Christmas shopping made easy: a well-considered Christmas list
No office secret Santa? Adopt the concept for your friends and family and you’ll save time and money
If you come from a large family or friendship group, Christmas can be both expensive and time zapping. With a few careful tweaks, that needn’t be the case. ‘We ditched buying lots of presents for everyone years ago,’ says writer and mum-of-three, Sarah West. ‘There are 16 of us at Christmas and it was getting out of control in terms of budgets, ideas and time, so we now put names in a hat by early November and then pick out one each.’
Spending more on a considered gift for an individual makes sense. ‘Buying for one person really allows you to focus on the recipient’s interests and needs. It gives you more time and thought to choose something they will really use and appreciate,’ says Sara Allbright, Partner & Buyer, gifts and candle shop. ‘Do some research, ask those around them what they are hankering after, and if you’re still not sure, get the recipient to give you options. This is also where our Wish List can help.’
Buying less but with a more thoughtful approach gives you the chance to sit back and plan something special. Below are some thoughtful gift ideas for everyone in your family, from tots and teens to grandparents.
Gifts for style setters
Buying a gift for a style-savvy loved-one can be intimidating but it needn’t be. Ironically the trick is to avoid anything that screams ‘fashion’ and go for simple, timeless, classics like cashmere jumpers, Chanel No5 perfume or modern-day heroes like Le Labo’s Rose 31 and the best true red lipstick. And remember: every style aficionado loves classic pyjamas to wear with her Slip Silk sleep mask.
Gifts for dapper dads, uncles and grandpas
Focusing all your the gifting attention on a man in your life means the multipack socks and cheap bottle of plonk are out. Keep things simple and indulge them in that special piece of tech they’ve been hankering after (take inspiration from our latest tech articles). Alternatively, you can’t go wrong with a cashmere hat, scarf or gloves, a classic scent (see men’s grooming)and Aesop’s delicious smelling products.
Gifts for cool kids
If you are choosing one key gift for a child, think about their age and stage and what they are mad about. Have they had their first scooter yet or do they need an age-appropriate upgrade? If not, this could be your perfect gift. Ditto the FitBit; a practical gift that inspires them to keep fit. If you want to indulge a little one, you can't go wrong with Melissa & Doug's super-tactile giant plush polar bear. Alternatively, nuture their coding skills with Learning Resources' Coding Robot Activity Set.
Gifts for terrific teens
Despite having a reputation for being tricky to buy for, teenagers are easier than you think. The key is to hone in on their interests and if you dare think about fashion, only go for brands you know they will allow into their wardrobes. Tip: Hype, Adidas and Converse usually get the thumbs up. For crafty types, anything by Wool And The Gang is a winner. And remember, shopping for teens is all about research. Check in with the parents to get the lowdown on favourite bands, TV series and if you are feeling generous, their latest tech requirements. See our suggestions for teen boys and girls.
Gifts for foodies
Consumables are a failsafe option for those who have everything they need and don’t want any more stuff. The key in choosing something they’ll love? Ensure you do you research. Do they like a single malt or double malt whisky? Do they prefer milk or dark chocolate? Gin or wine? These details are the difference between something being well-received or re-gifted. Fact: a well-picked hamper will see them through the festive season in style. See all food and alcohol gifts.
Gifts for tech lovers
If you are spending more on just one person, it opens up a host of possibilities when it comes to tech gifts. From a Apple watch to a new iPhone via a new pair of bluetooth speakers, this is when you can treat a loved-one to a gift they'll find truly useful. This year there's been huge leaps when it comes to beauty tech (see Hi-tech beauty buys) so there are plenty of gifts to appeal to the tech-minded image conscious among us. And never underestimate the appeal of a good coffee machine for coffee connosiuers.