*contains gifted products
Despite starting my Christmas shopping back in November, I still haven’t bought all of my presents yet!
I’ve always found Christmas shopping stressful; I can’t say I enjoy shopping at the best of times, let alone when the shops are packed and there’s too much around noise, light and people pressing in around you.
I almost always end up having a meltdown at some point.
So to try and avoid all that this year, I decided that I was going to get it all out of the way early so I wouldn’t have to go near a shopping centre come December.
Great plan – shame it didn’t work out that way.
I’ve tried to avoid going overboard this year (like I usually do!) since I’m self employed and don’t have anywhere near the budget I did last year.
Which makes me feel really guilty when I can’t afford to get people as much as I’d like to.
So I’m trying to get around that guilt by making use of “stocking filler” items – little gifts that don’t really cost too much, but that can compliment someones main present nicely.
Lush is one of my favourite places to pick up Christmas presents; they’re high quality, cruelty free and smell gorgeous.
None more so than their perfumes.
They are a little pricey, but they come in a range of sizes and you only need a little bit; the scent lasts all day!
My absolute favourite to wear year round is Breath of God; it has a really nice woody/spiced scent which is perfect for this time of year.
It also reminds me of my childhood when my dad worked as a cabinetmaker – he always came home smelling of freshly cut oak and to this day its a scent that makes me relax and feel at home.
Lipsticks can make great little stocking fillers, as they don’t generally cost a fortune and can be used well after Christmas.
I love wearing the Clinique Mini Ruby Pop lipstick all year round, but there’s just something extra special about a red lip at Christmas!
If you don’t want something quite so bright, then you could always pick up a neutral colour like No7 High Shine Lip Crayon in Daydreamer, (this is the one you’ll see me wearing quite regular in photos or on my instastories!) which is really subtle but adds a nice gloss to your lips.
Theres also the more traditional options like NYX Professional Makeup Extra Creamy Round Lipstick in a shade like Thalia, which I also wear quite regularly. It’s a really creamy formula that lasts pretty well, and is subtle enough for every day use.
Plus I’ll sometimes add Daydreamer over the top if I want a slightly more intense look.
Yes I know I mentioned these in my self care based gift guide too. What can I say, there are worse addictions to have.
Books are one of those presents that you can use time and time again, and there are so many different genres and styles available.
For fiction I have to recommend the new House based Harry Potter Collection; the artwork is gorgeous and there’s also an additional section with information about the House founder before the story starts.
Just make sure you get the right House!
Theres also a great selection of non fiction books available from LID Publishing, which I’ve been really impressed with. I was sent a selection of their books, and some of them are really helpful; not only from a blogging/business point of view, but for mental health and wellbeing.
I actually plan to give to one of them (The Wellness Book by Andrew Sharman) to one of my friends, as she’s really been struggle with her mental health recently and I think it could help her.
I had a quick read though it myself and the tone reminds me a lot of my old councillor Paul; he had a knack of asking the right questions to help me see my thoughts and feelings more clearly, which this book does really well.
There was also one called The Entrepreneur’s Book, which is perfect for me considering I’m doing a Masters in Entrepreneurship.
I’ve not had the chance to finish it yet with deadlines coming up, but just from looking at the topics in the contents page I can see its going to be very useful for planning what I want to do in 2019!
When I was a little kid my parents would always buy me a few selection boxes, take them out of the packaging and hide them in one of the stockings we had hung up.
It was so much fun running downstairs on Christmas morning and try to find which one they’d put them in – and of course being allowed to eat a bar when I eventually found them.
While I’m apparently too old for them to do that these days (being an adult bloody sucks!) chocolates are still a great little stocking filler. It could be something as simple as an old fashioned selection box, or something a little more up market from Hotel Chocolat or Thorntons.
Although the last time I tried to buy chocolate as a gift, I ended up eating it myself and I had to rush back the next day to pick up another box…
Most of the games I play these days are single player, but I still love using a headset for a few different reasons.
It’s a great way to be able to hear what’s going on in the game, and can give you an edge that you might not have had otherwise. The amount of times being able to hear a dragon off in the distance has saved my life on Skyrim is actually ridiculous; especially when I’m starting a new character and I’m still very squishy.
And yes, that is a technically term.
Plus it means I can talk to Chris when we’re both on the xbox at the same time. Even when we’re not in the same game, it can be really fun to hear him shouting “oh shit, oh shit” down the microphone and having absolutely no idea what’s going on!
The one I’ve been using recently is the TX-40 from Gioteck, which I’m really loving. Not only is it high quality, but it’s really comfortable to wear; even when I’m having an all day gaming session.
Plus the fact that the microphone isn’t attached to the headset itself is brilliant – with my old one I was forever scaring the crap out of people because I’d forgotten it was there, and ended up accidentally knocking it.
For some reason I’ve never really understood, there’s a lot of negativity around buying someone gift vouchers as a present.
But for me, they’re one of the best things you can get me!
I had no idea what I wanted for my birthday last month; so when one of my friends asked me what I wanted, I said just get me a gift voucher. She wasn’t too happy with the thought of that at first, but I finally convinced her that’s what I wanted and she agreed.
I went on to get myself a gorgeous mustard backpack from Primark that I use whenever I decide to brave the outside world and do some work in a coffee shop.
It’s a perfect middle sized bag and easily fits my purse, medication, portable charger, headphones, iPad and notebook inside with room to spare!
If you’re really stuck for what to get someone, why not get them a voucher for one of their favourite stores or a place they’ve always wanted to try.
That way they can treat themselves to a little bit of something that they actually want or need.
Plus it reduces the chance of you getting them something they already have or don’t actually like.
Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet? Or are you like me and have ended up leaving it until the last minute?