Looking for some inspiration for Christmas gifts? Here are some of the latest trends for 2017 gifting to give you a few new ideas.
Even more advent calendars
Oh yes. The fashion for advent calendars is even stronger than last year, when we had all kinds of beauty treats and different flavours of gin to tickle our tastebuds. Now it’s expanded into just about anything from pet treats to pork scratchings (yes, really).
The best calendars this year give you a big discount on their premium contents, such as offerings from department stores that contain multi-brand collections, or they offer something more unusual at the end of the 24 or 25 doors. For example, the Lookfantastic beauty calendar (below) is £75 but is said to contain over £300-worth of full sized branded products and large samples, or the Glossybox Year of Beauty which costs £59 and contains £270-worth [get an extra 10% off with code: CASE10].
If that’s all a bit much, there are also plenty of ’12 Days of Christmas’ calendar gifts, such as the Feel Unique beauty one, priced £35 and containing £90+ of treats. It can also work out better value if you buy a one-off December beauty box as a gift (don’t subscribe by accident!), from somewhere like Glossybox, Cohorted (extra-luxe), Love Lula (organic), Birchbox, or Lookfantastic rather than a calendar – it’s still full of quite a few pretty branded goodies and easier to give if you’re not planning on handing it over in early December.
And if you’re just sick of advent calendars in general, but still secretly want one, how about this Anti-advent calendar (above right) full of snarky black mis-fortune cookies to wish everyone a gruesome Christmas? Not the cheapest, but very funny.
Make your own everything
It’s the Year of the Kits, so you can learn a new skill and start making whatever you like from scratch. This includes plenty of traditional foods, such as homemade chocolates, and fermented foods, including kefir. For budding chocolatiers, Lakeand’s Guittard chocolate chips are excellent quality and easy for beginners to use, along with their moulds and new ‘How to Make Chocolates’ book by Paul A. Young. There are also more kits around this year for making beer, cider, infused gins (below, £10 from Wilko), or cured salmon or bacon (the Ross & Ross versions still make the nicest gifts if you’re looking for quality over quantity).
On the beauty front for adults, try the bestselling Beauty Kitchen Raw Inventions ‘Invent your own beauty products kit’. Exclusive to Holland & Barrett, this fab gift is currently better than half price at £22.50.
Alternatively, try one of the hundreds of craft kits for kids on multi-buy and special offer at Argos, with everything from bath bombs (above), to lava lamps. For adults, have a nosey around Hobbycraft for kits in every category, and check out their 3-for-2 on gifts for children while you’re there.
Green, ethical and/or minimalist
There’s a huge trend this year for gifts that are better for the environment, made locally and/or with produced with ethical credentials. There’s plenty of scope here, including:
- Experiences and memberships (less tat going into landfill, lots of enjoyment) – there’s something for everyone from a National Art Pass (from £32 for under-26s) to a National Trust membership, from spa experiences to cookery lessons from £20.
- Well made, stylish fashion and home products that last for years and years – BuyMeOnce is your one-stop-shop here.
- Reusable items to prevent waste, such as beautiful William Morris takeaway coffee cups (above, £11.99 from Ecoffeecup) and attractive easy-clean metal drinks straws, refillable water bottles, fold-away fabric grocery bags (above, £5.00 from Paperchase) and more.
- Organic skincare and cruelty-free cosmetics – for example, the Holland & Barrett ‘Black Label’ alternative to Black Friday has over 50% off natural beauty for the next few days, worth a look.
Gadgets, toys and games
2017 tech gift offerings include a wide range of drones, budget-friendly virtual reality headsets for mobile phones and wireless chargers in all price brackets. Staying with the tech influence, some of the hottest toys this year are ‘intelligent’ too, and the star of the show is FurReal’s Tyler the Playful Tiger (below), which plays and responds to sounds. It has an RRP of £134.99, but you can probably expect quite a few Black Friday deals and it’s currently £94.49 at Smyths.
Hatchimals are due to be a big hit again thanks to their new Egg Surprise toys (above) that hatch into twin creatures. There’s a good deal on them at Tesco Direct right now, £59 instead of £75, although these might sell out quickly.
Retro toys and games are perfect for kids of all ages, and some of the best this year are from Ridley’s, prices £4 to £20. Also on the stocking filler front, I’ve seen lots of selfie accessories and props for Christmas 2017 such as this Gizmo photo booth kit, just £3.00 from Wilko, fun for teens or secret santa office party gifts. More stocking fillers later…
I’ll be back with some full on gift guides in the next few days, including tasty Foodie Treats, a sleek Gender-Neutral gift guide for anyone who’s sick of pink fluffy stuff and dull things with cars on them, plus gifts for different budgets and the best Stocking Fillers. Keep an eye out!