Last updated 12th December 2019
I’m so glad that when the lovely Martin at PPM was taking down notes for my website design, he suggested that along with all my gluten free things that I also had a ‘lifestyle’ section too. As knowing what a crazy eclectic head I have, there will always be extra things that I ‘need’ to chat to you about – and this blog I’m about to share with you is a perfect example!
I love to pick out meaningful and thoughtful gifts for my family and friends, that I hope they will love. And although my suggestions below are anytime presents, I thought as we countdown to Christmas, now would be a perfect time to share some ideas with you, in the hope it may offer that little spark of inspiration as you hunt out the ideal gift, that makes you extremely excited to give!
Whilst there are few gluten free suggestions within this post (oh my, you must check out the gf hampers!) my gift ideas are of course for everyone!
Sometimes it’s as simple as remembering the classic things that your favourite people love
A bunch of their favourite flowers – if you are not sure of what they may be, then choose some in their favourite colour – if they are a single stem flower, a stem for each year that you have known somebody would be lovely – then just pop a little tag on with a meaningful message.
A bottle of their favourite wine. And if pennies will stretch, maybe a significant vintage too – and a tag attached to the bottle, explaining why you chose this particular year, would finish this gift of perfectly!
For somebody that loves to cook, a great cookery book, an extra special olive oil, or maybe that pan they have had their eye on for ages really would be perfect. Amongst my cookery book collection is the full Nigella collection, including both the original and the latest edition of How To Eat……this is a cracking book and would be appreciated by anyone who loves their food! Recipes from standard cookery books can be easily adapted to suit dietary needs or you can of course purchase books that are dedicated to particular diets.
For a bit of indulgence what about a tube of their favourite luxury hand cream – my sister in law Kate loves CLARINS hand and nail treatment and if I ever need to fill a little gift gap for her I will pick up a tube!
Or maybe a bottle of indulgent bubble bath or perfume. And If it’s a stretch to get the perfume, maybe opt for a body cream instead.
I used to always buy a bottle of Badedas bubble bath each Christmas for a close friends mum as I knew it was a favourite of hers. It is a really nice bubble bath and as it comes in a box it wraps really neatly too – which I love!
*Chocolate is the perfect gift for somebody who loves it and It doesn’t have to cost the earth. A simple bar beautifully wrapped can seem extra special. Neil loves chocolate and I normally splash out and get him a posh box of extra special chocolates for Christmas – hand picking out the flavours that I know he will adore! Lots of chocolates are gluten free – you just need to do your usual checks.
A magazine subscription makes a cracking gift – I have both given and received this gift and I used to get giddy when my copy of Red dropped through the letterbox each month. For the last few years I have subscribed for the steam railway magazine for my Dad and I really could not have picked out anything better for him!
Bespoke your gift by picking up a selection of bits and bobs they love, and then individually wrap in tissue paper and popped into a nice gift bag or box. My Niece loves doing her nails and I know she would love a bag full of nail associated things like a nail file, cotton pads, nail varnish remover and a few bottles of polish.
Lovely PJ’s are perfect for anybody that loves nothing more than slipping them on after a long day or cosying up in them over the weekend!
Get a multi pack of ankle socks (or maybe a single pair of walking socks if that’s their thing) split them and wrap up individual pairs as single gifts – or maybe use them as tiny stockings, filling them with little gifts. Things like nail varnish or mini toiletries, even a cute pair of pants could be squeezed in there!
A voucher or gift card for their favourite store will always be a winner! You can even get vouchers for your favourite restaurant. I know that Off The Wheaten Track (a 100% gluten free deli in Altrincham and such a great place) even do them!
For anybody that loves to read, pick out a new book by an author they love. I have a random recommendation for a couple of books that I got a few years ago written by Rita Konig. Rita’s tips for domestic bliss and Rita’s culinary trickery. I found them a joy to flick through and there are some fabulous hosting tips in there, which I just loved! If you fancy checking them out for yourself, they are still available on Amazon.
Also, should you opt for a book as a gift, a bookmark slipped into a page that has meaning to the person who is receiving it, would be a lovey touch.
Top tip: Make a little mental note of what friends and family say they like when you are with them and jot the ideas down whilst still fresh in your mind. This certainly helps with hitting on the right thing in the future. I have a constant ‘gift idea’ list on my phone!
Precious and sentimental gifts
Surprise them, and get a piece of jewellery that means a lot fixed, cleaned etc.
Get a reprint of their favourite photograph that may be a bit tatty, put it in a frame and gift wrap beautifully – or maybe you can have a selection of pictures they love printed off filling a multi frame or simply tie them in a bundle with ribbon!
Have something meaningful framed. Years ago, I had Neil’s running medals framed. It made him teary when he unwrapped it on Christmas Day.
Simple thoughtful ideas
A beautiful keyring is lovely if somebody has just moved into a new home, passed their driving test or even if they have just got a new business premises.
If they are off on holiday – foreign currency with a little travel guide for the country, they are visiting would be great.
Give the number of gifts for each birthday year. These only need to be small, i.e. lottery ticket, pack of favourite sweets, new biro, note pad, little bottle of fizz etc.
Something as simple as a top-quality sketching pencil and pad beautiful wrapped would be perfect for somebody that loves to sketch and doodle. Or maybe a paint palette, brush and pad for somebody that is considering taking up a spot of painting?
Fingerless gloves for somebody that gets chilly hands, maybe when they are typing so still needs the freedom of their magical fingers.
A jazzy new belt if they keep losing their jeans!!
Treat them to a fabulous hamper!!!
I’ve received hampers in the past, but up until this year I’ve not gifted one. On my hunt to find exactly what I was looking for (can’t mention at the moment, just in case the recipient reads this!) I came across The British Hamper company. And whilst they do a wonderful range of general hampers, what caught my eye, is that they have a hamper section dedicated to Coeliacs – and the gf goodies included look amazing! So, should you need a super duper gluten free treat for that special someone, I highly recommend you check out The British Hamper Company.
Handmade and Homemade
*Fill jars with their favourite sweets or biscuits. Even buying ready-made biscuits that you can decorate with melted chocolate and pop into a nice jar. I picked up these gluten free ginger biscuits from Lidl (they do contain gluten free oats) and decorated them with some melted *dark chocolate, allowed them to set and popped them into this little Kiln jar…..the fancy ribbon I then added, rather stole the show!!
Rustle up some homemade cakes! On a couple of occasions I’ve made these gluten free carrot cake cupcakes to give to my friends and they’ve loved them!
*Make their favourite chutney jam lemon curd. Or whip up some truffles or fudge and transfer into a gorgeous container or arrange on a beautiful china plate that would also be given as part of the gift.
Use whatever skill you have to make something thoughtful that you know would be well received. Handmade cushion covers, wash and laundry bags or a tote bag that can double up as a gift bag filled to the brim with surprises!
Ideas for Children
Most of the time gift buying for children is no problem as they will have checked out Argos and given you a delightful list of everything they wish for. But it is still lovely to make gift giving to them special.
I have in the past done a pass the parcel themed gift for my niece and nephew. And although they would have unwrapped the parcel in one go, there was a goody inside each layer as they continued to unwrap their parcel, until they got to their main present. Another idea could be a ‘lucky dip’ for them to pick out a surprise from a big box filled with shredded paper and wrapped small gifts. It would be nice idea for them to have a little dip and pick something out at different points throughout the day!
Last year I ordered a couple of The Wild Year books for gifts after hearing good things about it on the radio – it has lots of suggestions for things to do outside throughout the seasons and think it is a lovely gift to give to a child.
Another great book that I’ve picked out this year is Cooking Step by Step: More than 50 Delicious Recipes for Young Cooks.…perfect book to encourage children to venture into the kitchen to discover how to create delicious food!
If money is no object!!
Book a holiday – take them to the destination of their dreams. Maybe it would be to pay a visit to somebody they love on the other side of the World?
Hire a camper van for the day and take them on a tour around their favourite county – or a longer trip if you have both the time and the pennies!!!
Give the best gift ever…….your time!
Gifting is not just about giving a physical object, it can simply be giving your time freely to somebody. Spending precious moments with them and doing something ‘they love’. So often, this can mean far more than anything you could possibly buy.
Here are a couple of suggestions from me:
Cook their favourite meal.
Take them to their favourite destination, café, restaurant, pub, chip shop etc (Neil once surprised me and took me on a ‘mystery trip’ to Whitby for gluten free fish and chips).
Crack on and do that chore they have been dreading doing – you will be loved forever!
Fix up that old bike in the garage that they are itching to ride.
Mend that item of clothing they love, but can’t wear because it is ripped or has a missing button, zip etc.
Sit down to watch their favourite film from beginning to end with all their favourite goodies to munch on!
Simply spend the afternoon together drinking tea and nattering ……without any distractions or places to be!
Gorgeously gift wrapped!
So once I’ve hit on the perfect gift, I then go a bit bonkers with gift wrapping. Starting with tissue paper, sprinkles, wrapping paper and ribbons to tie everything together. I just love it – and feel this extra attention to detail can make even the smallest gift seem so special!
I cut up old Christmas and Birthday cards and use them for tags. I never worry about the size of the tag – small and large can work in different ways.
It’s nice idea to attach a Christmas decoration to a present, that can then be hung on the tree.
You can also make what the present is wrapped in, to be a part of the gift. by wrapping it up in a beautiful tea towel, scarf, or even a handkerchief if the gift is tiny, like a pair of earrings, lipstick etc.
It’s been lovely sharing some gift ideas with you – I really hope you have found it helpful!
Happy gift hunting.
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*Check out ingredients to ensure suitable for dietary requirements.