- 1 Best Christmas Gift Ideas for 2016
- 2 For Women
- 3 For Mum and Dad
- 4 For Teachers
- 5 For Kids
- 6 Books
- 7 Gadgets
Best Christmas Gift Ideas for 2016
Gift giving is an art form. A skill that must be carefully honed, requiring great creative and empathic powers. To be clear from the outset, the following ideas are merely sensible suggestions, designed to please many, but not all. They are also interchangeable, for you may well know a man who loves knitting, a woman who loves skateboards or a child who loves gin (scrap that last one).
As we draw into the final quarter of 2016, wondering how on earth it has managed to slip by so quickly, let us review the following gift ideas for your friends, family and other who you’ll be spending quality time with this Christmas season.
Here we go!
We recently published a post on The Best VR Headsets in the UK. That’s because they’re awesome, and high on many wishlists, making them an excellent potential present. Take a look at the post for in-depth details, or to save you some time, go straight for the HTC Vive, which is our favourite.
Not to go on about it, but flying drones are a pretty big deal at the moment, and there are loads of types and models to choose from. If your gift recipient is a gadget kind of guy, chances are he will be all over it. There are three main categories: camera drones, racing drones and toy drones. So depending on what you think he’d get the most out of, here are some recommendations:
- Camera drones
- Racing drones
- Toy drones
That’s right. Electric skateboards are a thing now. Powered by a motor and controlled via remote, they strip away all the effort of traditional skateboarding and allow you to glide gracefully on your merry way. That’s one cool commute. We like the M1™ Electric Skateboard – the first skateboard with motors in the wheels.
credit: inboard technology
A cookbook makes a great gift for anyone who’s handy in the kitchen, or even for those who aren’t and require a little incentive. The key is relevance. Finding a cookbook that is specific to what he enjoys buying and cooking is what will determine its ultimate usefulness. From our point of view, it’s hard to go wrong with bacon (unless of course he’s a vegetarian). In which case, you could try The Little Bacon Cookbook. And if he really, really likes bacon, take it one step further and opt for bacon toothpaste.
Beard Care Kit
Beards have come back in a big way. And with great beard, comes great responsibility. If you’re buying for a man who rocks a beard, consider a complete beard care kit, like this one from Men Rock.
You know what’s made an unexpected comeback in the last couple of years? Knitting. Several of my female friends and relatives have joined knitting groups of late. If that sounds familiar, try a knitting hamper. This floral vintage knitting hamper is very pretty and has a heap of lovely wool, patterns and tools inside.
Super Smoothie Maker
If you know a lady who’s got into healthy living or ‘clean eating’ lately, she might appreciate a decent juicer and/or blender. The NutriBullet and Ninja Master Prep are two of the best available right now. Fruit will never be safe again.
One of the best ways to keep track of your daily exercise routine is with a fitness tracker. They are everywhere right now, and they keep getting better, sleeker and more accurate. The FitBit Charge HR is widely considered to be one of the best trackers available at the moment. Alternatively, if you think she’d appreciate something more elegant, there are also trackers available that are designed to look like jewellery, such as the Bellabeat Leaf.
As we head towards the colder months, what could be nicer than a super soft, warm, fleecy robe? If you go down this route, it’s worth getting a good quality one that will last and feel luxurious. Opt for a colour you know she likes. We like this velvety embossed robe in grey.
Gin Gift Set
If you really love this woman, and she really loves gin, then you should probably get her some. That’s just good common sense. There has been an unstoppable revival of gin lately, which means there are plenty of juicy gin-based gifts out there. If you really want to go for it, visit a distillery. If that’s a bit out of your budget range, go for a glorious gift set.
Why don’t you check out our subscription box guide for some more great gift inspiration across a wide range varying from monthly flower deliveries to make-up and cosmetic boxes?
For Mum and Dad
The following principle applies to all, but particularly to mums. And that is, if you can personalise it, you should. Personalised gifts feel special and show you have put some thought into them. Not On The High Street is a very good place to shop for gifts that you can personalise. Why not try a personalised embossed rolling pin, wooden planter or photo drinks coasters?
Adult Colouring Books
Colouring books for adults have become very popular lately, with many raving about their relaxing and meditative benefits. There are some truly beautiful and complex designs out there, from enchanted forests, animals and birds to abstract shapes and kaleidoscope patterns. If you’re giving one as a gift, you can take it one step further and buy a mindfulness set that includes colouring pencils and camomile tea bags.
If All Else Fails
You’re not going to find a better crowd-pleaser than roses, wine and chocolate. Marks and Spencer does all three in a fancy hamper – all colours and varieties.
Gifts for Dad
For petrolheads, consider a driving experience. There are various options all over the UK, at a range of different prices. Check out the deals on F1 driving, fire engine driving and quad biking at Red Letter Days.
Ladybird Book for Grown-Ups
Ladybird Books has brought out a range of books for grown-ups, and they’re hilarious. They feature original Ladybird artwork, but with brand new, very funny text. ‘How It Works: The Dad’ is an obvious choice, but there are also books for The Husband, The Dog, The Shed, The Mid-Life Crisis and The Hangover. Take your pick.
If he’s green fingered or even just starting out in the world of gardening, give him something unusual to grow, like chilli peppers or funky veg. Both of these are available as handy all-in-one kits with seeds, pots and care instructions. Orange carrots are so out, darling. 2016 demands purple.
Teachers often find themselves inundated with many gifts all at once. Which of course, is lovely. But you can guarantee they don’t need any more mugs, candles or homemade cookies this year. Here are some alternatives.
A standard notepad or pencils might be a little bit on the dull side, but if you can get something personalised: perfect. This ‘apple a day’ personalisable notepad is really cute and beats giving a real apple, which they probably won’t want after it’s been in your child’s schoolbag all day.
What better way to remember their year teaching your child’s class than with a nice photograph of everyone, or at least a little group of friends? Take it, frame it, and if you want it to be really special, get a personalised frame. It’s the little touches that make a great gift.
There are certain phrases that teachers find themselves saying a lot. ‘Let’s use our indoor voices’. ‘This is not a beauty parlour’. ‘Please put your pants back on’. Etcetera. If your child’s teacher has a funny or common go-to, phrase, have it made into a poster and they will never have to say it again.
Marking is the bane of most teachers’ lives, so help them out by getting them a marking stamp, and even personalising it with their name. Separate by subject, or choose your own message.
It might sound boring or unimaginative, but this is something your child’s teacher will actually be able to appreciate and get use out of, and they tend to go down a treat. Gift cards for Amazon, Starbucks and the cinema (whichever is the main local cinema) work well. If you’re feeling creative, get a few parents together to buy a few and turn them into a gift card bouquet.
Gifts that encourage creativity and learning are a hit with parents and children alike. There are lots of cool and interesting options out there, such as Compose Yourself for mini musicians, Stikbot Studio for mini animators, and this Beginner Chemistry Set for -you guessed it – mini scientists.
For slightly older children who might be getting into music, or who like to watch things on their own devices, a decent pair of cool-looking headphones is a good bet. This wireless Bluetooth pair from LilGadgets would work.
You’re unlikely to go wrong with books, whatever the age, unless they really hate reading! Here are some of the most popular children’s books out there at the moment:
- Dave’s Cave by Frann Preston-Gannon. Good for ages 0-3
- A Beginner’s Guide to Bear Spotting by Michelle Robinson. Good for ages 4-8
- A River by Marc Martin. Good for ages 8-12
- Wild Lily by KM Peyton. Good for ages 10-14
- Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar. Good for ages 10-14
Gadgets are, as ever, in endless supply and they are getting better and better. For little gadget lovers, why not try a Vaporizer Nano remote control car, a hydraulic robot arm or a tiny remote control helicopter like the Nano Falcon?
Back to Colouring Books
Did I mention colouring books are everywhere right now? Yes, I did. Adult colouring books have taken off for sure, and as a result the quality of children’s colouring books has improved vastly too. These are no ordinary run-of-the-mill colouring books. What have we got, let’s see:
- We’re Going on a Bear Hunt colouring book
- The Natural History Museum Dinosaur Colouring Book
- Harry Potter and Harry Potter Magical Creatures colouring books
- The Chronicles of Narnia colouring book
- Indian Patterns to Colour by Usbourne Children’s Books
So there we have it – a round-up of our favourite Christmas gift suggestions for 2016. Buy wisely, and give every gift some thought. See you back here in 2017, by which time there will hopefully be giant jetpacks on sale in every major outlet and we will all fly through the sky like strange gliding monkeys.