It’s that time of year again; when we all start thinking about what to buy for your difficult-to-buy-for mum and what on earth can you buy for your best friend this Christmas? I remember in years gone by when a quick pop to Top Shop and a necklace and a bar of dairy milk would suffice but as a woman approaching 40 faster than she cares to admit, this will no longer cut the mustard.
So what to get for friends as we turn 40?
Most of us have lives and jobs and enough money that if we want a cheap necklace from Top Shop (or Asos nowadays) then we can buy it ourselves. What we are lacking though, is time for ourselves and if truth be told, time for our friends.
So, what should we get our friends who have everything?
Here is a list of a few ideas of what to buy for friends for Christmas. Keeping it local and supporting small businesses if at all possible.
1. A voucher for dinner at a local restaurant or afternoon tea.
This is ideal as you get to spend some quality time together and enjoy some good food (and wine?) together all whilst supporting a local business too. Christmas is always a hideously busy time, so perhaps set a date for January or February when you can really spend some quality time together.
2. An experience day to enjoy together!
Perhaps a trip to a local spa or museum or to the theatre to see a show. Spend time together, doing something out of the ordinary. Perhaps something that you used to enjoy doing together but due to life getting in the way, you haven’t done for a while.
3. Organise a Pamper Day
If spa days are slightly out of budget, you could give a voucher to get your nails done or perhaps have a mobile masseuse come to the house for an hour of pampering. You could also put together a spa-at-home package here.
4. Learn a new skill!
There are many courses available to learn new crafts or skills either in person or online. She could do some flower arranging – making Christmas wreaths are very popular as an early Christmas present. If you are local to Palmers Green in North London, a great place for courses is Stitch! Take a look at their selection of courses here.
5. Something unique!
The Pointy End Embroidery makes beautiful hand embroidered home décor hoops. A truly unique gift and something really special to keep - take a look at them here.
The four-gift rule is ‘something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read
So, tackling this logically.
A gift that she wants
Bags, shoes, make-up, jewellery, perfume. For a start! Gift boxes from Tangled Roots are beautiful, desirable, and filled with goodies from a variety of independent British businesses. All wrapped up in eco-friendly, recyclable packaging. Take a look here for sustainable luxury gifts.
Something she needs
Something practical but beautiful. You can never go too far wrong with a beautiful new bag but if you wanted to go practical, how about some personalised stationery from Martha Brooks? I love these notecards.
Something to wear
Christmas calls for beautiful cosy knitwear – hats, scarves and gloves. Check out your local craft market for locally crocheted or knitted goods! And Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a pair of festive socks.
Something to read
Check out your local independent book shop for ideas on brilliant books that you know she will love! If you are hoping to do all your shopping online, choose Bookshop.org, which donates 75% of its profits to independent bookstores whilst still allowing you the ease of online shopping.
Booze! If in doubt, booze it is! Take a look at the gorgeous offerings from local (to North London, but she does offer a postal service too) wine guru Jonesy Wine!
You may or may not have noticed that all the items listed in this guide have a strong lean towards independent businesses and shopping local. When you shop from an independent business, whether it’s local to you or not, you are supporting a person’s dream. You won’t be lining the pockets of a multimillionaire so he can blast off to the moon one day, you will be helping real families put food on the table, toys in the toy boxes and clothes in the cupboards (or washing basket, in my case).
Image credits to Canva.com