Affordable Christmas Gift Guide 2019

Author: Naomi Liddell

In the office this week and there was much discussion over gifts. All the things we loved either buying or receiving. As well as a few gem items that we’ve bought over the years that have made it onto the “I must buy one of these for everyone I know list”. My goal with this post was to not only keep it as affordable as possible but also only choose things that are genuinely useful or enjoyable gifts to buy and receive, steering (mostly) away from the novelty tat.  There won’t be socks or chocolates on this list (although both are great gifts), but there may be a few things that you wouldn’t have thought of buying… All, as promised, affiliate link free. Brace yourself and stick the kettle on, it’s a mammoth post. 

Useful Gifts

 

  • Motivational Water Bottle
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  • Stacker Jewellery Box
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  • How To Be Yourself
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  • Aesop Post-Poo Drops
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  • Wonderboom Speaker
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  • New Look Cable Knit Cardigan
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  • Mug Warmer
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  • Wine Aerator
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  • L'Occitane Magic Key
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  • Headphone Wrap
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  • Embossing Label Maker
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My favourite category. Every one of these gift ideas is based on a personal recommendation from either myself or another team member. These are the things that we have and love.

How To Be Yourself by Ellen Hendriksen Ph.D. (£15) – Let’s start with a book, shall we? A friend of mine recently described this book as “Nowhere near as famous as it should be”. If you or a friend suffer from social anxiety, you’ll find this book a non-triggering book, also comforting and one that’s full of highly practical tips to calm your mind and cope better in social situations. A gift to help uplift someone and give them tools to improve their mental health.

Wine Aerator (£15) – This genuinely makes wine not only taste but also smell better. If you know someone who is already a lover of wine, then make their Christmas by enhancing their (responsible) drinking pleasure. 

Magic Key Tube Squeezer by L’Occitane (£6) – This key makes for an excellent, useful stocking filler. We all know what it’s like to get that tube of gorgeously scented hand cream/moisturiser, the one that you love so much you don’t want it to run out. This little reusable key lets you squeeze out every last drop. 

USB Hot Drink Warmer (£10.99) – Ever make it to the bottom of a really lovely cup of tea before it goes cold? Nope, me either. There’s a joke in my house that you can tell where I’ve been by the trail of half-finished cups of cold tea I leave behind. I don’t own one of these, but I want one. Perfect for busy Mum friends with small kids. Can someone tell Santa, please?

Chunky Knitted Cardigan (Currently £19.49) – Charlotte was saying that she loves buying and receiving cosy chunky knitwear. We all concurred and since Becky was wearing a particularly lovely New Look number at the time, it’s the one we’ve added to the list. Loads of different colours, Becky has the black and I also like the pale pink. 

Aesop Post-Poo Drops (£20) – You’re going to think I’m joking with this one. But I bought these post-poo drops for a friend who suffers from IBS as a bit of a joke one year and ever since she has been recommending and buying them for everyone. A bit expensive for what’s essentially some bathroom air freshener, but she’s evangelical about how much carrying a little decanted bottle of these has helped her with worries and embarrassment when her symptoms flare up while out and about.  

Dymo Embossing Label Maker (£15.99) – Adam, Simon and I all own one of these. And after we harped on a bit about how much we love them, Charlotte is now convinced she wants one too. Buy these for your organised friend or family member. The one you know will get kicks out of labelling every jar, box and kitchen shelf.

Leather Headphone Tidy (£6.50 or 3 for £15) – Who do you know with a commute who is likely to be that person on the train platform pulling strings of headphones from their pocket trying to untangle them? I’m that person. And I don’t own any of those fancy airpod things so the cable struggle remains a challenge. Do your friend a favour and buy one of these. Or buy 3 at a discount, keep one and give the other two as gifts. That’s what I’ll be doing. 

Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker (£50) – Charlotte and Adam both rave about this. It’s a bit more of a ‘main’ present, but apparently the price is incredible for the quality of sound you get from it. Also, it’s waterproof so perfect for taking on the summer holidays. Those oh-so-distant summer holidays. 

Motivational Water Bottle (£7.95) – Lorna has a water bottle similar to this and just by looking at it in front of me, I’m inspired to drink more water. So if you have an office working friend or family member to buy for who always mentions how much they need to be drinking more water, here is your gift. You’re welcome. 

Stackers Travel Jewellery Box (£18) – Becky has a Stackers jewellery box and really rates it. Also how cute are all of the colours?! Great gift for a frequent traveller. 

 

Beauty Gifts

 

  • Pat McGrath Minis
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  • Aromatherapy Associates Minis
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  • & Other Stories Layering Scents
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  • Barry M Paradise
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  • Cult Beauty Travel Bag
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  • Neom Skincare Candle
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  • Tweezerman Mini
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As you can imagine, Charlotte had a field day sending me links for this category. Whilst we’re not objecting to a bit of Boots 3 for 2, this list is full of hero products that we’re all a bit excited about. 

Cult Beauty Small Travel Make Up Bag (£10) – This is Charlotte’s bulletproof, bombproof, childproof makeup bag for everyday essentials. Perfectly sized, transparent and wipe clean, it’s an ideal beauty lovers gift. 

Tweezerman Mini Slant Tweezer (£13 – You also at the time of publishing get a free gift and 20% off with code LF20) – Tweezerman is by far the best tweezer brand there is. I’d love a pair of these in my stocking, as I’d probably wince at spending over a tenner on a pair of tweezers for myself! Definitely a great, practical beauty gift.

L’Occitane Sets (£16 & £29) – One of the best beauty gifts you can get. Who doesn’t love a good hand cream? The £29 set is great value with a selection of travel sizes from the Shea Butter collection. The £16 set is a hand cream and foot cream duo. I’d have either please. 

& Other Stories Layering Scents (£19) – This little intriguing scent trio was spotted online by Charlotte and we were both thinking it’s such a lovely little unique Christmas gift idea. 

Barry M Coconut Infusion Nail Paint in Paradise (£4.99) – Charlotte’s sister Melissa was telling us all in the office how this is her go-to neutral. Layer it up with a good top coat and you’ve got decent lasting power for a polish. Great little stocking filler and beautiful suits-anyone colour. 

Aromatherapy Associates Bath Oil Collection (£40 or £10) – THE best bath product in the world (in my opinion). The scents in this entire range are divine and make bathing feel ridiculously luxurious. Each full size is around £49, but you get to try all 10 bath and shower oils with this mini collection for £40. Spendy for bath oils, yes. But a priceless gift for any bath enthusiast you know. If you just want to give a little luxury bath as a stocking filler though, they have an excellent little Forest Bathing Bauble for £10.

Neom Skin Treatment Candle (£36) – I’m sure I’ve mentioned this on here somewhere before. But it’s worth mentioning again, especially at this time of the year. The thing I love most about Neom is that their fragrances are divine, but 100% natural. This candle is some kind of sorcery though because once the ‘wax’ is melted, you can pour a drop of it out and use it as a warm body oil. So innovative and a great gift idea. 

Pat McGrath Mini MatteTrance Lipstick Trio (£33) – Surprise, surprise… Another one of Charlotte’s dirty enabling links. This little mini trio of the legendary Pat McGrath lipsticks is good value for money and a great gift for any Pat McGrath or statement lip donning loved ones. 
 

Kids Gifts

 

  • Affirmation Coin Purse
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  • Happy Self Journal
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  • Interactive Glow Tshirt
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  • Underwater Disco Lights
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  • Bath Crayons
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  • Star Fleece Wrap
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We’re all hearing the requests for video games, LOLs and unicorn paraphernalia. But what about those little extras that your kids will love just as much as the big requests? We’ve got you covered. 

Bath Crayons (£4.99) – Great stocking filler for extending bathtime. The kids can draw on the bath, the tiles or themselves and then their artwork just washes away (like your stress levels once they’re finally in bed).

Underwater Disco Lightshow (£9.99) – We’re fans of a ‘Water Disco’ in our house. Basically the boys get chucked in the bath, Ethan’s Spotify playlist gets cranked up and the bubble machine gets turned on. I’ll be buying this too just to enhance that disco experience. And it will give me more time to clean the rest of the bathroom to some bangin’ tunes.

Positive Affirmation Coin Purse (£9) – Ethan is forever going to the school discos with his tuck shop money tucked into his socks! But no more, because Santa is going to stuff one of these in his stocking. I like the positive affirmation spin (“Be Cool, Be Kind” and “Do Your Thing” are my faves) and the fact that he can have his initial on the zip.

Disco Lights (£16.99) – We’ve gone from ‘water discos’ to school discos and now I’m going to harp on about the family fun and fitness benefits of kitchen discos. We have a speaker system and a disco light in our kitchen and both boys love to cut up the (kitchen) dancefloor. This is how I get our dinner cooked in the evenings. The disco lights make a world of difference and probably have my neighbours questioning what’s actually going on in my house at 5pm.

Star Fleece Baby Wrap (£25) – We were given one of these as a gift for Ethan when he was little and now it’s Finn’s turn in it. This fleecy wrap is the perfect thickness and warmth for wearing in their car seat on a cold day. 

Simple Stopwatch (£9.99) – Time them running to the end of the grocery aisle, how long it takes them to (finally) get their shoes on or how long it takes them to finish up those last few bits of lunch. Probably more of a parenting tool than a toy, but they won’t know the difference.

The Happy Self Journal (£19.95) – Becky is a big fan of using the Happy Self Journal with Leo and I think I’m going to join that club. Giving kids the skills for self-reflection and paying attention to their mental health has got to be one of the best gifts around. 

Interactive Glow TShirt (£15) – A fun, quirky gift for older and younger kiddos alike. Also made of quality cotton so it’s not just a cheap gimmick but a functional piece of clothing too. 
 

Eco Gifts

 

  • Guppyfriend Washing Bag
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  • Eco Egg Laundry Egg
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  • KeepCup
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  • Stasher Reusable Bags
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  • A Life Less Throwaway
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Guppyfriend Washing Bag (£25) – A little known eco fact, synthetic clothes and microfibre cloths release harmful microplastics into the water system. But you needn’t get rid of all your pieces that fit this bill, just use a Guppyfriend Washing Bag to catch the fibres then dispose of any synthetic lint caught into the landfill (not the oceans).

KeepCup (£20) – This is one of my absolute favourite possessions, I use it almost every day. Those ‘Bamboo’ cups (made with bamboo fibre and melamine ie. plastic paste) have been proven to release harmful toxins including formaldehyde when heated up. Not the best place to put your coffee then. Glass, silicone and stainless steel make the best reusable cups. But the Keep Cup is by far the most stylish. Great gift for a coffee lover friend – and their eternal coffee shop discounts from bringing their own cup are the gift that keeps on giving. 

Stasher Reusable Food Bags (£12.99) – Another great gift for an eco-conscious friend. A reusable silicone sandwich bag to save on all those squillions of plastic ones. Bonus is that they are fridge, freezer, microwave and dishwasher safe. And also perfectly sized to stuff in a stocking. 

Reusable Laundry Eco Egg (£9.99) – You’ve probably heard people talking about these things and with good reason. They wash your clothes without harmful chemicals so are perfect for sensitive skin as well as saving all those washing liquid bottles. The link also sends you to one of my favourite online shops (Buy Me Once) where they only stock products that are built to last. 

A Life Less Throwaway by Tara Button (£6) – And this book, is by the same lady that started the Buy Me Once website. A book all about buying products with intention that are built to last. A great sentiment and a great gift for the more intentional, less consumerist friend.
 
And whilst we’ve given you plenty of reasons for dirty enabling gift buying in this post, with that last gift in mind it’s important to end with this… Don’t feel the need to stretch yourself financially trying to show people that you love them. If there are gifts in this post that you think someone will LOVE and you can afford to buy them then, by all means, go for it. But something I need to remind myself of every year at Christmas is that people appreciate the thought, not the price of the gift. So go forth with your list and enjoy your shopping, but don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Christmas will be wonderful regardless. 

Has this post given you any gift inspiration? What are the best gifts you’ve ever been bought? The kind that makes you feel like everyone needs to own one of them.

{Contributors}
Author
Naomi loves daytime baths, learning things and rock music.
(Oh and her kids. She loves them too)
Follow Naomi on Instagram @naomiliddell
This post may include affiliate links.
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23 thoughts on “Affordable Christmas Gift Guide 2019

  1. This is a genuinely brilliant list – I’m already popping a label maker and those bath disco lights in my basket. Thank you!

  2. Disco bath lights here too.

    It’s honestly, SO REFRESHING to not have #ad across everything. Thank F**k

    I don’t get the label thing. Never have. Will not waiver in the face of peer pressure

    1. I will defend my label maker obsession to the hilt Rebecca. Don’t you take that away from me! Haha. Happy to see you enjoying the new ad free content.

  3. I love those tweezers because they are so accurate and the bright pink colour means I lose them less. I was forever losing boring, plain coloured ones. The mini size doesn’t matter because you’re only going to pull out one hair at a time anyway.

    Is the eco egg any good? I’ve been looking at it for a while but keep reading reviews about how it doesn’t actually deal with very dirty clothes very well. My eldest regularly comes home covered in mud (but claims he always keeps to the pavements…) and pen all over his shirt. My regular laundry stuff struggles to deal with it so I don’t know how well an eco egg would perform.

    I am so buying a few of these. I’ve already sorted all of the children’s Christmas presents but I think that underwater disco light will join us in a few months. One of my favourite things I bought for the kids was this set called ‘makedo’. I’m not sure whether they still sell them, but it was a tube of tools for fixing together cardboard boxes into whatever you like. We made houses with multiple rooms from huge boxes. All safe for kids and came with a tool with a rounded off spike for puncturing holes through and a non-sharp saw on the other side for cutting through the cardboard. It was my go-to present for all children for a while as it was cheap and could make so many different toys.

    Just to let you know, a few of the photos aren’t showing up on my screen. The photos are also in a different order to the list underneath which is a bit confusing.

    1. Is this the kit you’re talking about Jade? https://tinyurl.com/yx7t2wfx
      Seems like it and what a genius idea! Perfect for my two, they love cardboard boxes.

      As for the images, I’ll check the gallery. It generates the photos in random order each time you refresh, so they’re never going to be in order I’m afraid.

      Oh and the eco egg. I would say good on a general wash, then I would use detergent and sometimes stain remover for the heavier stained items. I tend to keep these sperate for a hotter wash anyway and wash all the normal wear clothes on 30.

      1. Yeah, that must be an updated version because the set I’ve got didn’t have screws and a screwdriver, it was these little nails with clips on the back to hold them in place and lots of hinges. I think I enjoyed it more than the children 😁

        With regards to the eco egg – do you mean that you use the egg as well as detergent for stained items, or just detergent?

        1. I either use the Eco Egg alone for a general (just been worn a bit and need refreshing/washing) clothes wash. Then I stack up and in some cases soak heavily soiled clothes in a basin and once there’s enough I wash them with detergent alone 👍🏽

    1. Oh Nikki you should think about a bubble machine too then. Some nice chilled music and a bubble machine in the bathroom when they’re bathing is a lovely way to keep things sensory but low key.

  4. I have been waiting for this so I could go shopping 😆🥳 I’ve bought the journal, the bath disco lights AND the kitchen disco lights already. What an excellent bunch of unique thoughtful gifts (and glad to have been of service on the beauty front). X

    1. I had to laugh at how thick and fast you pinged the beauty links my way Charlotte. Here’s hoping you get a few nice beauty treats in your own stocking xo

  5. I also own the Wonderboom and I can highly recommend it. 🙂
    I used it in my old car as everything else (music wise) was broken/not working properly and it saved me during several long car journeys.

    1. We took ours to Portugal in the summer Katrin, we rented a big house with the family and it was so lovely to have music out on the terrace – the sound is great for the price x

  6. Love this! Great suggestions, affordable and genuinely so refreshing to read something without #ad plastered all over it. Thank you all – great work xxx
    P.S. defo taking some of these suggestions, will be getting some of those bath crayons and erm…poo drops! And my husband has asked for a wonderboom 2 so glad it comes recommended!

  7. Great list and so refreshing to not have Ads! Love the buy me once website and the Neom candle and I had to buy the crayons immediately! Well done.

  8. What a fab list! I have added a few of these to my basket and look forward to supporting some smaller businesses!
    Keep it up! 🙂

  9. Bookmarking this for future use – I’ve already completed my Xmas shopping but I know husband is still struggling for a few ideas so sent to him too. I love that these are all genuine ideas and recommendations – no ads or affiliates!

    And I also really really love your note at the end about financial pressure. A refreshing message in the “sell sell sell buy buy buy” of the social media world!

    1. Absolutely Kitty, we’ve just been talking in the office about how it’s the run up to Christmas, and the time/experiences with friends that create the memories/laughter – not the gifts. Christmas Eve is my favourite x

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