Thinking of Christmas gifts?

Christmas is only weeks away. The decorations have been in the shops since September. Christmas music is beginning to be played and the adverts have well and truly arrived. 

I am organised this year. I've got my family prezzies sorted, thinking about mango flan for brunch, cards ready to be written, ... 

I have conducted a bit of a survey with some of my friends, asking them what makes a great gift to receive and to give. I have also, in the name of research, browsed through a number of beautiful homeware and gift shops...

Just a note before we start: If you are finding it hard to think of gifts, consider the recipients personality, hobbies, interests. That should give you some cues.

If not, here are some suggestions from our brainstorming:



* Leather gardening gloves, secateurs, packet of seeds.

* Scented soap for gardeners and nail brush.

* Potted plant or herb / veg garden box; collection of seeds & twine.

* Plant label tags come in all sorts of designs: ceramic, chalk board, wood, etc...

* Picnic rug or outdoor cushions.

* Garden spike or decoration.

The Cook:

* Ready to bake jar (dry ingredients are layered in an airtight glass jar with recipe written out and attached). 

* T-towels - there is a huge variety of cotton and linen ones in all sorts of looks.  Enjo have some large striped bamboo ones and there are many cooking themed ones for a bit of fun.

* Shopping bags - come in all sizes, colours and finishes. Envirotrend & BagLadies have a great range. Or try to make your own

* Hamper of home made goodies or speciality products.

* Voucher for a home cooked meal (by yourself) or a dinner invitation.

* Cooking magazine with the key ingredients for one of the recipes or a plate of your famous baking. 

* Recipe journal would be great for someone who loves to collect recipes.

* A beautiful china tea / coffee mug or Scrabble letter mug with some favourite chocolates, shortbreads, tea / coffee bags inside. 

Friends recommendations:

- Leanne favours anything in a jar (I loved her Brownie 'Ready to bake jar' as a gift for my 40th!) 

- Cathy enjoys receiving a container of home baking to feed her hungry tribe. 

- Helen bottles up her home-made lemonade and shortbread biscuits.



* Candles from tealights to soy, flameless and scented.

* Photo / picture frame. Write what their friendship means to you, or a favourite memory, and centre within the frame.

* Leather bound notebook / journal with a beautiful pen.

* Calendar or diary. My grandmother always bought my Dad his work diary. It was her little tradition. 

* Aromatherapy set in favourite fragrance. 

* Manicure set that would fit inside a handbag / satchel and nail polish (clear or colour/ nail art).

* Jewellery - bracelet, brooch, earrings, necklace, charm. There are plenty of websites that showcase unique handmade pieces, such as Etsy. I like to pick up business cards of craft people whose work I love so I can contact them later on.

* Purses, wallets and coin purses range from the classic to the funky.  

Friends Recommendations: 

- Carole likes to give a pretty soap that smells beautiful. They can be used or stored in drawers or linen cupboards. 

- Natalie has collected gift ideas on her Pinterest board to consider over the last couple of months.  

- Melissa likes to give gifts that she knows people will appreciate receiving and tends to buy during the year. Her backup gift is movie tickets and a bag of lollies.

- Cathy enjoys making her own gifts according to the person's age, sex and interests. Her examples included aprons, clothes, hats, i-pod covers, food & lollies.


Tech Savy:

* USB sticks or a USB power strip (as in photo).

* iphone covers or laptop sleeves. 


* Digital wine thermometer for someone who enjoys their wine at the right temperature. 


The Wardrobe: 

* Wooden coat hangers or make your own padded ones, like grandma used to make, with a little bag of scented cedar balls.

* Pot purri sachets (eg lavender, rose, cloves, basil, bay leaves, etc...), draw liners or a bundle of cinnamon sticks tied with a pretty ribbon.  

* Cotton or silk boxer shorts / loose pj's.

* Beauty case or jewellery bag. 

* Scarf or belt hanger.

* Scarf in the recipients natural colouring. 

* Lingere bags can be used to store all sorts of things - scarves, delicate knickers, pantyhose, slips & camisoles, panty-liners, cotton balls, etc... 



Here are a couple of websites that I have found useful to gain ideas: 


Have fun working out your present list and don't forget to get something for yourself!