Have you still got presents to buy? Yes? Oh dear. Oh deary, deary me. You’re in deep doo-doo aren’t you? Better get yourself off to Boots and grab some 3-for-2 offers! That’s where I find myself every single Christmas Eve, without fail. Not this year, I hasten to add, because I have been ultra-organised and have thought of everything thanks to my Gift Guide preparation. Sorry to be smug, but it’s true!
Here are some ideas for you if you are having some kind of desperate panic attack at this very moment:
1) Boots: the obvious. Gift sets, perfume, makeup, electrical hair styling – take your pick. Browse through my Gift Guides and there are loads of Boots ideas. If you get stuck, or haven’t got enough money for a gift set, then buy a little selection of miniature toiletries and wrap them up nicely in tissue paper, followed by gift-wrap, tied with a little ribbon. This will look lovely, I promise you. Superdrug also do a nice selection of mini-versions.
2) Supermarkets: a mini bottle of champagne wrapped up with a few choice little stocking fillers makes a nice, luxurious girlie gift. Try this: mini champagne (M&S do brilliant little bottles in the Foodhall), mini bath-soak, body lotion and soap, cute little box of chocolates. It’s a “Girls’ Night In” gift! Wrap in pink tissue, or buy one of those ready-made gift bags to put everything in. Supermarkets also sell great beauty products now; you can get Burt’s Bees at Waitrose, for example, and Tescos now sell a selection of mini travel versions of full-sized products. Think of something quirky/funny to pop alongside them in the bag or box – a shower cap, a tin of luxury hot chocolate and a bag of mini marshmallows, for example.
3) WH Smith. Not just for books. Try a pretty note-book and a nice pen (please remember that we’re taking last minute panic here), or some Cole & Son notecards (very plush!). If you had wanted to give a magazine subscription, but left it too late, how about buying a copy of the magazine and wrapping it in beautiful paper, with a gift-card saying “First of Twelve” or some such nonsense? There are plenty of ways of hiding the fact that your gift is last minute!
4) The corner shop/garage/service station. You can start panicking if this is your only option, but if you have tissue paper and gift-wrap at home (nice stuff!) then you can still get away with murder. If you’re lucky enough to be at an M&S service station, there are loads of nice choccies and sweets that you can wrap up and make pretty. Throw in a mini champagne (see above) to luxe things up a bit. The garage/corner shop is more difficult. If “20 Benson and four cans of Strongbow” isn’t an option, then head for the chocolate selection. Buy the very best that you can. Move on to the alcohol shelf and again, buy the best that they have. For someone with a sense of humour, you could buy a small bottle of Smirnoff, some soda water and then fill the rest of the package up with limes – everything you need to see you through Christmas.
5) B&Q. Seriously, if B&Q is your last resort on Christmas Eve then this is what you should do: buy a nail gun, fill it full of nails and fire it repeatedly at your feet, chanting “Next Year, Think Ahead. Next Year, Think Ahead.”
6) If you can’t even leave the house, you really are in dire straits. I mean; there’s very little you can do from your armchair in the way of making gifts ‘appear’ – you have limited options.
a) do you own a pottery wheel? b) are you skilled with dried pasta shapes and poster paint? c) do you have a ‘way with words’ and write beautiful poetry?
Oh thank God for that! Under no circumstances must you attempt to craft a present – just don’t. It will be terrible. Nobody wants a lighthouse pen-holder made from a toilet roll tube. Nobody. Get yourself onto the internet and order a gift voucher which you can print off and give to the recipient in card of your choice. (You can make this part, if you like – if only to see them squirm at your glued-lentil-snow-scene!) Most etailers have some sort of gift voucher scheme with a DIY option, but if you want to be ahead of the game, give them one from HQHair – they stock a huge variety of amazing brands. If your recipient gets stuck for ideas, send them in my direction!