The Idle Christmas Gift Guide, Part 1: 50 Under £50

I think we can legitimately talk about Christmas now, without anyone getting their knickers too twisted. I’m going to assume your inbox is like mine and you’re currently buried deep beneath an avalanche of emails entitled “PRE-PRE BLACK FRIDAY DEALS, WILL NOT BE REPEATED, DO NOT MISS OUT”? It’s all so confusing. And untrue. They’ll come back the next day with a better offer, the little liars. It’s like a game of chicken, and you’re not entirely sure how you got roped into it. Also, Black Friday wasn’t even a thing here in the UK until quite recently, and now the Black Friday emails, and pre-Black Friday emails, and pre-pre Black Friday emails, start in October. Remember when everything was full price until Boxing Day, when the sales started? Je suis baffled by modern life.

Let’s ignore the inbox. Buying things just because they’re reduced is just silly. I’ve put together a gift guide of things I would be genuinely delighted to receive. Some of them may be reduced over the next few weeks of pre-Christmas sales madness, but the key point is, I would buy them all at full price, which is the test I apply before buying anything in a sale. I’ve also included a lot of bits from indie businesses, who will not be offering 40% off everything, because they can’t, because they’re only little and their wares are made and sourced with love and care and it’s just not feasible. The joy of these businesses is you’ll find unique, interesting gifts that will be nothing but a joy to give and to receive. Better than getting 3 of the same gift sets of toiletries they sell in the big Asda, isn’t it?

I love a gift guide. Can’t get enough of them. All the beautifully curated lists and pretty things, which bear absolutely no resemblance to the gifts I receive on Christmas morning (unless I’ve provided my husband with clickable links, via an email entitled “This, please”. Which I do). I haven’t split it out into categories, it’s just a great big festive free-for-all of Good Stuff. Oh, and there aren’t 50 ideas. There are 54! This is because I like to spoil you, and not in any way because I use a photo template that groups things into 9, and I am therefore constrained by this.

Without further ado, let’s grab an egg-nog (no, me neither), crack open the Quality Street and purchase some winning gifts! And if that ain’t your thang, or you’d like to do something nice alongside the prezzie buying, Oxfam do a range of charity gift cards to give some really meaningful presents to those actually in need – safe water, shelter for those who need it and life-changing chickens. Click here to take a look.

Last note, and at the risk of embroiling you in a game of festive sales chicken, at the time of writing, Anthropologie have 30% off almost everything, Liberty have 20% off selected items, and Boden always have at least a 20% code kicking about the internet. Some of my links are affiliate links.

Top row, L-R: Brass candle holder from emporium of all things quietly beautiful, Rowen & Wren; ceramic carafe from Anna & Nina at Liberty; Sweary Fairy tea towel – one of the best things I’ve ever seen – Emma Giacolone Textiles (20% off at the time of writing).

Middle row, L-R: Tidepool Malabar Chintz cosmetic case from Dilli Grey, a long standing favourite small business of mine; velvet hot water bottle – how jolly is this? – from Boden; scribble check sling bag from Toast (I want to live my life like the people in the Toast catalogue).

Bottom row, L-R: Bridie Hall brush pot (all letters available) – one of my go-to presents, they’re so lovely; floral and black mesh ankle socks from Oliver Bonas (can’t believe the Oliver Bonas dude’s wife ran off with Matt Hancock when she could have got freebies like this); Liberty floral note card set – let’s resolve to write more letters in 2022.

Top row, L-R: Jacquard woven napkin set from Anthropologie – I really love these; velvet bow scrunchie by The Uniform at Liberty; Lady Muck lavender & bergamot body scrub from Percy Langley – love this packaging.

Middle row, L-R: Rainbow replacement bag strap from Oliver Bonas – make your bags more versatile!; sheepskin slippers from Onaie (I have these and I’d save them from the house in a fire); Chapter Organics “The Remedy” botanical diffuser – everything from Chapter is beautiful and elegant.

Bottom row, L-R: Birgit collar from McQueen Independent – I’ve caved and self-gifted this, am eagerly awaiting its arrival; “Love” cushion from Oliver Bonas (just don’t mention Matt Hancock); Swedish Garden large paper diary from Liberty – I’m a paper diary girl and always shall be.

Top row, L-R: Copper plated secateurs from Percy Langley – make gardening fancy again; Sweet Me baby pink & green plate from Vaiselle – I love everything by this brand; stripe print hairband from Anthropologie – Anthro do give reliably good hairband.

Middle row, L-R: Reusable lunch bag from Toast – 1950s American schoolkid vibes; English Heritage Guide to London’s Blue Plaques from Percy Langley – just one of those interesting books, perhaps to while away Boxing Day; cashmere blend pom-pom hat from Anthropologie.

Bottom row, L-R: Lo Studio “Pathless Wood” hand wash/hand cream (individually under £50) – I have a Lo Studio handwash by the sink and even my husband commented on how good it is! The scent lasts for ages too; Pharoah glass candlestick by Issy Granger at Glassette – have you seen the Glassette site yet? You must; Patterned fair isle tam from Toast – two hats in one grid, but when they’re this cute…..

Top row, L-R: Mini raclette set – cheese, melted, good – from Oliver Bonas; wool jacquard socks – perfect winter warmers – from Toast; Sketch A Trip print from Print Sisters (check out all of their prints, they’re wonderful).

Middle row, L-R: Velvet laptop pouch – so ruddy jolly! – from Boden; pack of 5 Spacemasks – these self-heating eye masks are the bees knees; set of 4 wavy claw hair clips from Anthropologie – all the ’80s vibes.

Bottom row, L-R: Marcello Velho Twin Flame bird tea towel from Anthropologie – kind of a shame to dry the dishes with it, really; “Hill House Living” book by Paula Sutton – all the joy of Paula’s Instagram account but in more delicious detail; giant playing cards from Anthropologie.

Top row, L-R: Avery prosecco glasses, set of 4 from Rowen & Wren – just take my money already; rope & tassel dog lead from Oliver Bonas – I think I need to upgrade Nell’s walkies attire; jacquard mittens from Toast – they just do really pleasing woollens. Great colours too.

Middle row, L-R: Glitter rib socks – lovely with brogues or a peep toe party sandal – from &OtherStories; Stately Home Pets A3 print from Polly Fern, who makes the prettiest ceramics, as well as prints; Bergen cheese knives set from Anthropologie – Christmas = cheese, and this set will help me stop simply gnawing it from the block.

Bottom row, L-R: Polkra x Sainte Maria tea towel (part of a set of 2) – Polkra are another of my ultimate favourite small businesses; Liberty set of 3 beeswax wraps – stylish and eco friendly; Olverum bath oil from Wick Candle Boutique – this stuff is incredible – essential oil relaxation heaven. Highly recommend a browse on the Wick site too, they do the best candles from loads of hip brands.

Top row, L-R: Flora taper candle holder from Anthropologie; knitted bobble hat from Boden – the weather outside is frightful, but my hat is so delightful; rose quartz face massagers from Oliver Bonas – they look a bit rude, but they aren’t – open in front of granny without embarrassment.

Middle row, L-R: Copper in the Clouds “Flowerbomb” gin – never not well received (by me); The Sweet Roasting Tin cookbook by Rukmini Iyer; Hotel Magique for Anthropologie “Art & Kisses” platter – would 100% put this on the wall rather than put food on it.

Bottom row, L-R: “Red Coat” giclee print (unframed) by Annika Reed Studio – I adore Annika’s work and love, and own, this print; modern tea and toast plate from Anthropologie – I LOVE the idea of a dedicated tea and toast plate!; veggie roast dinner kit from Oliver Bonas – save our souls from the bland nut roast.

Phew! I’ll be back shortly with the Big Lad – the 50 (54) over £50 list. Also perhaps a stocking filler edit. Do let me know if you buy anything I’ve suggested, it would make me very happy!


  1. Allyson
    23 November 2021 / 10:08 am

    Thank you for all the fun ideas. My daughter will be thrilled because I have found several things for her from your list. Hope all is well and I will be in touch in the New Year, as I mentioned I am moving on from McKay Williamson and would love to be in touch further when the time is right.

    • 25 November 2021 / 9:19 am

      I’m so glad it was helpful Allyson! And I’ll look forward to hearing from you in due course, wishing you the best of luck with the new adventure x

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