Our gift-buying habits have undergone a huge shift in recent years, and the cost of living crisis in the UK is also massively reshaping our purchasing habits, our shopping lists and our wish-lists.
The average household Christmas spend is down for 2022, and we’re thinking harder about value for money and the planet whilst still having some festive fun.
If you’re looking for some inspiration, here are the most popular gift trends right now.
Energy savers & getting cosy
We’re switching our ovens off, turning the thermostat down on the central heating, and thinking about ways to keep our loved ones fed, warm and comfortable.
The big ticket item this year is an energy-efficient air fryer, especially the Ninja AF100UK Air Fryer in the picture above. RRP £130, best price this week at Currys.
Many of us have been eyeing up electric throws and blankets for cost-effective warmth.
The Beurer Luxury Nordic Heated Throw above would make a great gift, and it’s reduced from £89.99 to £69.50 at Amazon right now.
The next most popular cosy item for 2022 is slippers, and there are hundreds of different styles of them in the Debenhams sale at the moment if you’re looking for a pair.
Retro & colourful
Nostalgia is big business and honestly we could all do with some cheering up right now, so it’s out with anything grey, and in with the vintage brights and retro shapes.
Rex London is a good place to start if you’re looking for retro brights inspiration, from the £14.99 1950s style Christmas festive lights above to quirky homewares, accessories and gifts, many of which are under £10.
This trend extends into Secret Santa gifts, which are well and truly back for 2022 office parties. They also keep budgets in friendship groups and larger families in check while ensuring everyone gets something fun or nice to open.
This 100 Movies Bucket List scratch-off poster, £13.00, is a fun retro-style gift for any film lover, and works as a secret santa gift or a stocking filler. The rest of their stocking fillers collection is worth a look too.
Experiences are back
This stems partly from people itching to get out of the house again after pandemic lockdowns, and partly because experiences are perfect for making special memories without relying on physical gifts.
The most popular categories right now are meals out and spa experiences, and there’s something for most budgets.
If you aren’t quite sure what to get for them, look for a flexible voucher to give them more choice. For example, this Buyagift Indulgent Spa Days Experience Box, £99.99 lets them pick something really special from over 600 spa days around the UK.
I also think Virgin Experience Days are well worth a browse if you want to treat someone to an experience they’ll love.
Eco-friendly & ethical
There’s also a shift towards people being far more selective about where they spend their hard-earned cash, with an emphasis on environmentally-friendly and ethical businesses.
This includes companies that are striving towards net zero, using plastic-free packaging, recycling, using fairly-traded items, promoting reusables, are charitable or non-profit, or are treating workers decently. Some great examples include Good Things gifts, Little Local Box and Sourced by Oxfam.
I got talking to some of the folks from Hampers.com recently, and this well-known gift company is now proudly certified carbon neutral, from working with their carefully-chosen suppliers to their delivery service, so they’re perfectly placed if you’re looking for environmentally responsible gifting.
Calming & pampering
After the last few years most of us could really use a chance to relax and do some self care, and everyone knows someone who’s stressed or overworked.
This has translated into luxury pampering gifts, all kinds of candles and scented oils for a calming home, anything to aid winding down or better sleep, the ‘back to nature’ trend, and wellbeing activities such as yoga and journalling.
In case you hadn’t heard, Feelunique has just been transformed into the UK version of Sephora (hurrah!). They have plenty of gorgeous pampering gifts, including the This Works ‘Great in Bed’ sleep set shown above. It contains pillow spray, shower gel and body balm, and the contents are worth £54 but currently priced at £27.50.
This Paperchase Pocketful of Happiness 100 Days of Prompts, £8.00, has something new to try every day in a bright and cheery book with plenty of room for adding your own notes. It’s also a handy one stop shop for a wide range of beautiful journals, planners, notebooks and other presents that fit the bill.
What would you like in your Christmas stocking this year?
There will be all kinds of in-depth gift guides coming up soon here, so keep an eye out for more inspo, bargains and offers.