What I bought/gave: Presents this holiday season

There are heaps of gift guides, but I’ve always wondered what people actually give to people around them, so if you’re nosy like me, here are the things I gave people for Christmas and around Christmas. My family (every single one of them) and best friends all have their birthday around the November to January period, so I often combine the occasions in the gift-giving. I don’t pressure myself to find a present though, so if I can’t think of something useful/practical or that they would actually use/like, I don’t stress about not giving them something. I don’t think any of my family or friends will mind (though I make a special effort to give something to our grandmothers). I didn’t buy my Dad a birthday gift, for example. T and I also didn’t get each other anything. Neither of us wanted anything for Christmas.

T’s parents: T’s parents have moved frequently in the years I have known them and were in the midst of another move in December, so we are very mindful not to give them things that might become clutter. We try to not give them junk food/snacks unless it’s something quite unique, as they always have too many snack items (plus health reasons!). This year we gave them a gift voucher to a restaurant, Cheek, that we have recommended to them. It’s hidden away so most people don’t notice it or know about it.

T’s grandmother: We got a beautiful rabbit fur and cashmere scarf from N. Peal at the Bicester Village store a couple of months back. It feels so soft and luxurious and I’ve seen her wear similar scarves so hoping she liked it.

My Grandma: I left this to my Mum. She’s very difficult to buy for and due to some health issues in 2019, buying snack items is a no-no. Mum picked out a linen shirt for her that ticks all of Gran’s many boxes (she is very set in her ways about items of clothing) and we split the gift.

My Dad: He’s also tricky but often Mum will tell me that he needs something. Over the years we’ve been getting him snow gear because he really enjoys skiing, but he seems to have everything he wants now for skiing. This year Mum said his swimming shorts were getting old so we got him two pairs of Speedo swimming shorts that we split with my Mum (I had to get the sizes changed twice because the labelling on the website and compared to his old pair was so inconsistent!).

My Mum: On some recommendations from the Internet, I got her the Elemis Pro-Collagen Super Stars Christmas 2019 set. I thought the set was good value for the size and the products which I know she will use. We’ve also been on a hunt for a dress for her to wear to a wedding in late 2020 (I made fun of her for starting the search over 12 months ahead of the wedding – probably before the bride!). The first dress we ordered from The Outnet was too big and the smaller size sold out (such a shame as she really adored it and it was reduced from almost $2000 to $400) but then they had another 20% off promotion and my front-runner dress, a gorgeous silk ALC dress, was included so I ordered it for her to try. As it turns out she agreed with my taste and decided it was the one. I ended up buying it for her birthday (also in December).

My cousin: I knew early on that I wanted to get her the Friends 21319 Central Perk Lego set. We’re both nuts about Friends and she has been into Lego this year. I missed the first round of stock while overseas but fortunately did not miss the restock in November. I picked one up for myself too (and it will be the centrepiece of future-house for sure!!!).

My best friends: For one friend, I had gotten her a Jo Malone cracker (one with a cologne, body cream and body wash) that didn’t arrive last Christmas due to a postal mistake. I gave it to her this year as well as Pandemic Legacy Season 1. I HIGHLY recommend this as some of the best fun money can buy. For friend 2, friend 1 and I joined resources and got her things she requested – indoor rock-climbing gear (don’t even ask me as I have no idea what all the stuff was!) and the Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder, which I originally introduced to her and she has been using it since! She lives overseas so we purchased from local-to-her sites that shipped items to her.

Work colleagues: I have two office mates (more senior) for who I bought a small box of Koko Black pralines. For my close colleagues (friends), I got some Buttermilk Irish Cream Crumbly fudge and Koko Black Magic Pudding White Chocolate Bites (for the one who doesn’t like milk/dark chocolate).