There’s only two weeks left until Christmas which means (unless you’re super prepared) a lot of us are still thinking about what to buy our loved ones! I find buying presents can often be pretty tricky, especially for family members that you’ve been buying presents for over the years, or for those that have everything they need.
I hate feeling like I’m buying just because it’s Christmas and that’s what we do! I like to know that the gift is something I’ve put a lot of thought into and is something they’ll really enjoy. So, to help others that are stuck on what to buy, I’ve put together a few ideas for a range of budgets that are a little different to the usual gifts. These would not only work as Christmas presents, they’d work as wedding presents too! This is a wedding blog after all ;)
I personally love experience gifts because they’re often for the kind of thing we’d absolutely love to do but can’t justify spending the money on. Nobody needs a fancy Michelin Star lunch, but would we like one? I would! There are a ton of other things most of us should be spending our money on (such as those boring bills) so whilst we wouldn’t buy this for ourselves it’d be amazing to indulge guilt-free if somebody else bought it for us! An experience gift is giving the gift of wonderful memories which I think is far more lovely than having even more stuff cluttering up your house!
There are lots of experience companies online but one I really like is Truly Experiences (it looks good as well as having good gifts!) Their gifts range from a £49 Sherry tasting and tapas for two in London to a £380,000 near space flight experience!
I’m now dreaming of driving the Swiss Alps in a Porsche ;)
I hate clutter, and that’s what Christmas can often bring, which is why consumables are so good! Fancy food makes for a delicious gift. You could either fork out on a pre-made hamper like these gorgeous (but rather costly) Fortnum & Mason ones, or go down the DIY route. Buy a basket such as these sold by Woodluv and pop down to your local supermarket (Marks & Spencers is always a good choice for fancy food) and buy treats with lovely packaging.
If it’s a Christmas gift you could theme it around the festive season with items such as mince pies and brandy butter, or for cheese lovers fill it with biscuits and chutney. As a wedding gift you could fill it with all the ingredients needed for a simple-to-put-together, romantic meal for two.
3. Hamper of hobbies
Similar to the gift above but instead of a hamper full of food, fill the hamper with goodies related to the recipient’s hobby – for a wedding couple you’d either have to find a shared interest or you could split a hamper in half. If they love gardening, for example, you could pop in some packets of seeds, gardening gloves, gardening tools and some vegetable markers such as these gorgeous ones from La De Da Living.
For a baking enthusiast how about an apron, some measuring spoons, cupcake cases, or an awesome 3D printed custom cookie cutter?
4. Photo shoots & books
Photo shoots can be a little pricey when you book a truly good photographer and factor in prints. The results, however, are priceless. Buying somebody a portrait shoot means that time of their life will be captured forever. Around Christmas time many photographers offer a special deal too, so check out your favourite photographers’ Facebook feeds just in case they have a fantastic offer worth snapping up!
Whilst on the subject of photos, a photo book is another wonderfully thoughtful gift. This is an ideal gift for a partner as you have easy access to all your photos, but for other family members or friends a gift voucher would work just as well. There are tons of photo book sites out there ranging from sites such as the more affordable Photo Box (I’ve used these many times and love the results) to the more costly but stupidly stylish Artifact Uprising (since discovering this site I’ve been dreaming of making a whole bunch of albums!)
5. Crafty course
As somebody who would love to try all crafts at least once, I think a craft course or workshop is an awesome gift! There are tons of them about and you’d just need to search for one near enough to where the recipient lives. They can range in price to, such as a relatively inexpensive day of making cupcakes to a several week upholstery course.
6. A year long gift
For the gift that keeps on giving, a magazine subscription is a great choice! There are loads of magazines to choose from and you can find a selection over on isubscribe. As subscriptions often begin one or two months in the future, rather than just give them a print out of the order confirmation I think it’s lovely to buy the current edition of the magazine and attach a note regarding the subscription. Add that to a lovely mug, some tea or coffee depending on their preference and a pack of biscuits to complete the gift.
For a wedding gift this would be particularly nice if you could buy a subscription each for the married couple; I like to think they could enjoy their magazines at the same time on a Sunday morning with coffee and croissants :)
Alternatively, a Netflix (or similar service) subscription complete with some bags of popcorn and popcorn boxes would be a good gift for a couple.
7. The gift of giving
For a heartwarming gift, give someone the gift of giving by donating money to a charity on their behalf. Sites such as Oxfam let you pick from a range of gifts to give to those that need it most. They’ll send you a voucher to pass on to your loved one with details of the gift and you can add little extras for them too if you wish.
Other ideas could be to sponsor an animal or a child. So many of us receive plenty at Christmas, even when we don’t really need the gifts. A charitable gift helps change somebody’s life and surely that’s one of the greatest gifts of all.
8. Sign them up
Another fantastic gift is a membership to something that they would really enjoy. For a newly married couple and families that love their sightseeing excursions I’d recommend a membership to the National Trust. This gift would get them free entry and parking at over 300 historic house, gardens and countryside and coastline spaces and it comes in a gift box with a handbook so you have something to wrap.
If you’re looking to gift them something a little closer to home (and really only if they’ve discussed with you that they want to get fitter in the new year!) there’s always the option of getting them a fitness membership to a local gym or swimming pool. Or, for a much more relaxed gift, give them unlimited films at Cineworld! It’s definitely necessary to check if there’s a Cineworld nearby before you choose this option though!.
9. Flowers delivered to their door
One that the mums would love! Fresh flowers, from Bloom & Wild, delivered in a handy letterbox-friendly package every month for either three months, six months or a year. It’s not the cheapest gift, but it may just be one of the most beautiful and unique presents!
10. Affordable and adorable
And last, but definitely not least, is one of the most thoughtful gifts there is… a voucher book! This is one where you can really personalise the gift to make it full of experiences and treats you know the recipient would love.
For a partner you could fill it with date ideas that you could take them on over the course of the next year such as a weekend away, a trip to the cinema, or a meal out. Or you could do more inexpensive home-based gifts such as a movie night, a voucher for a home-baked cake, or a wine and cheese-filled evening.
If you’d like a little help in making it look more of a finished gift, just check out Etsy for loads of printables listings, such as this one from A Sweet Gesture. The name says it all :)
So what do you think? Has it given you any ideas? Or have you any to add? I’d love to hear them, it’s always awesome getting more gift ideas!
I wish you all an easy, pain-free and hopefully mall-avoiding Christmas shopping experience :D