Given that I know lots of my readers start their Christmas shopping in October, I have put together a list of a few ideas for this Christmas. I know that lots of people have high hopes for this Christmas, after not being able to spend time with loved ones last year. Whilst we are yet to know if COVID-19 will place any restrictions on celebrations this Christmas, it should be a significant improvement on last year.
If you are starting to think about what to buy for friends and loved ones, here are a few ideas:
Days out – the gift of time together
One lovely idea for a gift for this Christmas, is the gift of time together. Something many people are still trying to do is play catch up on all the time lost with friends and loved ones during 2020 and the first half of 2021.
You could purchase a voucher for a day out or meal or drinks, or you could create your own bespoke voucher for someone.
Maybe it’s a day at a theme park or a zoo or safari park? Maybe it’s a meal out or a cocktail making session, or perhaps you just want to take a friend for afternoon tea? Think about who you are buying for, what they might have missed and generate your ideas for gifts from there.
Why not choose a really nice Christmas card to present your ‘gift’ in? I absolutely love these pop up Christmas cards from popuppigeon.com – these are hand assembled 3D cards. They cover all occasions but they stock an especially lovely range of Christmas cards, perfect for announcing a special gift or acting as a ‘voucher’. The detail in these cards is fantastic, they aren’t the kind of cards that end up in the recycling after a couple of weeks! Prices start from £3.00 for a pop up snowflake, up to £7.00 for a Christmas cracker like this one featured above. These cards can only be purchased from the Pop-Up Pigeon website, they are designed and sold directly to the public there.
Food and drink hampers
Hampers full of tasty food and drink can be a lovely gift. These are often an ideal gift for an older relative, or perhaps someone you know who lives alone. You can either purchase a ready-made hamper, or you can make up your own, which can be really enjoyable in itself.
If you want to make up your own hamper for someone special, there are loads of lovely baskets around that you can purchase to hold all the goodies you select, try places like Home Bargains, B & M, The Range etc, pick up some twine or nice ribbon and away you go.
If you are struggling for gift ideas this year, don’t be afraid to give a gift card. I know that some people find this rather impersonal, and I have the same view sometimes, but it can also be really handy. For example, if you know someone is saving for a holiday, a house or at university for example, a gift card can actually be a really well-received gift they can put towards something.
As a parent, there is nothing worse than buying a toy for your child, only for it to break soon after. It feels like such a waste of money. Whilst sometimes you might be able to return the toy, if it has broken due to a fault, this isn’t always possible – some of the toys that break aren’t faulty just very poorly made. These days I try so hard to keep away from things that look to flimsy as they just aren’t worth it.
Try to buy toys that are robust and will stand the test of time. LEGO is a great example of a toy that can do this. Anyone have LEGO from their own childhood still? It is pretty indestructible and can provide hours and hours of enjoyment for children (and adults).
LEGO is an expensive gift but I do feel that the bulk of the time it is worth the often hefty price tag. Compared to a lot of the rubbish toys out there, you are guaranteed a quality gift with LEGO. The other thing I love, is that you can pretty much find a LEGO set to match whatever your children are into. We have Harry Potter LEGO, Marvel, Minecraft and Super Mario LEGO. If you have children close in age, with similar interests you may be able to get a large set for them to build together – it can make a great activity over the Christmas holidays!
The other sets I love which make great gifts are magnetic toys from Geomag. In particular I’d recommend the Magicube sets – these toys let your child explore magnetism and unleash their creativity.
With these Magicubes cubes, your child gets the opportunity to explore magnetism while being invited inside the world of construction. The cubes can be put together in many different combinations and give the very youngest the opportunity to start developing their manual abilities.
My favourite thing about these is that Magicube’s magnetism cubes are made of 100% recycled plastic!
As a child, every year I would get a new Christmas decoration for the tree in my stocking, it would be added to the tree and then the collection of decorations. I loved this. You could consider things like this as gifts. Things that people could add to their Christmas collections and bring out every year.
One idea would be something like a set of Goncks, a Nutcracker, candle arch or even a traditional nativity scene would all be good options. Also the incense smokers are small enough to make great stocking stuffers and are a great gift idea.
We can’t get away from the fact that there will be some plastic toys on Christmas wish lists this year, but can you mix these in with wooden toys perhaps?
Wooden toys are durable and long-lasting and can often be easily passed on through generations. They are environmentally safe. Wood is recyclable, biodegradable and a renewable substance. Wooden toys are also free from the distractions that a lot of plastic toys have. They encourage children to interact with it by making various noises, sound effects or voices.
Jaques London have a wonderful selection of wooden toys in their online store. There are so many wonderful options available. It is so easy to search by recipient, which can speed things up. Toys for 3 year olds, for example, or toys for 5 year olds +, or baby toys.
They have loads of the traditional games available in their store. Snakes and ladders, for example, did you play this as a child? I used to love it. What about something like a magnetic fishing game? A great one for testing patience and co-ordination.
Wooden Toys can be so much more educational than plastic ones. I’ve bought lots of lovely wooden shape sorters and a Noah’s Ark and just the plain wooden building blocks over the years which have lasted so well and been firm favourites in our house.
If you are considering giving wooden toys this Christmas I’m pleased to help out a little bit by offering you 15% off your order at Jaques London, just follow this link https://jaques.games/15off .
A personalised gift can be a lovely option at Christmas. Personalising something can make a somewhat mundane gift really fun, thoughtful and interesting.
For example, a towel, cushion or blanket might not sound that interesting as a gift, but pop a meaningful photo on it or a quote and you’ve got something pretty special and unique to gift a loved one.
ASDA Photo do a whole range of wonderful photo gifts you can choose from which make ideal Christmas presents. Whatever your budget and no matter whether you are looking for stocking fillers or bigger price tag gifts, you can find something in their collection.
Perhaps a calendar with some lovely family photos? a set of tea towels with inspirational quotes or fun food photos on them? Maybe you are looking for a stunning canvas with an important family memory on? Or even a game or jigsaw that can be played together over the festive season?
Christmas is a great time for giving a creative gift. We all generally have a bit more time to sit and do ‘other’ things that we might not ordinarily have time to do. Puzzles and crafts can be a welcome break from Christmas eating and movies. They can also be a great way to have some quality time with family members, if a couple of people work on something together.
These 3D Wooden Puzzles are really great and so satisfying to look at once once complete. We’ve done a dinosaur and a rhino in the past and they are just lovely. These are very reasonably priced at £10.84 on Amazon at the moment.
If a food hamper isn’t suited to your recipient you could consider a beauty or pamper hamper? These can be great if you know someone who likes a certain brand of products, or perhaps if the person you are buying for is just in need of a bit of a pamper.
I always think it’s lovely to get things like this. I had some lovely bath salts and a foot mask from a friend for my birthday this year and it was just perfect.
You can do this for adults and children. These days there are some wonderful pamper products for kids. We love the Kids Stuff Crazy range of bubble baths and foaming soaps – have you tried them? These also make ideal stocking fillers.
Kids Stuff Crazy has recently launched the most colourful collaboration ever with DreamWorks Animation’s hit series Gabby’s Dollhouse – bringing limited edition designs and a huge competition.
Created to help parents turn bath time from a battleground into a playground, Kids Stuff Crazy has been helping parents for 20 years. The mild and dermatologically tested products aid your child’s creativity and sensory development in a fun way, offering an interactive and educational bath time. A set of these products would make a stunning, colourful hamper this Christmas.
If you normally buy individual gifts for people in a family, perhaps you could consider a group gift? I think this is a wonderful idea. For example if the family are into water sports, you might be able to purchase something like an inflatable SUP Board or canoe that they could all use. Or a dining experience they would all enjoy, or swing, trampoline or climbing frame the family would all benefit from. There are lots of options here.
With travel starting to take off a bit more now, perhaps you know someone who is finally off on a holiday. If that’s the case, perhaps a travel gadget would be a good gift?
For example, how about these cool headphones? These a the Puro Sound Labs Junior Jams Children’s Headphones – basically a great pair of Bluetooth headphones for kids, these are available from Amazon for £69.99 at the moment.
Durably built with aluminium construction that is lightweight and comfortable. These Puro kids headphones were built to handle any rough play. Daisy chain sharing allows two headphones to listen to the same source device simultaneously. No more fighting over who gets to watch or listen. Genius! Everyone can listen at the same time, making them great for travel and trips with young kids.
These fold flat and rotate for travel. Made from protein leather. Microphone for 2-way calling. The perfect gift for kids aged 2-13, the Junior Jams are the future of Bluetooth headphones for kids and we love them!