As soon as Fireworks Night and Halloween have been and gone, for me, it’s time to throw myself headfirst into Christmas planning. I love this time of year, and the moment that last sparkler has fizzled out you’ll find me digging around for my Christmas planner and stocking up on wrapping paper! As excited as I am, however, like so many of us, I’m absolutely feeling the pinch at the moment and have been trying to find savings and cut costs wherever I can. So this year I’m determined to make it a Christmas we’ll all remember, without blowing the budget.
Boots has long been my go-to for gift sets and other present inspiration – I have fond memories of being a teenager and taking a trip on the bus to the local shopping centre to tick off most of my Christmas shopping via their 3 for 2 mix and match offers with the cheapest free (which by the way, is back and has had a serious upgrade!) I thought I’d share with you some of the bits I’ve already picked up that I think would make perfect gifts this year, as well as representing great value for money.
First up, for my female friends that really deserve some ‘me time’, I’m planning on making up some hampers so they can create a mini spa retreat in the comfort of their own home. I’m thinking face masks, bubble baths, candles and body butters (the Boots ‘Christmas gifts for her’ section has some great inspiration for the women in your life that deserve a bit of pampering!)
When it comes to bath products, I’m always drawn to the Baylis and Harding packaging – I think it looks luxe without having a luxury price tag. I’ll be grabbing some of their bubble baths to add to gift boxes this year – we also always have their hand soaps in the bathroom and the scent lingers for ages afterwards.
On the topic of hand soap, Christmas handwashes always make great stocking fillers – this cranberry and vanilla scent will give any bathroom a festive upgrade. Anything with that mulled, spiced, wintery fragrance is a hit in my book – this Mulberry and Mistletoe Bath Bubbles cracker also sounds divine, I’d be thrilled to discover that under my tree!
The Feather & Down range has lots of options for the people in your life who need a little extra help with getting off to sleep – I love this pillow spray and sleep mask set as I think it’s something you wouldn’t buy yourself, but feels like a real treat (and the soothing lavender and chamomile scent is guaranteed to ease away any Christmas induced stresses!)
Does anyone else find the more they start shopping for others, the more things accidentally hop into their basket for themselves? Just me….? I want everything from the Elixir range this year – these glass tumblers are the perfect choice for friends that have a bar cart or are fans of stylish glassware (they also have wine glasses, cocktail glasses and a cocktail-making kit, and they’re all in the 3 for 2 range – told you it had had a serious upgrade!)
A new pair of pyjamas is always a great gift – I buy the kids a new set every Christmas (and in this house, we wear our festive loungewear all year round, so we definitely get our money’s worth!) Alba has just gone into her ‘big girl bed’ and this ditsy set matches her bedding so I thought they were a must. I’ve also picked her up this gilet in a similar print – again I think £12 is such a bargain for a quilted gilet, Their baby clothes are just adorable.
I have a love/hate relationship with Secret Santa – when it comes to the office Secret Santa I always find I end up with someone I don’t know so well and panic about what to choose for them. However, I don’t think you can go wrong with a bath/body gift set; I love the Soap & Glory or Sanctuary ranges as they always smell amazing and look fab on a bathroom shelf. Their Joules range also has some lovely patterns and prints – this insulated water bottle would be a great gift and is both stylish and practical.
When it comes to Christmas gifts for him, I think that a skincare or shower set is always a hit – I’ve picked up this L’Oreal Men Expert set for Liam as he already uses the moisturiser and face wash so I know he’ll be pleased to unwrap that on Christmas morning. I also have my eye on this Champney’s Recharge Kit; a new wash bag is always handy for any of the jet setters in your family, and the Active range is perfect for packing in a gym bag (the orange and ginger fragrance sounds so warming and musky).
Finally, no Christmas gift list is complete without mentioning Advent Calendars. I’ve always loved the idea of the Playmobil Advent Calendars, and though I’m not sure Alba has the resolve to open just one door a day, creating a Christmas bakery scene just sounds so fun, and of course, can be enjoyed year after year. I’m always hoping that one year I’ll be lucky enough to receive a Lindt Teddy Advent Calendar (is there any better chocolate?) and there’s a man in my life who would be thrilled to receive this Pork Crackling Advent Calendar! Which advent calendar is on your wishlist this year?