they’ve never disappointed, so I couldn’t help but include them at least once in this guide. One of my favourites (which has always been well received) is the Eau De Toilette gift set, which contains a refreshingly masculine fragrance with musky base notes (we always have sandalwood to thank for that) and top notes of bergamot, basil and black tea. It’s very manly but not ridiculously (and hideously) overpowering – take note man on the train who must have a nose of steel to walk around with such a heavy aftershave each and every day. That or his senses have been muted to the sheer amount he sprays on. Anyway, this is a really lovely gift for any male friend – or brother, whose not necessarily really into his fragrances (since this is so easy to wear), but who you know would appreciate a fragrant gift! Bluebeards actually specialise in shaving products – so if grooming and beard oil (yes, it really exists) is more his thing, I’d take a look! They’ve won many a FHM Grooming Awards, so you’re in good hands!
Bull Dog Christmas Cracker | £4
Speaking of Bull Dog (see above for the Skincare Duo set), I also picked up a Christmas Cracker from their aisle, containing the Original Moisturiser (100ml) – which is a great little additional present or stocking filler. The products are enriched with amazing natural ingredients (so even if they are a skincare beginner, there’s not loads of chemicals and parabens to irritate) and it’s ideal for keeping dry skin at bay!
Indoor Skydiving | £28.99* Usually £48.99 – save 40% if you book before December 31st
If your brother is a bit of a thrill-seeker, you could get him a flight or two. And by flight, I mean an indoor skydive. iFly offers a simulation of free-fall conditions (so he doesn’t actually have to jump out of a plane) in a vertical wind tunnel. David and I actually went along to their Milton Keynes branch to see what the fuss was all about – and I quite (excuse the pun) blown away by how cool it was. It’s also much much harder than it looks, so don’t expect to be twirling and flipping on your first go. However, it’s such an exhilarating thing to do that you come out shaking with adrenaline, your legs like jelly and a need to try it again! Plus, the whole family can watch from the viewing tower – so it’s a really lovely and unique present!
Dancook Fire Pit | £114
Again, I’m generalising here – but in my experience, most guys, like fire. There’s some innate fascination in creating fire and watching it (I don’t possess this gene but I am partial to a BBQ) – so this gift ticks both boxes. The Dancook Fire Pit was founded on the Danish tradition of cooking outdoors all year round. According to them, fire and food brings families together – and this harnesses both aspects. With the ability to use both wood and charcoal within it and material where the edges don’t get warm (so it’s safe for kids to be around), it captures the thrill that playing with fire has – while also adding a practical and safe usage. We’ve just got one and although it’s too frosty for me to even entertain the idea of cooking outside, we’re so excited to use this in the summer – inviting friends and family round and barbecuing our favourite foods! So for that reason alone, I think it would also make for a perfect gift!
And the extras…
[ezcol_1third]Snazzy Christmas Jumpers by Matalan[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_1third]Ultimate Christmas Decor by Cox & Cox[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_1third_end]& OTT Christmas Excitement all our own[/ezcol_1third_end]
Beauty Pro Brightening Collagen Masks | £14.16 for 5
These work amazingly as stocking fillers if you’re a family of girls, since you can split a box up between several stockings! Suitable for all skin types, these luxurious but rather scary looking face masks (they’re cut to the shape of your face – with dedicated eye holes) are infused with lots of goodness – vitamins, minerals and collagen for the ultimate brightening treatment. It claims to improve elasticity, diminish fine lines and brighten your complexion. If nothing else, they’ll make a fab girly family-bonding evening with lots of guaranteed laughs!
Yankee Candles Holiday Collection | £8.99
Once again, Yankee have brought out an amazing array of delicious scented candles for the holiday season – perfect for permeating the room with festive goodness! My favourites make for perfect stocking fillers – including the Star Anise & Orange, Macaron Treats and Festive Cocktail (fruity mulled wine – in a jar!). You’ve also got your classics like Vanilla Cupcake, the wintery Fireside Treats (smores!), Pain Au Raisin and Shea Butter. Any recipient of one of these will be very pleased!
Mr Stanley’s Famous Sweets | Assorted
Mr Stanley’s confectionary was established in 1843 in North Yorkshire – and still manages to retain that lovely old-fashioned sweet shop feel that is such a treat! The collection of over 50 products captures the flavours of the world gone by, with a few modern twists! If you’re putting together a stocking for someone with a sweet tooth, then I recommend you head on over to his website to pick up a few goodies! My favourites are the dark chocolate sea salt honeycomb (which I can eat as it’s dairy free), but I’ve also been told from a very reliable source (sitting next to me) that the Luxury All Butter Fudge, the Turkish Delights and the Milk Chocolate & Salted Caramel Matches are certainly worth a look-in too, so there’s plenty of choice.
Green People Indulge Night Treat | £8.50
The lovely people over at Green People have been so thoughtful, that this gorgeous little pampering treat can actually hang on the Christmas tree itself. So technically, you could decorate the entire thing with skincare goodies. If you’re that way inclined. But regardless, this little 91% organic Raspberry and Apple night cream makes for the perfect stocking filler – suitable even for the most sensitive of skin types!
Jealous Sweets Revolution Cracker | £8.99
This is possibly one of my favourite discoveries ever – because they’re both vegan and gluten-free – and means us intolerance sufferers can join in on the sweet toothed action over the festive season. We usually miss out quite a bit, so this is a big deal! I’ve taste tested every individual sweet (you know, just to give you the lowdown) and can confirm they are indeed delicious – especially the tangy worms and and grizzly bears! A 200g cracker contains 4 different packs of sweets – which can be gifted as one very well received present or split up between stockings to make sure that no-one gets too Jealous!
Peter’s Yard Sourdough Crispbread | £6
If you’re buying stocking fillers for someone whose more of a savoury fiend than a sweet, these crackers are a sure fire way to win some brownie points. Or some… savoury brownie points. In three intriguing flavours – spelt & poppy seed, charcoal & rye and original – each pack contains over 265g of crackers – perfect for pairing with pates and wines. Even if you don’t want to pop these in anyone’s stocking – they’re a great for serving as snacks or the perfect host for festive cheeses!
Kimm and Miller RHS Allotment Chutney Selection Pack | £8.50
Everyone loves a chutney at Christmas (me included), so why not fill everyone’s stockings with a little pot of the good stuff! This selection pack is available from the Boots Christmas selection and contains Apple & Cider Chutney, Red Onion Chutney and Spicy Tomato Chutney – perfect for dividing favourites! If you’re feeling very generous, you could choose to gift the whole pack together, giving one lucky family member the entire 6 pots! A little foreword – you might want to hang onto a sample of the Apple & Cider for yourself, it’s incredible!
Nom Nom Nom Proper Welsh Chocolate | £3.50
And don’t tell me you didn’t read the above in a Welsh accent! If you’re putting a stocking together for a self-confessed chocoholic, then these definitely need to feature in there! NomNom chocolate is pretty much declared as the best in Wales – and from the reviews I’ve read online and those I’ve seen have a nibble, I’m not going to argue. Their cocoa is sourced from one single region and they work with local producers to make seasonal variations. They also have some really unique flavours such as Peanut Butter, Super Salted Caramel (with Oak Smoked Welsh Sea Salt) and Orange Marmalade. A must try!
Pinkster Gin | £4.95
Available in miniature form, this amazing PINK gin is the perfect stocking filler for any of the lovely ladies in your life. Made with raspberries to create it’s unique (and award winning) colourful concoction, it has a hint of fruit and an exceptionally smooth finish. Best mixed with a tonic and a fresh sprig of mint!
The Natural Candy Shop Retro Jars | £3.99
Everyone wants their own sweet shop in the comfort of their own home (although how dangerous would that be), so a few of these jars is enough to get you started! Fill your loved ones stockings with these non-breakable reusable jars of goodies – kola cubes, wine gums, jelly beans, pear drops and jelly babies. 400g worth of sweet tooth satisfaction!
LETTERBOX Gifts | £26.95
If you’re searching for a gift for a relative that you won’t see over the festive period, but who you want to make sure isn’t left out – then this very clever company have your answer! Without the hassle of having to worry about whether the giftee is in the house to receive their parcel, this little gift box is the perfect size to squeeze through the letterbox – and you can personalise it depending on who you’re buying for. The Christmas themed gift set contains a beautiful selection of luxury British gifts, beautifully presented with a hand-printed greetings card. The lucky recipient can enjoy a platter of chocolate snowflakes, Christmas scented tea lights, a bundle of mulled wine spices, festive tea and a pretty festive bauble.
Harry Potter Chocolate Frogs | £4
If you have any HP fans in your family, then a couple of themed stocking fillers will of course always go down a treat! In my household, besides me, my younger sister loves all things Potter related and so anything slightly associated still adds that little bit of magic to her day that I have to use my imagination for. You can order Bertie Botts Beans (she still thinks it’s hilarious there’s bogey flavour), jelly slugs or my personal favourite – chocolate frogs. This particular variety have crisped rice inside for a little something extra – oh and of course, the obligatory collectable wizard card!
Chocca Mocca Raspberries in Dark Chocolate | £5.99
Sorry, yet more chocolate – but these are worth it, I promise! The Chocca Mocca range offers an amazing array of unique fruit boxes – all smothered in chocolate. Whether you prefer raspberries, blackcurrants or strawberries, these incredible creations almost trick you into feeling you’re being healthy (with pictures of fresh fruit on the boxes) before opening up to reveal the most delicious chocolate coated delights. They’re perfect if you’re looking to gift someone something a bit different – and for the ultimate chocoholics stocking, pop in a tin of their real Belgian dark or milk tinned drinking chocolate (also available online).
Yutaka Sushi Kit for 2 | £6.99
I know sushi isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but I personally love it and have always been intrigued by making my own. David doesn’t quite share my enthusiasm, but I’m hoping popping this in his stocking will change his mind. Tactical, I know. The kit contains everything you need to make the perfect sushi rolls – besides the fillings, so you can personalise these depending on your preferences. I personally loved avocado and smoked salmon but then tuna and lemon is a popular choice too – so the options are endless! The preparation looks relatively pain free but it’s the rolling that concerns me. Oh well, it something to do on a rainy day after all. And in the UK, we aren’t short of those!
Bluebeards Revenge Soap | £4.99
Bluebeards (in addition to making some fab shaving gift sets) offer an assortment of body washes and shower gels in hard soap form – which make for perfect gifts for the stocking! Despite being grooming related, the products lend themselves to being appreciated by even the most ‘manliest of man’s man’ with product captions like ‘The Big Blue Bar of Soap for Blokes’ and ‘do not eat this soap even if your mother reckons you deserve it!’ You can opt for the Cuban Gold soap or the Classic Ice – and hey, it will stop them stealing your expensive honey scented body wash that he uses FAR too much of!
Haribo Treats | Assorted
For me, the festive season is very chocolate orientated however quite a few members of my family actually don’t like chocolate delights at all (I know, how could they) and prefer sweets or jellies. For this reason, I always find that stocking up on Haribo never hurts and so this year, I picked up a few of their crackers – which are festive themed and sweet in offering – with 120g of Tangfastic or Starmix favourites. There’s also the ‘selection box’ – which contains a number of the best sellers in little sections (look out for the party pleaser 600g version).
Sugru Rebel Tech Kit | £10
I’ve seen this snazzy mouldable glue quite a few times recently and was really intrigued by it. Those who like to keep things neat can use it to tidy cables, organise storage and keep things perfectly in their place. Once opened you have 30 minutes to fix, bond, cushion, seal or create something out of your mouldable glue. Sugru sticks to ceramics, glass, metal, wood and most plastics – and once you’ve moulded it and let it dry (for 24 hours), it turns into rubber! Once this happens, it stays as a durable, flexible silicone. Like magic! It’s a great little handy secret santa present (for the person who has everything) or for a family member who likes to keep things in their place. Keep a little extra at your desk for entertainment – you can make little animals and shapes from it too! Highly amusing. Just saying.
BARU Strawberry & Cacao Marshmallows | Assorted
If you’re looking for something a bit more unusual for your stockings, I’d recommend a visit to the Baru website. They specialise in marshmallows and have an incredible selection of flavoured fluffy delights – some of which are even coated in dark chocolate for an extra treat. The Strawberry & Cacao version comes in a 60g treat box, with no artificial flavours or colours – so they’re suitable for all tastes! I can imagine these will disappear quick though, so have a nibble while you can!
OXO Good Grips Clean Cut Pizza Wheel | £11.35
Practical gifts are currently my gifts of choice, as David and I have just started setting up our first home together – and there seems to be an unending amount of things you need to buy. One thing we keep forgetting (unbelievably) is a pizza cutter, which is so important because we have completely mullered our last few pizzas by trying to evenly cut them with a knife and fork. OXO do a fab pizza wheel – complete with a grippy gel coating on the top for smooth pizza slice cutting. It easily cuts through thin and thick crust varieties (we’ve tested both) and there’s a blade safe guard. If you know anyone setting up a home – this is a great stocking filler!
Derwent Unwind in the Wilds Colouring Book | £10
As mentioned before, colouring is a great stress reliever and promotes mindfulness, so it’s certainly something to jump on board with. One of my favourites is the Unwind in the Wilds book, which is illustrated by Sarah Taylor and contains some incredible pictures which you can really make look spectacular with minimal effort. You zone out as you keep you colour within the lines – and before long, you’ve created your very own colourful masterpiece! Plus you can even bring your friends and family on board to help colour – a great little activity while the turkey is cooking!
Dorco Subscription Service | £5.95
Razor subscription services have been popping up left, right and centre over the past few months. I love the idea behind receiving a new razor in the post once a month, as quite often – we forget to change them over, opening ourselves up to potential germs and dangers of using rusty razors! Dorco’s version is very cost effective (£5.95 a month) and it’s flexible, meaning that the user can opt in and out when they need to. Dorco have been experts in shaving for over 60 years, championing the six blade razor – so they’re a fab place to start! It would make for a great stocking filler for your boyfriend, brother or dad!
Have you started Christmas shopping yet? Or can you see any gifts your family and friends might like?