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I spend a lot of time throughout the year thinking about Christmas. I’m that guy. I start buying presents as early as January, making mental notes of things people didn’t get for Christmas I knew they wanted, or what they liked from other people’s festive hauls. To be honest, I’ve always felt people over think Christmas gifts.
“I have no idea what to get them! They’re SO hard to buy for!”
Realistically, they’re not. Do they drink coffee? Tea? Do you know what face wash they use? Are they going on holiday? Do they read? There are so many avenues you go down, but as a general rule of thumb I always think something they are known to enjoy and use is a safe bet. If you know they have coffee each morning with their breakfast then stuff their stocking with a series of coffee pods from a local coffee roaster.
If you know they love Liz Earle cleanser, then look for the season’s Festive Limited Edition. I’m not condoning simply buying the same things over and over, but rather evolving the idea of something you know they like. Find the best version, find a unique local version, spend some time and thought locating it.
And if you’re a last minute shopper? Well, you guys cause me to have mild panic attacks. First of all, how exactly do you afford for all of your presents to come out of one pay cheque?! Baller. Spread it out! Buy one a month in the earlier part of the year and tuck it away.
So, the guides. I love putting together the Christmas gift guides each year. It’s the most fun picking through the gifting ranges online to find the things I know I’d be more than happy to find under the tree. This year I toyed with the idea of moving away from the ‘Her’, ‘Him’, ‘Them’ and ‘You’ models but based on the feedback I received from everyone over on Instagram these still felt the best way of doing it. This year they’re also joined by a selection of gifts for Under £25.
If your family is anything like mine they’re rather fond of a list of options to purchase you for the 25th. I struggle, every single year. Personally I don’t hugely like being asked but I appreciate it happens. Made.com’s so on-trend face pots (6.) are one of my favourite products to have come out of 2019. Travel toiletries (8.) are something I am never averse to receiving, handy to keep around and always so much more pleasing when they all match. Just me? Sometimes alphabet items can be a tad on the naff side, Alex Monroe’s Alphabet Necklace however (4.) is a thing of golden beauty.
If finding something to ask for is a real struggle, why not use it as an opportunity to update your walls. If you’re anything like me, art can be something I struggle to purchase myself. This Luke Edward-Hall print (5.) from Alex Eagle would look amazing with a deep white mount in a black frame. Just saying.
1. Cardamom & Rose Chocolates, £9.95 2. Goat Milk Cleanser, £32 3. Half Moon Leather Bag, £45
4. Alphabet Necklace, £135 5. Luke Edward-Hall Print, £150 6. Salo Planters, £29
7. Mulberry Silk Underwear Set, £35 each 8. Travel Toiletry Set, £45
I’ve yet to meet a person who doesn’t succumb to the beauty of a cream box tied in a black bow. Jo Malone London’s Poppy & Barley Cologne (4.) is a softly floral fragrance, pulled back to earth with the soft warmth of barley in a summer afternoon. Gin. Can you go wrong? (8.) I feel like pyjamas and dressing gowns are universal and in my experience something you don’t really treat yourself too. This soft waffle gown (9.) is the perfect price point. If they’re fond of a plan, treat them to one of Smythson’s leather bound note books (5.) this year updated to include a version emblazoned with Dastardly Deeds.
One key take away from last year’s guides was the real love for Susanne Kauffman. The mini bath set went down a storm. This year she’s gone one better and launched a full collection of bathing treats. It’s the ultimate in pampering luxury for someone fond of whiling away a few hours in the tub (10.)
1. Wool Jumper, £69 2. Face Necklace, £165 3. Leather Tote, £150 4. Poppy & Barley Cologne, £98
5. Leather Notebook, £47 6. Metal Earrings, £5.99 7. Kelly Wearstler Evocative Style Book, £35
8. Raspberry & Hibiscus Gin, £25 9. Waffle Dressing Gown, £24.99 10. Best Of Body Gift Set, £78
The men in your life are seemingly the most difficult to buy for. (4.) This pasta making kit is one of the best things I found this year. Comprised of everything he/she/you’ll need to whip up perfect homemade pasta, it’s a seriously good gift. So he’s a bit of a ‘cool’ one, or maybe a vaguely stroppy teen? Throw some Virgil Abloh at him and it’s likely to get you a strong response. Here Off-White’s creator has teamed up with Evian to produce a reusable glass water bottle (8.) If you’ve no idea who that is, just take my advice. The young’uns think he’s cool.
(10.) Soho Home give good gift set. This Old Fashioned set feels incredibly suave. (1.) The best pyjamas of the season. John Lewis & Partner’s jazzy set are bold it’s true, but fun and dapper at the same time. (2.) Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream is one of the best skincare products out there. It’s a no brainer for someone who perhaps isn’t too savvy with their skincare routine. Warm, slightly smoky and perfect when paired with an Old Fashion, Diptque’s Ambre (6.) is one of my favouite scents.
1. Palm Print Pyjamas, £30.40 2. Ultra Facial Cream, £24.50 3. Knitted Hat, £49 4. Pasta Making Kit, £35
5. DAB Digital Radio, £129 6. Ambre Candle, £47 7. Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat Cookbook, £18.67 8. Glass Water Bottle, £45
9. Roll Neck Jumper, £59 10. Old Fashioned Cocktail Set, £75
They’re a couple, or maybe a Mother In Law. Nothing too personal or taste specific, but still personal in its selection. If they’re a dab hand in the kitchen this Mediterranean Spice Tin (1.) would make a lovely gift, lasting throughout the year. (2.) I found this wedding guest book on my digital travels but actually decided it would make a lovely photo album for someone. Perhaps they just had a wedding anniversary, or started a family? It can be engraved with their family’s name and key date. Add in a pack of old-fashion photo corners to the gift so they can start their album. Physical photos are a lost art form nowadays, but I’m on a mission to bring them back. (4.) More gin, but this time from the mind of Graham Norton. Yes, he has his own gin and yes, it’s delightful. Papier’s diaries (6.) can be personalised with a name when you order. It’s personal and thoughtful without being too taste dependent.
1. Mediterranean Spice Tin, £35 2. Customised Photo Album, £39 3. Initial Luggage Tag, £18 4. Graham Norton Gin, £25
5. Wireless Phone Charger, £44.99 6. Personalised 2020 Diary, £21.99 7. Wool Blanket, £99 8. Seasons Candle Set, £40
9. Christmas Coffee, £8 10. Satsuma & Whitby Gin Marmalade £5
I could have gone on for days with this one. I don’t believe socks are a bad present, I believe bad socks are a bad present. So make the chic, like these Giambattista Valli x H&M socks (9.) sold as a set of two. I love Evolve products and their African Orange (7.) scent is neither masculine or feminine. It’s universally lovely. (1. & 2.) Elevate their morning cuppa with an Instagram worthy mug. Jo Malone London’s founder, Jo Malone herself, has created a range of perfumes for Zara (4.). That’s a good nose, at a pretty amazing price. Cocktails based on amazingly strong women? I’m here for it. Free The Tipple (8.) is also an excellent pun. We like a pun.
1 & 2. Speckle & Shapes Mug, £17.50 each 3. Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate, £9.95 4. Ebony Wood Cologne, £15.99
5. Satin Headband, £23 6. Jo Malone London Ornament, £24 7. African Orange Body Wash, £14
8. Free The Tipple Cocktail Book, £7.19 9. Love Printed Socks, £12.99 10. Alphabet Bone Dog Toy, £6
11. Reusable Water Bottle, £19