AD | Give Time to Give Joy
AD | Give Time to Give Joy
Every year, around a week or so before Christmas, we have Terry’s side of the family (brothers, sisters, niece, nephews, and all their associated partners) round for a huge family get-together, seeing as we’re not able to see everyone on the day itself.
When Terry’s mum was alive, we used to have get-togethers like this almost every week at her house. When she passed away, we knew we’d have to try really hard to continue the tradition, but, as is the way of things, life got in the way. Without Soula as the natural centre of the family, and without her house as the gathering point for everyone, it got harder to get everyone together as often as we had before – which is a real shame, because spending time together as a family was the most important thing to Terry’s mum, and, by extension, to us, too. One thing we have always managed to maintain however, is this pre-Christmas gathering at our place; and, of course, the gift exchange that accompanies it.
Over the years, we’ve tried a few different approaches to gift-giving. Secret Santa. Price limits. Food-rather-than-gifts. We’ve even, at times, tried to implement a complete ban on gifts altogether, but the thing we’ve learned about that is that NO. No one wants a gift ban. These people are givers: the type who genuinely enjoy tracking down the perfect gift for everyone. I’m in complete awe of them, to be honest, because, until Max came along, I was the kind of person who’d do all of her Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve (and I mean that literally, by the way: I’d actually do my shopping on Christmas Eve, which, to be fair, was pretty easy for me, because I’m an only child, so I only had my parents to buy for), and ideally all from one store.
Needless to say, I don’t do that any more. Having a much larger family to shop for means having to be much more organised. I do still appreciate the simplicity of being able to get everything in one ‘hit’, though, which is why this year’s gift guide is designed to help you find everything you need for the givers in your life – and all under one roof, too. And here it is…
Christmas Gift Ideas for Women
When I say “Christmas gift ideas for women” here, I should probably clarify that what I really mean is Christmas gift ideas for me. Because I’m an absolute sucker for all the types of things traditionally seen as the perfect gifts for women: the gift sets, the perfume, the scented candles… I’m there for it all.
My dream gift? The Dyson air-wrap. Failing that, this Liz Earle 6-piece gift set is the kind of luxury I’d never be able to justify buying for myself, but if that’s still too pricey, I firmly believe that you can’t go wrong with a scented candle*: this Yankee Candle Gift Set has a festive feel to it, but Boots have lots of single candles* for under £5, which make fantastic stocking fillers. I’m also a big fan of things like notebooks and journals, which, again, tend to be things that people might not think to buy for themselves, but which can be tailored to suit the recipient: Boots have things like happiness journals and sleep trackers, for instance, which could make a more thoughtful gift for someone you know would make use of them.
*Never leave a burning candle unattended.
Christmas Gift Ideas for Men
I always find Christmas gift ideas for men the hardest to come by. The men in my life are all the type to already have everything they could possibly need, which is why I tend to play it safe with things like a fragrance I know he already wears or electronics that always seem to go down well. Terry and his family also all love puzzles; their mum always used to have one on the go when we went round.Something like a puzzle or board game, which everyone can enjoy together, is a great addition to a family get-together. Try this Squishmallows 1000 piece jigsaw from Boots.com.
Christmas Gifts for Kids
Christmas gifts for kids are some of the most fun to shop for. This is really the first year Max has written a “proper” Christmas list, rather than just fixating on one – often really weird – item. (I’m still not over the year he asked for “glass grapes” –– which I painstakingly tracked down on eBay, only for him to never mention them again. Or last year, even, when he randomly decided he wanted a hedgehog just a few days before Christmas…) As well as the things on his list, though, we’ll also get him a few surprises; books are always a safe bet for him, but he’s also just getting to an age where we think he might be interested in trying some classic board games. (Although not Monopoly, because that’s always a great way to start a fight in our house…), or pretty much anything related to Roblox, like this Roblox advent calendar, for instance.
Stocking Fillers for Teenagers
I don’t have to buy stocking fillers for teenagers just yet, but if I did, I’d go for pamper gifts: partly because I wouldn’t dare assume what else a teenager might like, but also because being a teenager is hard, and if anyone’s in need of self-care, it’s them. This Soap & Glory Feely Fruity-ful! Mini Gift Set is a cute little stocking filler, hot water bottles at this time of year are one of the best things in life, and things like fluffy socks (how cute is this Radley London Stay Warm Ribbed Socks & Ceramic Mug set?) or a heated blanket could also work well.
Affordable Christmas Gifts
When you have lots of people to buy for you’re obviously going to be looking for the most affordable Christmas gifts available which is why we like to look out for Christmas deals, such as the Boots 3-for-2 offers (cheapest item is free), which allows you to stock up on smaller gifts that you can either use as stocking fillers, or just put to one side in case they’re needed. (We can’t be the only people who get surprised almost every year by a gift we weren’t expecting, can we?) I’m a big fan of consumables like food and drinks for this kind of thing, because at least you know they’ll get used – by you, if not by someone else! This Tiptree Brandy Butter, for example, is delicious!
Gifts for Gym Lovers
Finally, if you’re looking for gifts for gym lovers (or that one person who always goes on a fitness kick every January), you can choose to either go all out with something like a Fitbit, or go more low-key with a gym bag like this FCUK The Gym One Holdall or a water bottle. It’s tempting to think people with specific hobbies (as opposed to those of us who count “Netflix binges” and “aimlessly scrolling Instagram” as “hobbies”…) are going to be the easiest to buy for, but they can also be the most specific in their tastes, as they’ll want to choose the equipment that’s best suited to their particular needs, so unless you happen to know exactly what that thing is they most want, I generally try to stick to slightly safer options here, too.
Want more suggestions?
Don’t worry, Boots.com has got you covered: check out their website, and get all your Christmas shopping done in one swoop (and maybe a little something for yourself while you’re at it…)
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