Christmas is Coming: Gift Guide
I keep seeing countdowns to Christmas everywhere, so I’ve finally given in and started to put together a Christmas gift guide. I don’t know about you, but there are always some people I find it really easy to buy for and others I struggle with each year. I’ve put together a bit of a round up of some ideas to get you started if you are struggling this year.
For a parent or grandparent
Do you know someone who likes their feet being cosy? Do you have a relative that is always cold and can never seem to get warm? What about getting them a pair of Woolenstocks? Each pair of Woolenstocks brings unique stories from all over the world. Every pair is crafted with love, time and skill to give you comfort and restore you – ready to dance again. Each pair of Woolenstocks also means a valuable income for the female artisans who make them.
Most of the designs are a little bit ‘out there’ but that’s sort of what makes them unique and if you know someone who likes bold designs they will be right at home in a pair of these.
There are even a few children’s designs as well if you want to get something ‘different’ for your little one.
Perhaps you know someone who loves gardening and who is a little green-fingered? If so, you could consider buying them the Woods of Windsor Gardeners Hand Collection that has just launched.
The collection consists of a hand scrub, hand cream, hand balm and hand wash. The range is infused with the refreshing fragrance of Blackberry & Thyme, combining green tea and ripe blackberry with a heart of rosemary, thyme, mimosa and white jasmine enhanced with musk and amber – it’s lush!
Even the most green-fingered, hard-working of hands will be restored after this!
If you know a parent or grandparent who likes being in the kitchen and who is trying to encourage the children, you could give them a copy of this charming new book.
The co-creators of CBBC’s I Can Cook have come up with ‘The World In My Kitchen‘, a fun and engaging way to get your kids involved in the kitchen whilst broadening their minds as they explore countries and cuisines to try for themselves. This cookery book offers a whistle stop tour of the world as it transports kids thousands of miles away with the fresh, healthy dishes of different lands.
With charming maps, interesting facts, health benefits of various foods and glorious photos that put the dishes in their home contexts, e.g. Spain makes almost half of all the olive oil used in the world as you learn to cook a baked prawn paella which originates from Valencia! Each recipe has step by step instructions that children can follow easily, and simple serving suggestions to make the meal look fantastic.
For a mum-to-be or new mum
When you are expecting, or a new mum it’s lovely to get nice things that can help to restore you a little on those extra tired days. Mums often don’t get much time to pamper themselves, so when they do, it’s nice to have some really good products to hand.
Mama Mio was a brand I came across during my first pregnancy. It hadn’t been out long at the time. The products seemed very expensive but when I did treat myself to a couple, I loved them.
The brand seems to have had quite a re-vamp since then, and of course added lots of new products as well.
If you do have a mum-to-be or new mum to buy for this Christmas and you want something a bit special, I would really recommend you look at the range. There is something for every mum as there are products for sore boobs, stretch marks, tired legs, the face and so on. These can be used during and after pregnancy. There are also gift packs of things if you want something pre-made.
Their lucky legs product is one of the best I think, it really helps deal with all the extra blood and fluid that builds up during pregnancy. The spearmint in it is really uplifting as well.
No mum is going to turn down the tummy rub and a good facial spritz can be really handy, especially if you are pregnant during the summer months. Try popping this in the fridge, it will be extra refreshing.
Every new mummy likes to smell nice and in the early days there can be a lingering smell of milk and sick in the air. Most of the time that’s your signature scent, so why not treat her to some of these nice body mist bottles from Yardley? Easy to use at home or pop in a change bag when out and about – she will love you for it!
For the kids
It can be so overwhelming trying to choose Christmas gifts for your children, especially if they haven’t asked for anything specific. Portable toys are always a good bet at Christmas, especially if you are travelling or visiting family.
For toddlers, we are loving the Cat Buildin’ Crew E-Z Machines® R/C- You are never too young to start playing with a Remote-Control vehicle. Designed for toddlers, the single button activation allows the child to drive the Cat machine forward when pressing the button or watch it spin in circles when released. Little ones can get quite frustrated with complex controls but these are ideal. There are two fun characters to collect including; Haulin’ Harry™ and Rugged Randy™. Ages 2+ priced at £16.99, and available from SMYTHS, The Range, Toymaster and Debenhams. These are a great introduction to RC cars.
For babies, through to toddlers what about My Pal Scout or Violet? Aimed at children six months to three years, this cuddly toy is also a great learning tool. It will introduce children to words, counting and feelings though 14 activities. Both adorable friends come pre-loaded with five songs and parents have a choice of over 30 more lovable learning songs to personalise their child’s puppy pal with.
With super-soft fur and five touch points that respond to every touch, My Pal Scout and Violet encourage children to interact and lead the way in learning and nurturing activities. The cutest part though…you can programme them with your child’s name! Adorable! Available on Amazon, or from Smyths, Toys R Us, or Argos. This will be a firm family favourite in no time.
For slightly older children who love construction toys you can get the Cat Machine Maker™ Junior Operator – This line of Build-It-Yourself construction sets come equipped with all the pieces needed to build your favourite Cat machine! Very cool! The machine operator figure is included and fits into the driver’s seat. Each model includes a chunky screwdriver and resuable carry case for storage. There are 5 models to collect; Excavator, Dump Truck, Bulldozer, Service Truck and Wheel Loader. Ages 3+ Retail price £11.99, available from Hamley’s Morrisons, The Range, Toymaster an SMYTHS. With the carry case, these are easy to pack gifts and can be built over and over again.
If you have small children who like to join in with the older children and like to think they can be a bit more grown up when it comes to toys, what about My First Scalextric? A great introduction to the world of Scalextric racing for kids 3+, featuring an easy-to-assemble figure-of-eight track.
The two rally cars and adjustable power hand-controllers are colour coded in red and yellow to match chevrons on the circuit. The Magnatraction technology helps to keep the cars on the track, and variable hand-controllers allow the speed of racing to be adjusted depending on skill level.
My First Scalextric is fully compatible with the Micro Scalextric range of sets and cars, allowing you to extend your track and add new cars – the possibilities are endless! Priced at £39.99, this would be lots of fun on Christmas Day!
For children over the age of six there is a brand new collectable, Havex! Race. Transform. Battle…! Race your micro car into the battle pod and watch it automatically transform into an awesome land, sea or air vehicle, Havex Machines are here to #wreakhavex.
There will be seven unique vehicles to collect throughout the year, four of these launched in August including; Combat Bot with its advanced weaponry and powerful armour, Strike Chopper, which is perfect for attacks needing heavy firepower and the ability to avoid enemy fire. Lightning Sub is a mighty defence against a coastal attack. With its speed and firepower, Sonic Jet is the best at battlefield recon!
Priced from £11.99 and available from Toys R Us, Smyths and The Entertainer, kids will be able to #wreakhavex with Havex Machines. Although these are recommend for ages six and above, with supervision younger children could play with them. Ideal if you have more than one child of a similar age as they can play together.
If you have any PJ Masks fans in the house, like I do (3 of them) this game is a must this Christmas. Work together as the PJ Masks to stop the mischievous Romeo from stealing the city’s toys. You’ll be flipping between daytime and nighttime, gathering and uncovering clues, but get ready, once the sun goes down, put on your masks and discover Romeo’s plans! Use your memory and teamwork to save the day!
Ideal to play with siblings and friends, this will test their skill and imagination and keep them happy and in character for ages! One of the best games I’ve seen in ages.
If you are looking for educational learning games for your children, Orchard Toys are a must have this Christmas. They are adding to their wonderful selection all the time. We have tons of these already and the children love them. The Post Box game is a favourite, as is the Gingerbread Man game, but this year we are going to try out Slug in a Jug, for making silly sentences and rhyming pairs. I love how playing these games is so much fun but the children are constantly learning without even noticing. The other Orchard Game we love is Dotty Dinosaurs, superb for teaching colours and shapes!
Is your child learning to swim? Fancy getting them something a bit different that could help? Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington has teamed up with ‘Baby Annabell Learns to Swim‘ to reveal her tips on giving youngsters confidence in the water.
Rebecca Adlington says: “Learning to swim is an important milestone, helping to instil confidence from an early age as well as being a really fun bonding experience between a parent and child. If your little one is nervous it can be a challenging process – expect plenty of tears and tantrums, however initial fears can be overcome by slowly building confidence and trust.”
Babbling happily, the Baby Annabell Learns To Swim doll splashes, moves her arms and legs when she comes into contact with water, and floats on her back. Set to be a must-have toy for Christmas, the little water baby includes a towel and inflatable water wings with cute sheep design – we love this idea, anything to help children build confidence in the water!
Baby Annabell is the no.1 selling large doll brand in the UK. Promoting imaginative role play, Baby Annabell encourages the development of key nurturing and social skills from a young age.
The doll is priced at £49.99 and available from all good toy stores.
Christmas is a great time to introduce the family to a new game. It’s a great Christmas tradition to develop and a family games night is always a good alternative to a movie night.
This year why not try out the brand new game Link It from PikyKwiky. This is a rapid thinking card game designed for families to enjoy together, so perfect for either gifting to another family, or purchasing for your own family to enjoy together this Christmas. You can play with up to eight players and each game lasts around 15 minutes.
If you are travelling this Christmas this game is also ideal as it packs away into a small tin so you can play anywhere.
For the stockings
Stockings in all honesty are the part of Christmas I love the most. The children get more excited about their stockings than anything else. They take it in turns to open something from their stocking and get as excited about each others’ as they do about their own.
If you are thinking about ‘grown-up’ stockings this year here are a couple of things you could consider.
If you know someone who is missing their summer glow, you could give them the St. Moriz Advanced Pro Velvet Gel. This will give you that gorgeous sun-kissed, summer glow throughout the gloomy winter months and keep skin hydrated in the cold weather with the moisture rich formula. Available from Superdrug, £8.99.
If someone you love is after some pearly whites this Christmas, why not treat them to some products from smilelab. They’ve got everything from toothbrushes to toothpaste, to teeth whitening strips, to help get that Hollywood smile. These are thought to be the fastest teeth whitening strips ever, working in just 15 minutes! Perfect for busy parents.
These are fast, comfortable and you can pop them on and carry on with whatever you were doing – a multitasking must have for a bright smile.
If you know someone who travels a lot, why not get them the Sonic Chic Deluxe. SONIC Chic DELUXE is available in a sleek metallic Silver or Rose Gold finish. This stylish sonic powered toothbrush is dual speed, has a quadrant timer and is rechargeable via a USB cable (included).
With a speed of up to 32,000 strokes per minute, SONIC Chic Deluxe cleans deeper than a regular toothbrush head by penetrating the hard-to-reach areas. Ideal for the busy travelling professional or the social butterfly!
Know any chocolate lovers? How about some stocking fillers with a feel-good factor on a couple of levels? Fairtrade chocolate perhaps?
Buying Fairtrade chocolate makes a big difference to the lives of farmers and small business owners in places like Ghana and the Ivory Coast who work hard to produce cocoa. Through the Fairtrade minimum price and additional premiums, money is invested in families and communities which in turn, improving the well-being of those living in poverty.
Chocolate and Love have a gorgeous selection of fairtrade chocolate to delight the senses and give that feel good factor. Divine Chocolate is also fairtrade. These chocolate-filled gift bags are a luxurious little treat for any occasion. Made using the finest Fairtrade ingredients, there is a delightful variety for all tastes but we love the nutty treats. Try Dark Chocolate with Caramelised Almonds, Dark Chocolate with Black Cherries or Milk and Dark Chocolate Brazil Nuts.
The Fairtrade almonds and cherries are grown on trees irrigated by meltwater from the Himalayas and harvested by Mountain Fruits co-operatives. The Brazil nuts are sourced from Fairtrade farmers around the South American Amazon River.
What have you seen for your loved ones so far this year? Any gems of gifts to share with everyone?