We’ve all been there: it’s too close to Christmas and there are still names to tick off the list. Maybe you forgot entirely about a friend you haven’t seen for a while who’s going to be at a party. Maybe someone extended the thoughtfulness (albeit inconvenient, truth be told) of a small gift that you now have to reciprocate. Maybe you spent a lot of time thinking about but never settled on a quick and easy gift.
And maybe you’ve come looking for help. We’re right there with you with fearing panicked purchases, so here are our quick picks ranked for who you’re gifting. Bonus: they’re all packaged nicely so that saves you the step of wrapping. All you’ll need, perhaps, is a card to go along. Here we go, a gift idea for…
The friend you see once a year because they’re busy the rest of the time
Perhaps a less pushy and new age-y way of approaching mindfulness can be brought to the bedside table. Aromatherapy Associates’ festive collection revolves around the rustic idea of a moment of peace in an English garden in winter. To that end, I’ve been using and love the Instant Wellbeing set from the brand. It features two roller ball oils, Revive Morning and Deep Relax. One for focus in the day and the other for unwinding at night.
The man-friend who has it all
You know the guy: he’s sane and sorted and looks like he has most of his life figured out. These are sometimes the toughest to gift because while we aim for delightful and functional, the latter quality is a bit trickier to pin down. Let’s try and nail the first, then, with one of Aesop’s “Pursuits of Passion” holiday gift sets. First, the illustrations make for packaging in themselves – already it looks good. Second, I’ve learned that Aesop is a brand never unwelcome. If you’re getting this for a man, consider the Intrepid Gent which contains a Moroccan Neroli Post- Shave Lotion, Fabulous Face Cleanser and Coriander Seed Body Cleanser. If anything, the very practical reusable case it comes in should tick off functional.
The friend who surprised you with this task
We all love receiving gifts! It’s universal. The universal flip side to this is the grumble that comes from having to reciprocate the thoughtfulness of said gift. We’re looking for a few things that tick all the boxes here: pre-packaged, sure-to-please and attractive enough to not give away the rushed choice. The handy sets from Soap & Glory come in a nice tub with vintage babes and a sparkly lid. Inside “Take Your Pink”, your recipient will find a shower gel, body scrub, body butter, hand cream, and shower loofa – all mini-sized, packaged nicely, and useable by anybody.
Anybody to pick from the tree
In case of one of those free-for-all gift exchanges that occur around the Christmas tree after a number of cocktails, consider Eve Lom’s golden bauble. It’s pretty, perfectly appropriate, and contains the brand’s Kiss Mix lip treatment that hydrates and protects.
A victim of your procrastination
The time leading up to the holidays can be stressful – you’ve got to look good, plan dinners and parties, see family, and be jolly at all times. It’s little surprise we sometimes put off actually choosing a gift until the last minute, even for someone we love. REN to the rescue, with their Luxury Moroccan Rose Collection, which stocks three full-sized products: a body wash, sugar polish, and moisturising body oil. Done and done.
A really spontaneous stocking filler
This one’s a cop-out but a safe bet. Crabtree & Evelyn has, apart from hand creams and wonderful bath products, great food. To get an impressive looking but effortless gift, try the Large Festive Cracker from the brand. It’s got a handmade Spiced Fudge, pink and white coconut ice and English butter toffee.