The best gifts I've ever given

Favourite gifts I’ve given at Christmas

As you get older you can get jaded with buying Christmas presents (or birthday ones). But I’d say I’m much better at buying gifts than receving them.

I’m not a good present recipient – as a child everyone knew from my face if a present was wrong, and nowadays I’m likely to state it too. Luckily I don’t get many presents now as we tend to focus on gifts only for the children in the family.

I always try and put in a lot of thought in my gift buying, so it’s frustrating when I get given woolly scarves and gloves each year, when you don’t wear either. Only wearing suede or leather gloves, and pashmina style scarves, I get too hot with wool. Other typical presents are obviously smellies – I use quite basic toiletries rather than fussy floral ones you tend to get bought. As for jewellery – I rarely wear anything more than basic earrings, and if I do, it tends to be quite specific styles rather than pretty pretty garish types. Yes, I’m fussy but I’d rather people just saved their money or bought me a book token.

The best gifts I've ever given
Credit: Unsplash

Buying gifts for others

It is hard buying gifts for people year after year when you’ve run out of ideas, or if you don’t know them that well. That’s why I’d rather think of something a bit different or quirky but still usable. Otherwise you may as well save your money rather than buy something the recipient is never going to use.

If you do end up with unwanted gifts you’ve got several options: regifting, recycling them, selling on, donating, swapping with someone else’s gift, or taking to a charity shop.

There have been quite a few gifts I’ve really enjoyed buying over the years, and they’ve had a great response from the recipient.

My best friend once told me she always feels so much pressure buying for me because I’ve always bought such great gifts (she might not feel that this year when she sees all the ‘pink’ girlie collectable style gifts I added to her nearly 4 year old daughter’s main present!).

I have to admit to struggling this year with thinking of presents for people. Covid has meant I’ve not really been into the shops. If I have, I’ve not been browsing and I’ve not seen any shop’s Christmas catalogues. So I’ve had no inspiration. And people haven’t been doing their normal hobbies, so have had no need for equipment or items linked to those. Instead it’s been lots of online browsing, asking around what others are buying for similar people, or asking what they want. I find it’s always the men who are harder to buy for too.

I wanted to share some of the types of gifts I’ve bought over the years and who they’d suit. Hopefully they’ll be helpful if you’re running out of ideas. I’ll also include some of the gifts N has had which went down really well, especially some of the random ones that ended up lasting longer than the buyer thought they would

Gift ideas – some of the best gifts I’ve given

Craft lovers

If they like one craft, chances are they might enjoy others.

  • Rag rug kit
  • Lino cutting kit
  • Jewellery making kit (or vouchers for a local company)
  • Macrame kit
  • Voucher to a local craft class

For those who have everything

Try something a little different or quirky that you’d probably never buy for yourself.

  • Local walking tour voucher for their area
  • Activity vouchers for a new sport to try
  • Make up a hamper according to a theme of their hobbies, e.g film hamper, crafts, camera accessories, food
  • Stationery bundle
  • Book or book voucher, plus coffee shop voucher so they can enjoy their book in peace
  • Pretty and unusual bag – something a bit quirky or useful, but think about what they use, what they take out and about, what colours they wear.
  • Board game to suit them
  • Guitar pick maker
  • Marvellous maps – these come in different themes of maps around the UK, roadtirip ideas, all with hundreds of facts about places (food and drink, tv and film, literature etc)

Home or garden lovers

  • Fruit tree
  • Personalised trug and seeds
  • Reusable kitchen and drinks items, e.g reusable coffee cup, straw and beeswax wraps.
  • Selection of candles

Gifts for foodies

Especially good for family gifts

  • Bakery subscription box
  • Cookery lesson voucher
  • Hamper of themed items
  • Pretty measuring cups
  • Homemade fudge or biscotti
  • Personalised cookies themed to their hobby


  • Radio controlled cars with twisty wheels that can go over bumps.
  • T-shirt painting kit
  • Table tennis set
  • Light up planetarium
  • Dobble
  • Rubik’s Cube

What have been some of the most loved gifts you’ve received or given?

This post was written for Blogmas

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