Lifestyle: ‘Gifts-With-A-Difference’ Christmas Gift Guide

When it comes to buying gifts this Christmas, sometimes you just want to buy something a little more unique, away from the traditional gift ideas of jewellery, luxury chocolates, a bottle of expensive fizz and gift vouchers for the High Street.

It could be a little gift for your work mate to show some appreciation for being your lunch buddy or coffee run friend throughout the year, or for your boyfriends Dad, etc etc. So without waffling on any further, here’s a couple of ‘out-of-the-box’, unique yet thoughtful gifts to consider if you want to create wow, humour or a just a nice smile on their faces!

A Discovery Box

We’ve all heard of subscription beauty boxes, which are taking the world by storm. Boxes packed with surprise cosmetics, hair products, body and skincare treats, which can be gifted as a one-off, or on a 3, 6 or 12-month subscription. Personally, I think they make great gifts for the beauty fanatics, but for the fragrance fans, there is a new one I learnt about.

Introducing The Fragrance Shop Discovery Club, a quarterly box packed with samples of the newest scents of the season. You simply sign up to join, and receive a box each quarter filled with 6 fragrances to explore along with discounts and offers from new releases. This is a fab idea for the men out there to purchase for their ladies, when you just aren’t sure what perfume your lady likes.

Novelty Cards and Stationary

If you have to get a gift this year for someone you don’t know too well on a personal level, like Secret Santa at work, going down the novelty, humour route can be a good shout. Central 23 is a quirky little online boutique that retails the funkiest and coolest stationary, mugs, accessories and cards, printed with all sorts of amazing quotes, slogans and images.

They have celebrity adorned notebooks (including a fantastic Taylor Swift one I reeeeally want), Beyonce themed cards, joke mugs, pins, socks, funny wrapping paper (and pretty looking stuff too!) all ideal for both guys and girls. A definite to check out!

Beauty Duos and Kits

Do you have a boyfriends Mother to buy for, or a stocking filler for your twenty plus sister who is obsessed with beauty products, and you’re just a little stuck? Look for interesting duo sets or kits which actually ‘do something’, like clear acne, plump the skin, give a glow…. And think of a concern they would benefit from treating.

A cute little one that came to my mind is this Antipodes Skin Plumping Minis duo kit, containing two super products which work together to deliver plumped, fresh skin. Skin plumping is a general interest at the moment, with women of all ages and skin types opting for the fuller, fresher looking skin look.

This particular kit features their Hosanna H20 Intensive Skin-Plumping Serum and Rejoice Light Facial Day Cream, which when teamed together, help provide immediate hydration while speeding up cell renewal and intensively improving the skin’s appearance over time. Both products have been scientifically shown to stimulate Type I collagen production: Hosanna by up to 72%* and Rejoice by up to 59%**. Perfect for the Mother-in-law?…


Although this sounds like a non ‘out there’ one, buying clothes for people is actually a real gamble, but if you get it right, you can really make their day.

Ladies – men are useless at buying themselves clothes, or even knowing what they want, so if you can step in and do this, you’re winning. The key is to keep it simple, and stick to a wardrobe staple item, one that is more of a keepsake item, and one you can’t really get wrong.

Look for a classic, timeless retailer like Aquascutum, who are much loved for their range of men’s traditional coats and outwear. They don’t go down the fast fashion, trend led route – instead they focus on those hero, tailored pieces, in colours that suit every occasion. From cream double breasted trench coats to long, smart black raincoats, you’ve got all your staple men’s classics right there.

If you want to experiment buying into fashion for your girlfriends or a female relative, try and stick to something that is hard to dislike. A fitted blouse or a bit of a ‘power’ shirt is always appreciated by women, and you can tailor your choice down to the person.

If they are quite fashionable, look at a printed one which follows the seasons trends, like the ‘plunge’ look is huge right now. For an older female, look for a smart, fitted design which looks perfect for both work and occasions.


OK so when I say footwear, I don’t mean to head out and take a guess at a pair of shoes for someone this year, because that could be disastrous. Instead, think of this route as a link to someones hobby, and it’s actually a great one that works for men. If you know a sporty guy who regularly goes running, look into a new pair of running shoes that reflect their interest.

For the golfer type, a pair of smart and stylish golf shoes would go down a treat. These specialised items can be quite pricey because they tend to be of a high, expert quality, therefore don’t get purchased by people as treats for themselves often. So prove you listen to their interests and take note of their hobbies – the golfer out there will be made up with a pair of professional golfing shoes!

A personalised touch

If you’re really stuck for an unusal gift, look down the personalised route. Look into the person’s hobby, and you’ll find that some of those everyday items they use can be personalised to make them a brilliant gift idea.

Take the fitness fanatic or gym girl – they’ll probably have nutrition plans and may incorporate things like protein powders and supplements into their diets.

Companies like Protein World currently offer a personal blend, where you can pick a flavour for your recipient, and get their name included on the label. I’ve featured more about this here

What more could they want? If you guys have any other ideas to share, feel free to send them across to me for inclusion!

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