I think we have firmly established that I love a. Christmas and b. presents (the giving and receiving thereof). As such I would say I am very easy to buy for – but not everyone agrees. So, for the final installment of our Christmas gift guide, I give you how to shop for the girls (who think they’re easy but might in fact be rather picky…).
I love these mugs (£8 each, Anthropologie) and am firmly convinced that they would be an excellent gift for almost any woman (teacher, mother, boss, best friend… In fact I nearly bought one for one of my own best friends, but then she told me they’re on her Christmas list, so have assumed that one of her family will treat her. Sarah, if you’re reading and I am wrong: NEXT YEAR). Clever old M&S have done their own version, which is finer china – better for tea, I have always been told. Realising they’re onto a good thing, they also offer these letter glasses (usually £8, currently half price), candles (£12) and (my favourite) trinket dishes (£6, currently half price) – great stocking fillers. As are stickers which you can use to personalise your bag a la LK Bennett. I also love these heavy tumblers from Anthropologie (£14): perfect for a late-night festive tipple.
If Santa was feeling terribly generous, then one of Lois Avery‘s heavenly cashmere scarves [above] would be The Dream. For what greater indulgence than swathing yourself in feather-soft cashmere? I’d take the Italian Days in Heather or charcoal (£125) or the Classic in Slate (£160), but the animal print (£230) would be a real splurge of a treat. (I met Jennie Hogg, the woman behind Lois Avery, recently. She swapped a legal career for chasing her dreams and is one of the most delightful, inspirational women. I so admire her courage and vision. And if indulgence can also support a fledgling brand, so much the better.)
I love, love candles. Anything by Diptyque is a perennial chic treat. Imagine finding a small-child-sized Feu de Bois candle under the tree on Christmas morning. The classic candle set is a slightly more reasonable indulgence (£60) and neatly combines three favoured scents. Neom’s Skin Treatment Candle (£36) is, quite frankly, genius. Burn the candle to melt the oil, which you then pour onto your skin to deliver a theraputic boost of heaven-scented moisture. The thought of applying this, then slipping into J.Crew’s vintage pyjama set (£95) makes me exceedingly happy.
Youth in a bottle. An irresistable proposition and available via Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow (£38). I keep hearing whispers about how this primer has the power transforms skin. “It literally blurs lines; like Botox in a bottle,” murmured a beauty journo friend. Sold. Add it to your list, Father C.
Even better if you can combine personalisation and stationery. Head to Papier for the chicest (and most affordable) notebooks and cards. I could lose hours of my life there. And yes please to a Smythson diary – it makes keeping track of your life a pleasure. This year I attempted to go all modern and used my iphone calendar. Never again. Paper all the way. (Now just pass my quill…)
*which doesn’t cost the earth
Let me state for the record that I am no in way averse to jewellery which does cost the earth. I’ve had that blue box under the tree before and it was THRILLING. But if you’re after “proper” jewellery with a reasonable price tag, let me lead you to Carrie Elizabeth Jewellery which aims to hit the middle ground between high street and high end. I asked Carrie herself for her present recommendations and she said: “The new moonstone and diamond stacking rings. It’s £180 for all 3 rings! Diamonds, moonstone, rose gold- the perfect combo!” And for anyone who has The Fear about buying for a picky customer? “Our personalised lockets (£140) with the diamond set on the back makes the perfect gift for anyone.” P.S. If you happen to be in London town, you can meet Carrie for personal advice at her pop-up shop: 11 Calvert Avenue, Shoreditch, E2 7JP.
I know ‘affordable’ is a relative concept. But £19 for a bag that looks waaaaay more expensive has to count, by anyone’s estimation. Get thee to Accessorize and check out the Ronnie Camera bag (with a variety of interchangeable straps). Go for red, black or burgundy and you’ll be hard-pressed to go wrong. Whilst you’re there, check out the Z by Accessorize collection, which is brilliant for the price. (Also great for layering. Check out the initial pendants for starters.)
How about a Breton with a twist (Boden, £34.50)? Bonus: it’s the perfect top for Christmas day. Pair it with some Chanel for a slick gift. Chanel nail polish, obvs. At £18, it’s considerably cheaper than a 2.55.
And then there’s these pointed bejewelled flats which really as – as I’ve said before on Instagram – are basically a Christmas tree rendered in shoe form (£45, Next).
Main image: wrapping paper by Cox & Cox