Christmas shopping can be kind of stressful. Every year I have great ideas about what I want to get, but then when it comes time to actually buying I realise that I haven’t left myself enough time or I can’t find just the right thing. Sure, I should have started it earlier, especially since I’m Australian, so my family are not here in London, I have to factor in postal services and customs and … well, it sort of stops being fun, right?
Well, never mind all that. Grab yourself a hit chocolate (you can find my decadent recipe HERE) and get your note pad out, because I’ve taken the stress out of your last minute shopping for you.
For the Expat: Nothing says “home” quite like a care package.
I’m actually really lucky because friends from home send me packages throughout the year, which is really fun. But for some people, the idea of missing out on TimTams in thier jimjams over the Christmas period gives them the worst homesickness. With Down Under Box you can easily send your favourite Antipodean their favourite snacks, it ships to most places in the world, and it’s fairly cheap too. Find Down Under Box’s site HERE. Every major city has shops devoted to different countries, so you can drop in and create your own box or you can do what I do for my friends and find those quintessential British favourites and post them out. Always a winner.
For the foodie: Fortnum & Mason Hampers
These actually ship world wide, so they’re a really versatile gift and take a lot of the hassle out of things. Pretty much all the department stores do hampers, and they range in price a lot, and in what’s included. I personally love Fortnum and Masons because the products are so beautiful, the service is reliable and they come in the gorgeous Fortnums monogrammed basket. I get one for my brother and sister in law most years, and they really like it.
For The Tea Lover: Wise Owl Tea
You can find their website HERE. They’re a small, London based organic tea company who do blends that are to die for. Wise Owl have actually started a subscription service, which means that you can give the gift that keeps on giving all year. My personal favourite is the Tahitian Night Night which will leave you sleeping like a baby. I like that by buying from them you’re really supporting a small business, and their prices are really reasonable too.
For the girls, under £10: one of a kind Azure Allure earrings, bracelets, etc.
Hand made in the UK, you’ll find a range of styles here, with everything from elegant to hippy, cosplay to spiritual and goth. So great for the hard to buy for. I have picked up a few things from here, and the quality and service are excellent, you won’t see anyone else wearing them, and the lady who makes them is really nice. Just make sure you pick up something for yourself while you’re there! Find AzureAllure HERE.
For the girly girls in your life: The Painted Shoe
This is perfect for that girl (or guy!) who loves fashion drawings or Disney princesses. Aditi Dokani is amazing! You can pick up her drawings on mugs, laptop decals, notebooks, phone covers, …she does a huge range of items, all with her feminine, fashionista style. I have a few of her bits and pieces, and I love them all. She makes sure that you get good quality. You can also buy her images as prints to frame and have up in the house. Check out her range HERE. Or my own post on her and her products HERE.
For the person who has everything… Or the one you want to impress: Crank Bunny paper creations.
CrankBunny is the coolest. An artist and animation film maker, you can order personalised cards, paper dolls, puppets… all with a vintage, circus-y, fun feeling. I have bought quite a few things from Crank Bunny over the years, especially the cards. There are loads of different one, and they do different things, like pop up or contain a personalised message. The one pictured has a scratch of panel with your personal message in it, I also love the ones that have coded messages that you have a decode. I also love the paper dolls. You can find the Crank Bunny store HERE.
For the men in your life: Personalised Jumper or T shirt from Cafe Press.
I have a lot of friends that are gamers or movie buffs, who love Game of Thrones or wrestling… The trick is to hop over to CafePress HERE and put their favourite show or game into the search bar at the top, and you’ll find a range of things just for them. I think the best ones are personal, think of that show or movie that you loved watching together with them that year, and voila! They do way more than just t shirts and hoodies, so you should be able to find just the right thing.
Oh, and those of you that love Gilmore Girls, you HAVE to check out their range. It’s so good!
The romantic or BFF gift: Photobooks or photomug with Snapfish.
Part of what makes these special is that they take a little effort and curating, but I think they’re kind of heartwarming. OK, so I’m kind of cheesey! I usually make a photobook for my boyfriend in January for his birthday, and it’s all very cute. But because you’re choosing the picture, you can create anything you want. So if you and your BFF have a joke about otters or a picture of that perfect night out, then get it on a mug! Or if someone is starting a new chapter this year, why not create a book about all the great things they’ve done or you’ve done together in the past? It’s a cool and thoughtful keepsake, and they’re not that expensive. You can find Snapfish HERE.
The office secret santa: Boomf!
I’m actually a bit in love with Boomf. They do these small things that have a big impact, and I think that they make really cool, individual gifts. I know someone this year who is getting personalised marshmallows in their stocking! They also do these really cool popup cards that are a cube shape and burst out with confetti and a chocolate bar that has a picture on it. So very cool. So you can put a motivational picture on there, a quote,their favourite animal, a picture from the last office Christmas party… anything you want! Find Boomf HERE.
The corporate gift: Morse Toad Chocolates
These are a sweet gift. It’s a box that you can order, you choose the image that goes in the lid, or include your logo, business card, whatever. And then the chocolates in the box spell out a message, like Merry Christmas, or anything else you might like to say. And you’ll certainly get their attention with these. This company is relatively new, which means you’re likely to be the only one who thinks to send these out, and they to corporate packages, if you’re sending out a few of them. You can find Morse Toad HERE.
For the person who has everything… Subscription Boxes.
I know one film lover whose family get them a BFI membership every year, since they never know what to get them. I think this is a pretty cool gift, but what about something that they can open again and again? A gift subscription box! This is where a little box of goodies and samples is sent out to the person once a month, so they get a gift all year. There are seriously loads of these out there, so I think if you can think of one thing the person likes, you’ll be able to find one just for their interest. But I think the best value for money for beauty subscription boxes is Latest In Beauty. You can also use them to create one off bespoke boxes, which are really cool. Find out more HERE. For Young Adult readers Owl Crate is really cool. They get a book and some cute merchandise thrown in. Find it HERE. For gamers, try Loot Crate, which is really awesome. You get all kinds of merchandise and toys themed around a game. Check it out HERE. Essentially, there’s one out there for every interest, and they’re really stepping up their game now that there’s more competition, so you’ll be able to find something just perfect out there.
So there you have it, something for everyone, without breaking the budget and most of it you can sort out without having to leave your house, which is great now that it’s getting colder and the other shoppers are getting crazier…
Want more? Find me on Twitter @craven_wild or on Instagram @hermioneflavia.