I absolutely love Christmas. All that festive spirit (and I don’t just mean the drink), all those sparkly lights and just, well, everything about it.
Giving gifts is one of my favourite things to do, I love it! I love putting all the presents together, wrapping them and generally being generous. But we all know how much it can all add up at this time of year.
First up, before we talk prezzies, can we appreciate how lovely this personalised wrapping paper is from Pretty Gifted? This snazzy website allows you to write whatever you like on your paper, choose the colour, the font style, the wording foil colour, the little icon you want…and it comes with a free gift tag and awesome gel pen too. Obviously I went for the classic “Merry Christmas” line here for Ian, but you could be so creative and write something really witty or personal. You might not wrap your entire present loot in this paper, but I think it would be great for that one special gift you give your loved one or maybe for those select lucky few.
So… everything in this post is what I would call affordable. No 500 quid gadgets or dresses here, just lovely things for lovely people at lovely prices.
Also, all beauty products featured in this post are cruelty free, so you needn’t worry about any of that kinda stuff either.
I’ve split the post down into “for her” and “for him” to make things easier, but of course I’m sure lots of things can cross over too depending on who you’re buying for :)
Also…mum, dad, if you’re reading this…go away!
Let’s get started…
At Christmas I usually buy pretty much every gift set in Marks & Spencer. Their sets are affordable (also on 3 for 2), beautifully packaged, good quality and above all, BUAV cruelty free approved – woohoo! Well done M&S! So first up is the Royal Jelly collection. A classic and classy range which has gift sets of varying prices. My mum doesn’t like really strong scented products/really fruity ones etc., so she loves this range and I buy her a few pieces from it every year. They have a variety of products available in the sets, so it’s nice to pair a few together – think feet, hands & body. Right now the collection has 50% off at M&S and you can order online to collect instore for no additional cost (like I did today!) if that’s helpful for you.
Also in M&S, is this beautiful ferris wheel perfume set which is currently a 50% off Star Gift at £22.50. I’ve actually bought my dad the men’s version of this (dad’s already bought mum perfume so don’t worry she’s not missing out!) as I’ve mentioned in the men’s section below. This is such a gorgeous gift set, which comes with 12 mini perfumes – perfect for travelling and handbags.
You can’t beat getting shiny new stationery at Christmas can you? I love buying my mum a variety of them in different sizes, she’s also requested a new address book this year. There are some beautiful stores selling beautiful ones, but often at not so beautiful prices. I really recommend taking a look at The Works. They have some gorgeous designs and are usually priced around the £2/£3 mark – not that you’d know it! So they’re my go-to place for new notebooks and pads.
Barry M Nail Paints are my absolute faves when it comes to a little at-home manicure. I’ve grabbed my mum a pink little number this year in the form of the Liquid Chrome in Razzle Dazzle. They’re often on 3 for 2 offers at Superdrug, and if you have a loyalty card for them you can get free delivery on every order all year round! It’s really worth signing up for the card and taking advantage of that if you don’t already. Liquid Chrome is £3.99 a bottle in Superdrug.
Also, I haven’t bought anything from them yet, but I recently found out that Molton Brown is BUAV cruelty free approved too! So go go go and support another beautiful brand making an effort with their ethics. They are at the pricier end of the toiletries market, but they do have some lovely little baubles coming in at £1o/£12 if you fancy a little treat from them this year.
Superdrug is another go-to beauty brand for me. Not only are they super affordable, but again, Superdrug’s own brand products are all BUAV cruelty free approved too – wahey! I buy pretty much 75% of my everyday toiletries from them instead of Boots for that exact reason. Their B. range of beauty products is a staple in my home, especially the micellar water. I’ve bought their night cream for my mum this year. You’ll find that they do products for different age stages too and some products are vegan!
I have to give a little shout out to Little Shop Of Ltd, who do a beautiful collection of jewellery storage books. I reviewed their earrings one *here* and I absolutely love it. It’s a great gift for that person that has everything! Book lovers and jewellery lovers will love it to bits I think.
Candles are always a winner, and I don’t think you can beat those beautiful candles by WoodWick. This year I was lucky enough to check a few out which you can read about *here* , I’m absolutely loving my Jolly Gingerbread candle, but they also do some lovely fresh fragrances too! Admittedly, they are at the pricier end for candles compared to some but no way near the prices of Jo Malone or anything like that. And even Ian has been impressed with how long my jar candle has lasted!
Men are so hard to buy for! Us girls are so easy, beauty, makeup, clothes, vouchers, homewares…there’s so many things to choose from. Guys on the other hand are so much harder, especially when it comes to affordable gifts as they’re not into so many “little things” like us ladies. I often resort to alcohol as it’s often a winner, so the below will have a healthy dose of that…
First up, ales. I always buy my dad a good selection of ales when Christmas comes around. It’s so hard to place them under the tree without clinking them together and dad guessing what they are though! I often get some from supermarkets (classic ones such as Old Speckled Hen, Bishops Finger etc) or M&S (they have a good range and their own brand ones look great too) and try to mix it up with a few locally produced ones too. It’s always great to support local businesses! If you’re in Milton Keynes like me, definitely take a peek at the MK Biergarten in Wolverton for some locally produced gems!
Staying on the alcohol theme, M&S do this really fun gold leaf filled G & Tea, which you can check out *here*. This link is for 6 of them but you can buy them individually instore. I bought this for Ian for his birthday this year and he seems to approve! It looks really cool and fancy with the gold leaf whirring around when you shake it. For fun, I got Ian to shake the bottle before he opened it, so it would be in full effect once opened. I think M&S is an own brand you can buy and be proud to give. The bottle design looks lovely too.
Again staying with M&S, I always buy dad some men’s grooming gift sets from there too. I’ve already bought him a selection from the different collections this year. We’ve tried pretty much every range and can recommend any of it!
As I mentioned in the women’s section above, M&S have some beautiful fragrance sets at the moment which have 50% off. The packaging on this men’s fragrance house is fantastic. It’s so nice to see someone really bother with the packaging of a men’s gift for once. Usually priced at £45 this is just £22.50 right now. I can vouch for these aftershaves, both my Dad and Ian have really enjoyed using them from previous sets we’ve bought before.
I also bought my dad some lovely new notebooks. I managed to find these earlier in the year in a sale at M&S – so for next Christmas a top tip to save money is to shop throughout the year in the sales! These notebooks should have cost £25 together but I paid about £5 for both of them. Dad’s often found in his study. He’s a super organised guy and writes everything down. He also has a vast array of impressive spreadsheets on his computer. So I thought it would be nice to get him a nice new lot of notebooks ready for when he needs them.
Scarves and gloves can also be a lovely gift to give, along with jumpers, knitwear and anything like that. To be honest I don’t usually buy those bits for my dad, as he usually goes shopping with my mum and picks out what he fancies. That way he knows what will fit and he’ll get exactly what he’s after. But it could be lovely to surprise a loved one with something nice like that – just keep the gift receipt in case an exchange or different size is needed! Or why not buy the scarf and give it with a gift card for them to treat themselves to something to go with it?
I hope this little list has given you a few extra ideas for Christmas. Please send me your lists too! I love a bit of additional inspo.
I must finish up by mentioning the above Lily O’Briens Desserts Collection of chocolates. You can buy them in both this size and a bigger box too. They’re really affordable, available pretty much everywhere, beautiful and super yummy! We have them every single year without fail as a family, it’s become part of our food tradition. But they’d make such a lovely gift for someone too!
*Thank you to Pretty Gifted for gifting me some amazing personalised wrapping paper for this little gift guide – I love it & think it’s perfect for all year round! www.prettygifted.co.uk