Christmas is nearly upon us, the countdown is officially underway, those Christmas Elves are back monitoring for good behaviour and presents are being bought and wrapped in earnest. But are you wondering what to buy certain members of your family, here are a few suggestions to give you a helping hand if its all a bit of a struggle.
If you know someone who enjoys their food this award winners hamper from Suttons (yes they really do have more on offer than just seeds I was surprised too!) is just the thing, priced at £29.99 it is a lovely gift. It is full of chutneys and jams so a real treat to have over the festive holidays, the chutneys will go well with all the cooked meats your eating stopping the turkey from getting boring! The products have all been chosen for their great taste and the price seems very fair for the quantity (and quality!) of included products.
Or if you’re after something a bit sweeter Hotel Chocolat have some tempting choices to pick from. I can definitely recommend the Merry Little Christmas Hamper (£25.00), this is a gorgeous gift that looks appealing and is very indulgent and luxurious. The milk snowflakes are very pretty, it’s almost a shame to eat them but eat them you will, no one can resist this chocolate for long!
Letterbox Gifts sent me the Sophia Box (£27.95), which included some fabulous pampering treats for the price all from independent British producers. My favourite items were the Bee Good – Natural Honey and Crambe Hand Cream is non-greasy and great for your skin and the Nathalie Bond Organics – Geranium and Patchouli Soap had a very likeable distinctive scent. But you also get a candle, some chocolate and tea to enjoy! If you know someone who would appreciate being spoilt then you can’t go wrong with this attractive gift box and the really wonderful thing is it fits through the letterbox (the brand name was a bit of a giveaway!) so no issues with missed deliveries.
The Funkadelic Bath Gift Set (£12.99) from Getting Personal smells divine; it’s brightly wrapped and filled to the brim with lovely pampering treats. You have bath creamers, soaps and a bath blaster included in the (very reasonable!) price. Lots of pure essential oils and even a sprinkling of glitter make this a gift that will delight teenagers through to the young at heart!
Have you considered buying a dashcam? These can help prove an accident was not the drivers fault if heaven forbid something happened when they were out driving. It might not seem a natural choice as a gift but it’s a useful piece of kit that most drivers would be very grateful of as it gives them peace of mind. It might mean they don’t lose their no-claims discount or have an excess to pay because they now have proof they were not the cause of the accident. There has been a lot of bad press about fraudsters trying to cause accidents just for the insurance claims putting honest families at risk – a dashcam can help the insurance companies make the right decision when resolving claims and hopefully make these kinds of scams less attractive and the roads safer. RING have dashcam's starting from £44.99 up to £124.99 and are available to buy from Argos and Screwfix.
The RBGDC200 has the highest specifications and is well worth the £124.99 outlay, it takes very clear footage so you have no problem identifying number plates. These dashcam's are very easy to use, just plug in and away you go. The dashcam only turn on when you start the engine so concerns about battery life are never an issue.
Haribo have brought out the all new Starmixmas with all the sweets you love normally but with a very festive twist – now you find appetising flavours like Cherry Trifle Heart, Gingerbread Bears, Apple Strudel Bottles and Eggnog Eggs to help you feel Christmassy. These would make wonderful stocking fillers you might just want to buy an extra pack or two in case the first ones don’t quite make it into the stocking…
Heelys are all the rage these days; I like how they aren’t much more expensive than a normal pair of trainers but lots more fun! Children can choose to alternate from skate mode whenever they need to and as your child gets more confident they can even progress to using just one wheel instead of two. Available to buy from Skates from £49.95 they make a great present to encourage your child to be active and better with their balance and co-ordination!
My youngest is absolutely crazy about Dennis the Menace fortunately Getting Personal has the ultimate gift for fans of this rather mischievous character – a personalized Beano Christmas book (£12.99). It’s a great read and has three names you can personalize (the lead character, a female friend and a male friend!) so the story comes to life with my youngest now as the main menace!!!
Children will relish having a set of walkie-talkies to communicate with each other on their outdoor adventures. The digital ones from Discovery Kids Science toys (RRP £24.99) are more sophisticated and have a range of 3km. This is useful if you want to give your child a little bit of independence (and freedom!) but you don’t feel like they are quite ready for a mobile phone. This design is lightweight and appealing – so delay getting a phone contract and make the most of this practical and affordable way to maintain communication with each other. I wish I had known walkie-talkies had such a long range as it would have saved me a fortune – eldest goes through phone top-up’s like you wouldn’t believe sending messages (mainly random emotes!) to his friend!
Shopkins Kinstructions mean you can now construct sets for your Shopkins; the characters themselves are made up of three pieces so you even build them. The pieces are bright and colourful and the sets will appeal to existing fans of Shopkins. Even better the pieces work alongside LEGO so you can add on with what bricks you already own and customise your bakery, town centre or fruit and veggie stand. My son has always liked the Shopkin figures but adding the construction twist makes them more fun. You can even mix and match your characters and make your very own Shopkins figure.
The Fright Factory Creature Creator (RRP £29.99) is a creative toy for those that want to make gross 3D insects, bats and skeletons. Children will love experimenting with the EwwGoo making different coloured creatures. It's a quick process with slimy creatures being made in 3 minutes so no getting bored waiting for things to happen. I will just have to keep my wits about me in case I end up with a spider left on my pillow... my little menace will have such fun with these!!!
Officially these probably should make it into my children's category but I love them so much I am adding them into the home section - because what's not to love about a dinosaur lamp regardless of how old you are! Priced at £27 and available to buy from Red Candy you can pick from the T-Rex, Triceratops or Diplodocus - I really love the clever designs, if your not a fan of dinosaurs they also have a rather fetching bear, rhino or pink hippo.
Give the gift of warmth this Christmas with a Silentnight luxury soft touch throw these are so snuggly to wrap up on the sofa whilst you watch TV. For £14.99 they are very affordable, the quality would make you think they would cost much more and they are a decent size. Such a practical gift stylish gift.
Lumie have launched their most premium Bodyclock to date with the LUXE 700 (£170), this is the most perfect gift if you want to help someone's well being. Owning a Bodyclock makes waking up in the mornings and settling to sleep at night less of a battle. I have one to giveaway at the moment so do make sure you have entered my competition.
Why not treat someone you love to a canvas print or a photo cushion of a special memory or a cherished pet or family member. Snapfish can help you create beautiful photo gifts that will look attractive in your home. It's a simple enough process to upload your picture and check that the quality is acceptable for the particular product you are ordering.
If you know someone who regularly suffers from a bad nights sleep why not give them the S+ by ResMed (£129.95). This sophisticated device measures and analyses their sleep stages meaning they would have a better idea about what actually goes on through the night. It is a very complex product that can not only educate you in your sleep patterns it can also help you sleep better by playing soothing sounds so you go to sleep quicker and you can write or record a note so you don’t have to worry about something which could effect the quality of your sleep.
The device is non-contact so you don’t have to attach it to yourself you can sleep (or toss and turn!) as normal but just having the S+ doing its thing in the background. It uses the information it collects to give you suggestions on how to improve the sleep conditions in your room. It is easy to use and set up, so you can soon start benefiting form an increased awareness of what will help you achieve a better sleep routine.
More information on the S+ is available from the ResMed site.
Wisdom while you Work (£10.00) is an inspirational notebook that can really transform your life, it is filled with lots of core values that you will hopefully learn to identify with as you flick through the pages of the notebook and start to apply that new found knowledge in your own lives. You have lots of space to make your own notes and record your journey as you start to take in the wisdom of the words and have a better outlook on life. This would be a great present for teenagers to give them a bit of guidance when it comes to the virtues that will make us happy and of a good character or for anyone wanting greater awareness of the skills that might help them get the most out of life.
The little sharing cards are a nice extra, you tear them out and pass on some wisdom to someone else like "Leave a lasting impression", "Be interested" and "Whatever you are doing plan and prepare".
Christmas Eve Hamper
Poundstretcher have some lovely ideas for everyone in the family if your thinking about making up a family Christmas Eve Hamper. The cost involved has always put me off, but Poundstretcher have so much choice for those on a tight budget. I could get two kids onesies for £3.99 each, a Cadbury's Biscuit assortment for a £1, a pack of candy canes, chocolate coins, hot chocolate and a selection box and still have change out of a £20. Christmas traditions can be started in Poundstretcher.