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.
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.
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.
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.
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.