The Art of Gift Giving: Gifts for All Occasions
This article contains affiliate links, and I have had relationships with some brands mentioned (expanded at the footer).
Well this post started off as a bit of a joke over on Instagram stories. I was rearranging my shelves in the living room where I have an empty bottle of Laurent Perrier rosé, from a very nice day out on the British Belmond. My mum brought it home for me as a souvenir, and it also makes the perfect candle holder. I also have an empty bottle of Bollinger, which again makes a lovely candle holder, and I was thinking to myself if someone walked in here, they’d think I like champagne. And they would be right. It got me thinking about something I heard about a girl who liked owls, but then that was it, every Christmas and birthday there would be something new that was owl themed…and whilst some of you might LOVE receiving owl, or giraffe or strawberry themed things (the LOLZ I have had in my DMs about this), I thought I should compile a gift guide for all kinds of occasions.
Before I share my suggestions, I should say these aren’t going to suit everyone, or even everyone’s budget. But one thing worth thinking about, is if there are a few of you, could you club together if the occasion allowed? I think it’s better to have one or two lovely things, than lots of little presents that aren’t going to get used, especially with being more mindful of what we consume and the environment. And lastly, thank you to everyone that replied to my stories, who have made this list a lost easier to compile, you’re a lovely bunch!
This was the number one most commonly suggested things, and the number brand everyone wants? Diptyque! You know I love their candles, and for other candle suggestions read this blog post here. Their mini candles start at £27, which is a definitely treat yourself, or someone else price. But what I love about them, is they burn really well, give of a beautiful scent and also the jars can be used afterwards for all kinds of things. A great addition to this gift is a nice box of matches, or even the lovely glass bottles with them in and something I’ve been meaning to buy myself for a long while is a wick trimmer and candle snuffer. That’s a whole years worth of gifts for one person right there.
Of course I’m not going to put together a gift guide without including flowers! I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like fresh blooms, and through my extensive research (I’ve sent a lot of flowers in my time), I come back to Bloom & Wild time and time again. I find the whole process really smooth and easy, and their delivery is super quick. Of course there’s lot of others you can use, not forgetting your local florist if the person lives near you. Supermarket flowers at this time of year are abundant, I always think unwrapping them and putting them in brown paper with some ribbon goes a long way. If plants are more their thing, then take a look online at Prick, who sell a great selection of Cacti that can be delivered.
A very subjective thing I know, you could give the recipient a book you look with a note in it explaining why, and why you think they’d love it too. Oliver Bonas and Anthropologie have a beautifully curated book section on their website, which is a great place to start. Both are full of coffee table books you might not pick up yourself, but make perfect gifts. To be honest both websites aren’t a bad place to pick up any kind of gift, even a gift card for both places was suggested more than a few times. Second hand shops and charity shops often have a wonderful book selection too, so don’t forget to have a nose in there too.
Following on from the above, the amount of you that suggested you would love to receive a gift card was quite surprising. I think we have been brought up to think it’s lazy and not very personal, but I think it can be a really thoughtful idea if the person loves the shop that it is for. Have you seen the Liberty gift coins? They are so beautiful, and made by the Royal Mint, I have received them once in this lifetime and I didn’t spend them for at least two months as I just loved looking at the coins all wrapped up in their purple box and pouch. Think about the person and what they love doing, maybe you could get a voucher for a local gift shop, coffee shop, or a restaurant.
Nice lipstick. The number one thing my mum asks for regularly, firstly I am impressed at the rate of which she goes through lipsticks, but secondly this again can be really flexible within your budget. The top of the crop that you all said were Tom Ford, Charlotte Tilbury, and Chanel. I personally also love Glossier who deliver with a cute pink pouch (I reuse them for so many things) and a sample of one of their other products, making it look like a lot for your money (their lip balms are the best). MDMflow is a British based, independent lipstick brand, with some striking shades, I highly recommend the Supreme red.And lastly of my go to skincare brands, Origins, have not long launched their lipsticks, and that’s a pretty floral tube of creaminess I would be very happy to receive.
The Elevated Everyday
Mentioned a lot was, everyday bits, but just a bit nicer. For example a luxury shampoo and conditioner (Kristin Ess has finally launched in Boots), bath oil, hand cream (L'Occitane hand cream lasts FOREVER), cotton PJs, basically a fancier version of something someone wouldn’t buy themselves. But please, no owl pyjamas…..The White Company have some super fancy PJs, and cashmere socks, which let’s be honest are excessive, but I don’t think anyone would complain about them once their toes were nestled inside of them. Also a Jade Roller (love the Herbivore one), my perfect gift would be someone could round and rolling mine around on my face for twenty minutes. Anyone?! Please?!
Quite a few of you said time, they would love to spend time with someone as a gift. I think surprise always adds a nice element to a gift, maybe you could arrange a time and place with someone and then take them out for brunch, lunch, cocktails, a cinema date….you get the picture. If I have done this, I have made an excuse of going to the bathroom and paying for the bill discreetly before your friend gets the chance. Alternatively host them at your house, or go round to theirs and cook for them, I personally don’t think there is anything better than not having to leave the house AND someone cooking for you (as long as they do the washing up too). And lastly, I mean this in the nicest way, some people don’t even need to spend time with you. They need to spend time alone, or with their partner, if they are parents perhaps they would appreciate some babysitting for a night out together.
I joked that I have bottles of empty champagne around my house as candle holders so that people know I like champagne, but turns out a lot of you would like a bottle of the fizzy stuff too. Supermarkets do a mini bottles, and Moet do a half bottle at a nicer price. But look out for deals, you can always often get a good deal from one of the major supermarkets you have a little shop around online before you go and buy it. My favourites include Laurent Perrier, Perrier Jouet, Moet, Veuve Clicquot….hang on, there’s a theme here. I like them ALL.
Food & Drink
Champagne was singled out above, but not everyone likes it nor does everyone drink alcohol. Good quality food products are a real treat, again I think gift giving is about buying someone something they wouldn’t buy themselves in the weekly shop. If you’re looking for the best brownies you can send through the post, I recommend Tarte & Berry, your friend will love you forever. Alternatively notonthehighstreet have some really incredible food ideas, heart shaped pasta anyone? Fortnum and Mason have some really great small gifts, my friend once sent me a musical tin with biscuits in, there may have only been six inside but they were the best tasting biscuits I’ve ever had, and now the musical Merry-go-round it’s in June’s room. Another go to place for me is Betty’s, who are celebrating their 100th year this year! They have a lovely selection of tea, coffee, to chocolate, sweet and savoury treats, and I can vouch for their home delivery and you can even write a gift note too.
Spa vouchers came up A LOT. Personally I find a lot of spa day packages incredibly expensive, for what you get, tbh I’ve only been to two spas (hotels with spas are a different animal, one I prefer) but both I wasn’t blown away with considering I’d spent nearly £200….so please do leave your suggestions in the comments of where you love to go. A manicure, pedicure, massage or facial voucher for a local salon is a great gift, providing the person likes that kind of thing of course, if the person hates their feet being touched, they are going to think you’ve bought them a torture voucher.
Sounds obvious, but it’s one of those jobs that takes time and is really thoughtful. The amount of photos I have from trips away, holidays and special days that I keep meaning to print, but never get round to sorting. It’s almost like you are ticking a job off someone’s to do list for them, I’m a big fan of a photo printer for enabling people to do it themselves at home. I also have sent the Papier photo books a few times, they print beautifully and look really stylish, and you can add to them for different occasions. I also really rate printed.com for individual photos, that can be mounted and framed. As it takes me far too long to get anything actually in a frame on the wall, am I the only one?!
Lastly, sometimes a handwritten note is just what someone needs. A little stash of cards and stamps kept in a cupboard is great for putting your thoughts into words when someone might need a little pick me up. Imogen Owen cards are fancy af (and a bit rude sometimes), I would highly recommend.
Hope this helps! What gifts do you love to receive or do you have a favourite thing to send someone that you know goes down a storm? Let me know in the comments below.