Ok so Christmas is officially LESS THAN 4 WEEKS AWAY (!!!) and if you’re anything like me you’ll be starting to feel slightly panicked right now. If you’re sat smugly reading this, with your shopping already done and gift wrapped, then well done you. But I’m going to assume that you’re not representative of the majority of people.
So to help you guys out (and myself), I thought I’d round up the stuff I’ve been buying, lusting over, or reckon would make an ace gift for the big and little people in your life….
If you’ve got any suggestions for stuff that should be included please let me know!
For the MEN in your life (be that husband, boyfriend, father, brother, other)
Beer 52 – subscribe and have a handpicked box of craft beers delivered monthly to your beer-loving loved one – or just buy as a one-off! Use this * link * to get £10 off your first order making a crate of 10 craft beers just £14!
Alternatively if they are more of a coffee-drinker than a beer-drinker (or you’re trying encourage slightly more healthy habits) then go for a PACT coffee subscription instead. Another gift that keeps on giving, the guys at PACT will deliver a delicious bag of freshly ground coffee as frequently as you wish. If this sounds like something you’d like to try yourself, use this * link * to try a bag for just £1 including delivery! Be warned though, it’s addictive stuff!
For the MAMAS in your life (be that yourself, your own mama, your sister or one of your mama mates)
Selfish Mother Sweater – I’ve bought a number of t-shirts for myself and friends but am yet to get my hands on a sweater. Definitely hoping Santa delivers me one this Christmas! Not only do these Mother Sweaters from Molly of Selfish Mother look super cool and comfy, they’re for a good cause – all profits go to Women for Women UK. (So far the sale of Mother sweaters and tees has raised an incredible £40,000 for the charity!). Go Molly!
Cult of Youth MAMA chain – if you can get one, DO IT. Be warned though, they are massively in demand and frequently sell out but are oh so awesome.
Tiba+Marl Bag – well if your kid’s going to have one (see below), you certainly deserve one. The best nappy bags out there by a bazillion miles. Launched just this year by a power mum duo, they are already stocked in Harrods! I LOVE my floral Elwood backpack but the Raf holdall is now top of my Xmas list. A girl can’t have too many bags, right?! Plus, new baby, new change bag. Seems only fair.
Mere Soeur goodies – Perfect gifts for your best Mama mates. From Boob Appreciation Mugs (no I didn’t make that up) and Mums of Anarchy badges, to cool tees and useful tote bags. It’s all about the sisterhood and everything is really reasonably priced and many items are hand-printed by the lovely Mama behind it all.
A Weathered Penny – Awesome AND affordable jewellery. Be warned though you will want to buy one of everything on the website. These pieces make perfect gifts… for yourself. Or friends. Maybe your sister. But mostly for yourself 🙂
For the BABIES in your life:
This lot can be pretty tricky to buy for since they are so easily entertained with a cardboard box and some tissue paper, but here are a few suggestions for special gifts that Mama is sure to treasure (even if baby prefers the packaging it arrived in).
- A brightly-coloured, hand-crocheted blanket with pom poms (!) from Hollie at Flora Fairweather. Truly a gift to be kept forever. Check out her gorgeous Instagram feed here. She also makes beautiful, equally-colourful, hats and booties, all with fun pom poms of course!
2. A pair of gorgeous, hand-made, leather moccasins from Amy & Ivor. I particularly love the little high-tops and have recently bought a pair for my Arlo Bear (unintentional rhyme right there). I also love the metallic platinum moccasins and the furry cheetah moccasins from the special limited collection. Oh and the pretty Erin shoes (if only a girl!). Really I just love them ALL. But if you want some for xmas, make sure you act fast because they are made to order and can take up to 2 weeks.
3. A cute pair of PJs with a fun print from The Bright Company (and perhaps a pair for Mama too – #twinningiswinning afterall)
5. Alternatively absolutely anything from Cissy Wears is sure to go down well. The Mama behind this online concept store is the Queen of Enabling so make sure you have your credit card at the ready!
For the BIGGER kids in your life:
1. Go outside the lines – buy a fun poster with an appropriate life motto for the kids to colour in. It can then be framed and hung (without ruining the minimalist insta-friendly vibe) in the home/their bedroom and makes a welcome change from the usual ‘art’ you feel obliged to stick up! Plus it’s always nice (and rare) to find an activity that keeps kids occupied and doesn’t involve any technology!
3. Tiba+Marl Mini Elwood backpack – if it wasn’t enough that these guys make the coolest changing bags around for parents, they have just launched mini versions of the super-popular Elwood backpack for the little ones in your life. If you’re a fan of the #twinningiswinning trend (and who isn’t?!) then you need to get your hands on one of these (and one for yourself obvs, see above).
For the SIGNIFICANT OTHER in your life:
This is perfect whether or not you’re a parent but especially so if you are, because parents are always in desperate need of a break, am I right? Or is that just me?! No, everyone needs a break (and Mums and Dads most of all).
What makes this gift even more perfect is that you totally get the benefit too. A complete ‘Win Win’ situation.
Introducing… THE WEEKEND AWAY. I’ve decided (although have never actually been) that Amsterdam is THE destination for the perfect long weekend away. Paris has been overdone. Any further afield (like NYC where I went for my b’day) and the excitement is somewhat mediated by the distance and the worry that sets in when you think about how many miles (and hours if there was an emergency) you are away from your precious monsters. So with that in mind, Amsterdam is just perfect. Plus you can get there on the Eurostar and BYOB, which I much prefer to Ryanair and paying a fiver for a bottle of water.
To help you plan the ultimate weekend away to Amsterdam, get your hands on an e-copy (which can be read on any device) of A Perfect Day in Amsterdam: Winter, Spring, Summer & Fall by Hilde Veeren and ensure you don’t waste a single precious minute. Hilde is not only a fellow Mama (based in Amsterdam), she also runs the international travel blog Fish & Feathers with her husband, is managing director for a fashion mag and writes freelance for Grazia and others. So it’s safe to assume she knows how to make best use of your time.
Buy the guide now and start plotting your escape immediately!!
GIFTS for the GRANDPARENTS:
A personalised photo calendar from somewhere like Photobox is not exactly shopping independently (which I am making a conscious effort to do this Christmas) nor is it spectacularly imaginative and they do take a little time and effort to make, but grandparents seem to really, really love them. And you can just make the one and then order duplicate copies for the both sets (or more, if like me all four grandparents live separately!).
The PERFECT gift for the whole family (including grandparents):
A voucher for Emily Gray Photography Services. This super-talented, in-demand Mama is offering personalised vouchers which can be put towards a photo shoot and prints. I reckon this is the perfect pressie for the whole family and gives you something you will treasure forever.
Check out my interview with the amazing Charlotte here. Plus get 10% off by quoting ‘DOUBLEMAMA’.
The PERFECT Stocking Fillers for the whole family:
Yes Mum cards make the perfect stocking filler! ORIGINAL cards for the Mamas in your life (yourself included), MINI cards (for the little people) and HUMAN cards (for everyone else). Fist pumps all round!
And for the TRICKY ones in your life / on your list:
Don’t Buy Her Flowers – Initially launched with new Mums in mind, a beautifully wrapped, tailored package of treats and goodies is the perfect pressie for anyone in need of some TLC and R&R. You can create the perfect package for your lucky recipient with a number of add-ons that include gin, fizz, luxury socks or even a COOK voucher. Akin to receiving a great big warm hug in a box, I am confident there is no woman on earth who would not appreciate this thoughtful gift.
FILMS FOR FAMILIES:
Christmas time feels like the perfect time for family films (or games, but films tend to lead to less fights than monopoly). However I have a very limited attention span and I resent spending 2+ hours of my life watching something annoyingly cheerful and full of song. So here are a couple films I’ve seen lately which I genuinely enjoyed and proper LOL’d at and would make good pressies/stocking fillers…
If you have any suggestions for films I can add to this list please let me know!
BOOKS FOR BOYS:
I’ve spent a long time trying to encourage my eldest son to read. It’s not that he finds it difficult, in fact quite the opposite, he can whiz through pages. But he finds it boring. Which breaks my heart. I spent so many hours as a kid reading late into the night, long after I was meant to be asleep, tilting the book towards the crack of light that shone in under my door from the landing. I used to lose hours of my life reading and I loved it, so I find it really upsetting that until recently he finds it just a drag to even read a chapter.
BUT WE HAVE HAD A BREAKTHROUGH!
Here are some books my 8 year old son actually enjoys reading (so if you have to buy for any boys of a similar age this Christmas, chances are they might be into these too)…
Any from The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.
Any from the Tom Gates series.
And finally, a gift of LOVE…
This week (watch this space!) I’m launching The Love Box Campaign. The aim of the campaign is to deliver 100 boxes of love to older people in the community, who might otherwise not receive anything this Christmas. Please support the campaign by buying a Love Box here and sharing the love online using #theloveboxcampaign #100boxesoflove. It’s a sad truth that many older people in the community spend Christmas alone, so let’s do our best to let those most in need know they’ve not been forgotten this year.
NOW LET’S GO SHOP!!!!