It’s that time of year again, December! Besides being my favourite month of the year, its the one full of lights, tinsel, merry music, and of course gifts. Gifts being one of the best parts by far. Apart from Christmas cookies. And turkey. And end of year sales. I feel like gifts, and the giving of them still trumps all though, so heres my humble attempt at a Christmas/festive season gift guide!
First up for the food lover, baker, ‘I’m going to learn to cook in 2017 I promise’ person in your life (we all have or are one of those) is this adorable vintage inspired recipe file from Paperchase. Easily available online or here in Dubai at one of Paperchase’s many and lovely stores (guard your wallet closely especially as they’ve opened a new uber Paperchase on the third floor of Dubai Mall). The lovely 50s inspired imagery and functionality make it a great and pretty gift, not to mention the fact that the smiling retro faces gazing at their perfectly glazed cupcakes inspire you to believe you really can do the same. Honest. Sometime in 2017 anyway.
For a more realistic gift and less likely to go wrong one, for all your best girlfriends, nothing works as well as a bit of good pampering. And the best part is it doesn’t have to cost a lot. Boots stocks a wide ranger of Ted Baker toiletry gift sets, which add a little glamour and class at a budget. They come in pretty packages according to their scent, and each package contains a different set of gifts, from body lotions, to body sprays, and hand lotions. I haven’t tried them all so I can’t vouch for which is best but its Ted Baker so its highly unlikely to be offensive either way. Boots also stocks the lovely tongue in cheek Soap and Glory who have a wide array of gift set out at the moment, with smaller ones making great gifts for acquittances, or stocking fillers. The set of three hand lotions in their iconic scents was my own personal favourite, although they stock far mor elaborate gift sets. Personal favourite i.e. I’m likely to keep this one for myself. The Body Shop has a huge selection of prepackaged gifts sets out at the moment but you don’t need to spend a bomb to find a worthy gift at the lovely store, my personal favourite picks were one of their new face mask range (the Rose one, for plump and glowing skin, and who doesn’t want plump and glowing skin), or their lovely little gift like winter themed hand lotions and lip balms.
If you’re feeling fancy or looking for something for the man in your life, nothing says elegance like Jo Malone. I’m a Jo Malone girl myself so I tend to be bias about them over Diptique and other similar high end candle and perfumery stores, but this particular scent of Dark Amber and Ginger Lily is the perfect Christmas scent thats manly enough for a man and sophisticated enough for a woman. It’s got that feeling of having just walked into a luxury spa or hotel and who doesn’t want that in their living room right? Jo Malone has a whole range of other scents to suit every taste however and their packaging is of course exquisite so you can skip that trip to Hallmark. You can find a great Jo Malone store at either Mall of the Emirates or Dubai Mall.
If you’re still feeling fancy and want to treat a girlfriend or sister to something that suits both their feminine side and the season, Ted Baker has a wonderful range of gifts that will feel fancy enough without stretching your wallet too much. Rather than going for dresses and jackets, how about opting for some of their equally beautiful and timeless accessories, like this lovely beanie that somehow manages to look classier than your average beanie, or a pair of soft leather pink gloves with the signature rose gold Ted Baker bow. The beanie was ordered off Asos (see below for links) and the gloves were bought here in Dubai at one of Ted Bakers many large flagship stores, but supplies are running low so hurry!
If splashing out on a particular pricy gift isn’t what you want or feel works with the Christmas spirit there are plenty of lovely trinkets out there that are on trend, small enough to be gifts or stocking fillers, and hard to go wrong with. Asos’s gift section features a great range of gift options, a few of which are shown above. A cat trinket tray (how many cat ladies do you know?), a cute and quirky tea pot with a similar cat top (cat ladies are taking over!), or perhaps a more subtle signature candle, or pineapple frame (when are these going to go out of style?). All of the above are available on Asos (links below).
I am never sure if everyone is actually a coffee lover or if its just one of those things on has to be, but either way you’re sure to have your fair share of coffee lovers in your life. A slogan coffee take away cup is always useful, will be great in their Instagram pictures, and never gets old. I picked a couple with well known phrases that work well for most people, without making anyone cringe too much. ‘But First Coffee’ is available off Asos (link below) and ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ is available at Paperchase, this one was picked up at Mall of the Emirates. You can also find great coffee tumblers at every coffee shop chain right now, from Starbucks to Costa.
Gifts to pamper are always a lovely option at the festive season when people need downtime and need to rejuvenate for the year ahead. Boots has a wonderful and affordable, but still gift worthy, set of Ted Baker soap and hand lotion, prefect to gift someone for themselves or their home. Sephora has a wide range of Asian inspired home face, foot, hand, eye, and lips masks (not even kidding) in options like Rose, Shea, Pearl, and Avocado. Each option is specific to a different type of skin need but why not pick up a whole bunch, wrap them in a lovely gift bag and give a friend a home spa all at wonderfully affordable prices.
And with the festive season comes hopes and plans for the year ahead, and what better way to put them down and stick to your goals than a planner. Theres a plethora of planners available, just search YouTube for ‘plan with me’ videos and you’ll know what a big business it is! Choosing a planner can be a tough job but some stand out more than others. This Johanna Bamford planner (picked up at Borders at Mall of the Emirates) is wonderfully unique because its both a colouring book and planner in one, that allows its user to colour on weekly and monthly spreads, and to plan alongside. The Ban.do One Day at a Time planner is just one of many of their range for 2017, but one of the more inspiring and self affirming. You can find it at Bloomingdales at Dubai Mall or easily order online.
Books are another great and easy gift and one that can bring a surprising amount of value into the receivers life, given its the right book! I’m going down the popular route here and selecting three books appropriate for young adults, women, and men (or women), and books that are guaranteed to be a hit. Zoella’s third instalment in her series Girl Online, Going Solo, has just been released and from a brief reading of the first few chapters looks set to be the best one yet. I also selected We Were on a Break by Lindsey Kelk, because her I Heart series has been so well renowned. I’ve not started reading it yet but it looks set to have all her hallmark humour. A third new book in stores this month is the next instalment in Jeffrey Archer’s infamous series, entitled This Was a Man. All are available at Kinokuniya Dubai or any good book store.
There are always fun and quirky gifts which make great options as well. Asos is a treasure trove for such gifts and thats where I found these adorable snowman slippers and this fun game of Who’s the Boss that you can play with your significant other. I haven’t played it with mine yet but I feel like I know it’ll be me!
Notebooks are one of those things I tend to gift a lot myself, whether for birthdays or otherwise. I think they’re a useful way to help someone out, whether they use them to make list or jot down ideas. And people tend to not splurge on the pretty ones for themselves, especially in our technology driven world. A pretty notebook almost makes an easy, useful, and appreciated gift. The notebooks above were purchased at Paperchase but Papercahse has an almost endless supply of notebooks to choose from.
And because they don’t look like they’re going out of style anytime soon (and for good reason) adult colouring books are another great option for a festive season gift. Particularly this beautiful new edition to Johanna Basford’s line, Johanna’s Christmas. I bought one for myself and I can’t wait to get colouring. I picked this one up at Borders in Mall of the Emirates.