Thursday, 22 December 2011

Last minute gift guide (some free ideas!)

I have put off doing a gift post until now, partly because I have been so busy.  Also the net is flooded with ideas at the moment, which has put me off saturating my blog with gifts.  Instead I have been doing 12 Christmas Giveaways which have taken over a little... So here is my one and only gift guide for this year!

Some ideas which have caught my eye, some gifts I have bought for others, some ideas which I have used in the past.  Don't forget to try and buy a couple of gifts from local Independent shops!

For friends, sisters, brothers, boyfriends, grandparents etc My local Body Shop will wrap purchases into a gift if you ask nicely (for free yay!).  You can choose a little kit of anything (but their body butters are nice, along with shower gels... oh and the cranberry lip tins.  I normally treat myself to some of the Cranberry lip glosses in the sale after Christmas ;) )  You can normally buy a few bathroom essentials like nail clippers, body brushes, flannels etc and then pop them with some bath and shower goodies.

For friends, couples, mums, sisters, bridemaids, people who spend a lot of time on their feet and need a nice foot massage..!  If you are stuck for inspiration then Wahanda (the online spa directory) have a little gadget that will ask you questions about the recipient and then suggest a product or service!  I havent tried it but have heard that its quite good!  You can see their Christmas ideas HERE.  Just noticed their mob deal is 2 nights 4* for 2 in the Czech Republic for £112?!

One for sisters, mums and grans!  At the moment I am testing a wonderful little kit from Murad called 'Celebrate You'.  It contains a lots of anti-oxidant pomegranate products, which I thought was a bit unusual.  I love eating pomegranates, so healthy for my yummy :)  I will update you later on how I get on, but I think that Feelunique sell Murad and might be able to deliver any orders in time if places today!  If Murad isn't your cup of tea then feel unique or Beauty Bay have some great ranges of gifts- just double check delivery dates for where you are!

As for other ideas, Boots do a lovely range of ethical fairtrade products called Extracts.  The Cocoa Butter one smells like chocolate.  Plus the entire range is on 3 for 2 at the moment Click HERE. 
The range is quite gentle plus Boots stores are easy to find, so do keep an eye out!  I think this is a fairly fail safe gift for anyone!  While there I can also recommend picking up the Botanics Eye makeup remover for any young girls just getting into makeup.  It wont break the bank, but will come in very handy!  (I guess we all remember those 'must-wear-black-eyeliner-to-school' days!)

BOYS! If in doubt, think big kid trapped in an adults body.  Think toys, childhood nostalgia, beer and FOOD.  I picked up a copy of The Goonies and The Flight of the Navigator for a 30-something the other year and it went down amazingly.  Also cost very little! Teamed with some snacks and a desk toy- Sorted!

Last minute options also include eVouchers from, Amazon, Ebay (Via Paypal), ASOS or post offices do a nice highstreet card which can be used in a multitude of places.

I do not always buy new things for people.  I love to mix and match new with old gifts.  I guess I should say Vintage Gifts!

I love to buy second hand books for the charity shops for people.  They have been loved and used and then passed on.  It's ethical and is a double gift as the money you spend will go to support the charity.  If you want new things then most shops now have a range of new gifts- particularly Oxfam who have an exellent range of 'Oxfam unwrapped' gifts they send to Africa on your behalf, while you get a fridge magnet.  I have some goats and alpacas in Africa right now!  These can be sent as eCards!

I also love picking up a good board game or jigsaw for the older members of my family.  We normally all sit round and participate- so the gift is actually making the family all sit down and laugh together!  This year I have picked up a 'Royal Wedding' Jigsaw from the RSPCA shop!

FREE Gifts
If you really want free gifts then I love making home made vouchers for people.   These have especially been welcomed if the recipient does not have much spare money to spend- they feel less guilty about accepting some help or time. Here are some of my best ideas;

  • A nights babysitting voucher so that mum & dad can have a night out.
  • A trip to the cinema/shopping for an elderly relative.  They get a day out, you pay for transport/drive.
  • 1 night's taxi ride for a sibling/friend.  You drive, they party!
  • A taxi ride to the airport for mum and dad or neighbours when they go on holiday.
  • A dinner party night for friends.  3 course, you cook.
  • A friendship blanket evening for a friends newborn.  You each knit or quilt a square then sew them into a new blanket together.  Some company for new mum, and some quality time with friends.
So there you go.  Some various gift ideas that could really help out some of your family and friends.  After all, Christmas is about spending time with people and looking after each other.  The only things we really have to give is love (and time).


  1. I love your free gifts idea, that is so sweet of you! You inspire me!

    Your blog is great, I’d love for you to one day stop by my blog, read my posts and maybe even comment. You’d make my day with doing that!

    On my blog I have did a few days ago a post on some brands (like H&M and Zara) copycatting from huge brands. Is this ok or are H&M and Zara going too far? I’d love to hear your opinion about it!

    Hope to hear soon from you, until then… Merry Christmas!


    Rock 'n Style

  2. I LOVE The Goonies! I should've asked someone to get that for me for Christmas XD

  3. All really good ideas, Emma. I enjoyed reading this. The evouchers are a great idea if someone springs a gift on you at the last minute. Merry Christmas to you xx

  4. @rock n style Thanks so much. Hope the ideas are useeful. Thanks for the link- will have a look when I get two seconds! xx

    @SihouetteScreams It's such a great film! Love it! xx

    @Michelle Youre welcome. Thanks for the comment xx

    @Lauren Thanks so much. Indeed- thank goodness for vouchers!! xx

  5. I've been telling a few of my friends about your genius cinema ticket present and I think the cinema's will be packed with OAPS in January.
    Great ideas. Jon would love anyone who bought him The Goonies for Xmas, he watches it every time it's on the TV!
    Happy Xmas! xxx

  6. ¡Great ideas!!!
    Thank you and Merry Xmas!

  7. Hi Vix- I hope so! OAPS for cinema domination :) xx

    Hi Gabriela, you're welcome. Hope they helped! xx


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