I spend my life on the internet seeing what people are buying/what’s good value/what’s a rip-off etc. It’s literally my job!
It all comes to a head around this time of year when we start buying presents for each other ready for the holidays. So after so many of you have told me you want one, after avoiding it for ages, I’m doing my first proper Christmas gift guide for 2018!
Some things I want you to know first:
- If you are looking for ‘deals’, there will be some below sure, but for those short-lived, super cheap deals and discounts, join my Luxury on a Budget Facebook group. Just recently group members have bagged free Benefit lipstick, cheap LOL doll items and £10 prams.
- I’ve chosen these items because of a few reasons. 1) They are popular items 2) They are items I could properly review because the brands sent me them, though some didn’t and I purchased myself 3) They are gifts I liked the look of and felt they were value for money.
- In regards to ‘value for money’, I think it’s a bit different when it comes to Christmas presents. Sure, you can buy a candle in Poundland but also, people are willing to spend more for a luxury version of something for a gift. I’ve used my head and asked my social media followers how much they’d spend on something if I wasn’t sure.
- There are affiliate links in this guide which means I get a small percentage of a purchase, but guys, it’s like 20p so don’t go thinking I’ve added stuff in here to make big bucks!
- If there are gifts you think should be included – tell me! I’ll keep adding to this list.
Christmas gift guide 2018
Women’s Christmas gift ideas
It goes without saying that a lot of, in fact, all of the women’s items will work for men too and vice-versa. The internet likes it when you properly label stuff and create headings, so here you go.
I’ve added a mix of useful things, pretty things – items I would like and the women around me would too.
Paperscapes – nature books and art
I ADORE these books (and in fact, my boyfriend has called dibs in them). They are the most beautiful books to look at for a start, but they also contain sections you press out which transform the books into works of art.
It was so satisfying going through the pages and creating the cut-out butterflies and honestly, I’ve never seen a more beautiful book. I don’t know who wouldn’t want these!
The books are too special to keep tucked away on my bookshelf, so am currently displaying them open on my fireplace – but of course, you could treat them like any other book.
I was even thinking that my niece who is six would absolutely love these. She’s into all things nature, and you have the educational aspect, along with the crafting element.
All in all, I thought they were really unique and beautiful.
HoMedics Luxury Nail Care Foot Spa and Massager
The ultimate in mum presents, a foot spa! I knew I wanted to add one to the list because they scream ‘luxury’, you know, without actually having to spend a fortune going to a spa.
I choose this HoMedics one because I think you get a lot for your money – currently £29.99 in Argos.
If you get it, you’ll know what I mean when I say it looks and feels like ‘quality’ – in fact, it has a two-year guarantee.
There are four bubble strips which are really intense. They aren’t weak bubbles! It has massage rollers and also a pumice stone attachment for extra massaging and scrubbing on your feet.
Yep, I’m that person watching Netflix with my trousers rolled up to my knees with my feet bubbling away! ha.
You also get a nail kit which is good quality, with a nail brush, cuticle scissors and pushers, toe separators, emery board and a bag to put them in.
Generally, super relaxing and good value for money in my opinion!
Chips, glorious (low fat) chips!
This Salter AirFryer changed the game for me and I am obsessed. I cook so much with it and I’m not alone.
I mentioned cooking sausages with it the other day on Twitter and SO many people got in contact saying they adore their air fryer.
Really simply, you can cook and fry food without any of the fat or faff of hot oil with this machine – so healthier, lower fat cooking.
There are literally hundreds of Facebook groups dedicated to air fryer cooking and even though most people know them for making tasty, crispy chips with a tiny amount of oil (I used half a teaspoon) – but there are a million things you can cook, like chicken, fish etc.
It comes with an instruction manual which has loads of recipes in it with cooking times.
I’ve been air frying for a long time. In fact, got my first one about five years ago. It wasn’t until I upgraded to this newer and different model, did I realise how much better they are now.
My old one was super loud (this one is a million times quieter), wasn’t digital, so you just wound it up and let a timer go. It was also a bit of a nightmare to clean because it had a wire mesh basket, it was really hard to clean grease off.
This Salter mode has none of those issues making it a doddle to use, clean and store. I really love it.
It’s really smart-looking thanks to the intuitive LCD display and the automatic switch-off makes it really low maintenance. It has a hefty 4.5-litre capacity so you can get a decent amount in the basket. Your family will have plenty of chips!
It’s also a bargain too, at £65 (was £200) at Amazon. My sister broke her air for months ago but had put off buying a new one so she’ll definitely be getting this from me.
I also reckon its perfect for students too, because having to share a hob between a million housemates is a nightmare, you can keep it in your room and it’s easy to use if you’re rubbish at cooking.
Mia Tui bag set
I carry a lot of things around with me. I don’t know a woman who doesn’t frankly!
Typically I’ll have a laptop, headphones, pens, books, files, a drink, snacks, makeup, a brush, face wipes – and often meat, fruit and veggies because I’m too cheap to fork out for a shopping bag when I go to the supermarket.
I’ve got a giant across body bag which I lug about, but it’s started to really hurt my back. It’s a nightmare.
Anyway, I’ve been wanting a backpack forever. I’ve honestly looked everywhere for an ADULT one, that was sleek, comfortable and would hold everything I have.
And look what I’ve found – Mia Tui bags. The one I have is the Sydney, but they have a few chic and stylish designs – with A LOAD of different colours. But I went with a metallic silver backpack because I’m a magpie. who is obsessed with shiny things.
I also got an Alex folding travel bag and matching organiser bags in star print, with a flash of lime green in the inside.
I got this bag as part of an offer, which is now over, but it is currently £45 on its own. That said there are loads of bundle offers which are INCREDIBLE value for money.
The most similar one to what I have is the Newport Bundle where you get a folding travel bag, folding backpack, and two organiser bags for £32 – saving £27.
I also am a big fan of the Jess & Molly bundle, where you get a backpack and an across body bag for £47.
Scroll down and check out the bundle offers because they are the way to get a few really high quality, and beautiful bags which you could give to one person, or split up and gift to a few different people.
So yeah, lovely bags, real value for money and it’s a brilliant small business!
Rose Gold Cocktail Shaker with recipes
I really want to be the person who makes snazzy cocktails for friends at parties. You know the kind of parties, the ones Nigella has at Christmas with lots of fairy lights – but the fanciest I get is a gin and tonic with a wedge of lemon shoved in for good measure.
So when I spotted the rose gold cocktail shaker (£14.99) at Find Me a Gift, I fell in love because not only is a thing of beauty (who isn’t obsessed with rose gold right now?), but also cocktail recipes are built into the shaker too!
Ok, so cocktails include, Cosmopolitan, Margarita, Mai Tai, Shaken Martini, Amaretto Sour, Pornstar Martini, Pina Colada and Daiquiri.
You twist the shaker to choose the recipe, and then on the side are ingredients and you add them up to the measurements. So it’s all in one place, making mixology super easy!
Aldi Jo Malone dupe candles
Oh you know how much I love Aldi’s Jo Malone dupes. Why pay £44 for a candle when you can get one that’s nearly exactly the same for £3.99? (check out my full review)
Aldi has expanded its range to include sets, giant candles and even an advent calendar – and you can buy them online and instore.
Jabra Elite 65e wireless headphones
I’ve been using these headphone for about six months and even though they aren’t cheap (£164) but they’re SO SO good.
They’re really comfy, fit in the ear perfectly (there are three size options) and have active noise cancellation technology.
I wear mine every day on the commute in and out of work (about an hour and 10 each way) and they only need charging once a week.
They’re the best pair of headphone’s I’ve ever had – so yeah, read reviews and compare to other expensive brands such as Bose as you may find these are cheaper and are just as good.
Men’s Christmas gift ideas
Urgh, is there anything worse than buying gifts for men?! Ha. They’re so hard to buy for!
Whenever I ask my boyfriend what he wants, it’s usually some weird cable or a bit for his bike – so for men’s items, I concentrated on affordable luxury they’ll be able to play with.
Waddingtons Gold Playing Cards
These are the most baller cards I’ve ever seen!
It’s a bit annoying because my pictures just really don’t do them justice, but they are gold, almost holographic, beautiful to hold and I think a really good bargain at £4.26 at Amazon or £4.99 at Waterstones.
They’re 100% waterproof (if you’re prone to spilling drinks!), but don’t feel like any other cards you’ve probably had before. They’re almost slick/slippery. They look and feel special.
Proze Band+ Fitness Tracker with heart rate monitor
I am an owner of a Fitbit (not that I’ve worn it for about a year!), and have even written a guide on how to get a Fitbit cheaply. That said, these days there are so many fitness trackers that cost a fraction of an official Fitbit and do a million things more.
The one I’m raving about lately (I’ve told everyone in the office about it!) is the Proze Band+ Fitness Tracker with heart rate monitor for just £34!
My boyfriend does lots of exercise, so gave it to him to put it through its paces for two weeks – through mountain biking trips, squash games and commuting through London.
Long story short – he loves it and can’t believe all the things it does for £34!
It connects to your phone via an app, so you can see when you get calls, Whatsapps, Facebook, Instagram, calendar, texts etc on your watch rather than going into your phone. It also has a touch screen, like an Apple Watch.
The band has:
- 14 sports modes to track, so you can decide what you’re tracking, depending on what sport/activity you’re doing. All the info is then uploaded to the app where you can track everything.
- It has a heart rate monitor and sleep tracking – which you can then review on the app (you can sync it with other health apps too).
- You can control your phone camera with it, so perfect if you want to take pictures from a distance and you’re on your own.
The boyfriend’s HONEST verdict:
He’s really impressed with all the functionality, has worn every day for two weeks and only needed to charge it once.
The app is really good, and easy to use and loves the sleep function which tells you the different types of sleep there is.
He’s not 100% sure that the heart rate is always spot on because there were times he was pelting it on his bike and it didn’t seem high enough.
Salter colour changing glass kettle
For the tea lover in your house or those who take every opportunity to add a little bit of bling to everything – check out this beautiful Salter colour changing glass kettle with LED illumination.
It’s around the £30 price mark and would suit any kitchen.
When it’s sat there normally, the lighting on the kettle is blue, but when it’s heating up/boiling, the colours change to red.
I dunno – just really thought it added a bit of luxury to your kitchen at not a crazy price.
It has a 360 degree swivel base so its good if you’re a lefty, turns itself off when you’re not using it and also has a limescale filter which is a must, especially if you live in London like me where the water is seriously grotty!
Children’s Christmas gift ideas
I remember the days my sister and I would pick up the Argos catalogue from town in maybe October/November and start circling the items we wanted from Santa. I wonder if kids still do that?!
But yeah, kids want a lot of toys at Christmas and what you buy really depends on the Child.
I’ve tried to pick some slightly different items – not Barbies, LOL dolls and Playstations which are pretty standard, but interesting things that you might not see in every single toy shop.
Hippychick Unicorn Wheely Bug Ride-On
Look at his little face! Who doesn’t LOVE a unicorn, right?
When my sister had her little girl, I was really keen to buy something that wasn’t plastic-y, beautiful, good quality and you’d be happy to have hanging around the house – as well as fun!
So let me introduce to you exactly that – the Hippychick Unicorn Wheely Bug Ride-On.
I’ve picked the more expensive plus type, but it means you can take off the unicorn ‘skin’ and change it with others if you wish, such as a lion, panda, dog etc. The skins are £16, which is pretty good value to ‘get a new’ toy.
You can get the Wheely Bug itself at John Lewis for £69.95. It’s not ‘cheap’, but it’s incredibly good quality.
To me, this is the exact kind of toy you can pass down in the family because it’s so well made.
The toy itself can move backwards and forwards or side to side – so has unlimited directional movement.
Origami large elephant lamp
Ok, I’ve put this in the kid’s section but I adore this elephant lamp from Neon Sheep so much, I’m genuinely keeping it in my living room (but I suspect my mother may want to steal it as she collects elephant things).
It’s only £20 too! It looks exactly like a lamp you’d buy in a fancy design shop in Chelsea.
It’s made of 100% resin, so you can knock it about a bit (though, I don’t recommend it!) – it’s just not delicate.
Check out everything at Neon Sheep actually, it’s my new fave shop for quirky home things.
It’s ele-phantastic! (sorry!)
Jack-Jack Attack Incredibles 2 doll
Awww… now, this little one is a cutie!
The Incredibles 2 was one of the biggest Children’s films of the year and this Jack-Jack toy is going to be popular.
If you’ve seen the film, you’ll remember there is an epic battle between Jack-Jack and the little racoon – so here you can recreate it!
If you press on Jack-Jack’s belly, you can make him attack. He lights up, has laser eyes and makes lots of noises. The racoon makes noises too.
Freezable glitter tumbler
I thought this was a nice little stocking filler for a fiver and is officially my new favourite cup to use (because yeah, I like sparkly slime and a cold drink!).
You can get the tumblers in rose gold, pink or blue at Neon Sheep.
Nattou Piu Piu the Octopus
Again, this little octopus was my attempt to find something a little bit different/special.
This toy is particularly good for premature babies because the plaiting of the tentacles reminds them of the umbilical cord which makes them feel safe and secure.
The idea comes from Denmark as a solution to calm babies so they are less likely to pull on their monitors and tubes.
Kiddimoto Kurve balance bike
I don’t know what it is, but I love wooden toys for kids. There’s so much plastic about that doesn’t stand the test of time, yet a good quality wooden toy will last for generations!
The Kiddimoto balance is just that – in fact, it comes with a 10-year warranty and will set you back £39.99.
KidiMoto balance bikes are suitable for those age three upwards, are meant to promote exercise, learning while helping children to learn the balance and coordination skills that will prepare them for then they want to try riding a pedal bike.
Because there are no stabilisers, and they push the ground with their feet, a child naturally learns how to balance and control the bike.
They come in all sorts of designs, flowers, dinosaurs, pink spots, skulls and crossbones, the union flag and cherries.
I think you get a lot of toy for your money.
Intempo Curved Bluetooth speaker
A speaker that any teen and pre-teen would love, but also is good enough for adults too.
It’s a proper bargain at £24.99 at Amazon and the best portable speaker I’ve managed to find. I carry it around the house and listen to YouTube videos (usually about Disney parks – I have a problem) and music when in the kitchen, or in the shower.
It looks beautiful and sleek and comes in black and metallic silver. You can pair it with your MP3 player, phone or tablet using Bluetooth or you can insert a TF card to play music.
It also comes with a USB rechargeable battery, so you don’t have to keep it plugged in all the time. It also has a microphone in it, so you can make hands-free phone calls.
It’s super loud too (and I’m properly dead in one ear), so I need things to be LOUD – which drives my boyfriend mad, but there you go.
It’s well worth the money.
Sequin Mermaid Blanket
Who doesn’t want to feel like a mermaid? This is the most EXTRA mermaid blanket I’ve ever seen.
Full of glitz and sequins (it’s SO soft!), it’s £20 at Neon Sheep.
It’s a bit like a sleeping bag, rather than a blanket – so you need to get in it. It’s not massive, so perfect for teens really, but a small adult will happily fit into it.
I know my six-year-old niece Rosie will be all over this – so will have plenty of room for her – as in, it will go up to her neck, rather than sit at the waist, which to be honest is probably more cosy!
Christmas Food and Drink
For me, Christmas is all about food and drink. If I’m not in some sort of food coma by 3 pm on Christmas day, something has gone very wrong!
Here are some of the things I’ll be tucking in to, or getting me sloshed.
Gin Lane 1751
There are lots I like about this pink gin, but especially the fact you can buy it in both Aldi and Selfridges! ha. You know it’s going to be luxury and value for money – though Amazon can deliver it to your door the next day for £22 with Prime.
I’ve added pink gin to my Christmas gift guide because it’s all the rage right now. It’s the perfect gift because it looks good, tastes good is bang on trend – and perfect for a gin fan or someone you have no idea what to buy them!
It’s produced at Thames Distillery by ‘The Bloomsbury Club’, the gin gets its name and colour from blended spiced bitters including juniper, orris root (no clue either), Seville oranges, angelica, Sicilian lemon, star anise, cassia bark and coriander.
For around the £20 price point, it’s pretty special – award-winning, made in small batched in Clapham and each bottle is individually numbered.
I’m no expert, but it’s delicious.
Opies Blackberries with London Dry Gin
Because you can’t have enough gin at Christmas – blackberries soaked in gin. YUM.
I thought for £6 this 460g of blackberries in gin was a great gift for neighbours, Secret Santas (you actually like), teachers etc.
Actually, if you’re going to a party, I’d take this rather than a bottle of wine – it’s probably cheaper and you could use it in cocktails or put blackberries in glasses of fizz.
I think you get quite a lot for your money here. It looks really pretty, so you can just stick a bow on it and hand it over.
You can use the berries in cocktails drinks, or with dessert, ice-cream or just with a spoon out of the jar! ha!
Elizabeth Shaw Biscuit Selection
Ok, I’ve been hyping these up on Twitter for weeks and I stand by it – the best biscuits I’ve ever eaten!
So for me, I like biscuit, sure, but I also want a caramelly goo as well as a crispy element.
Well, let me introduce to you the Elizabeth Shaw luxury biscuit selection box which is Christmas themed.
The selection box (420g) is £5 and available at Sainsbury’s and comes with three packets of biscuits. Including:
Coconut and Hazelnut (my favourite!!!), White Chocolate and Cranberry and Mint and Cocoa.
Honestly, they are NEXT LEVEL GOOD.
Sure, gift them at parties, neighbours etc because the gift pack elevates the biscuits, but seriously, sit there and get through a pack watching Christmas films like me too! You won’t have regrets!
Christmas isn’t Christmas without my mother’s chocolate tray. Boxes and boxes of chocolates and sweets she’s been buying for months.
And still, with all there is on there, we find ourselves fighting over the Guylian seashells! They’re iconic!
There’s also the perfect gift too (especially for those people who have everything already!).
They’re made with pure cocoa butter and filled with hazelnut praline.
The box above cost £10 at Tesco, but there are different sizes/types of Guylian gifts from £3.50 for a 250g box to this fancy one.
Something I didn’t realise, which is a nice little extra, is that every time you buy Guylian chocolates, you’re supporting Project Seahorse, an international marine conservation organisation. The more you know, eh?!