Sunday, November 22, 2015

Christmas Gift Guide 2015

With Christmas just round the corner I thought I would once again do a gift guide! I swear people are getting harder and harder to buy for these days and its not easy sticking to a budget.

Before you begin shopping here are some tips sticking to a budget:
  • Allocate a set amount per each person and be aware of it. The amount can vary from person to person and its ok to go slightly over it but aim to stick within the amount.
  • Start shopping now! That way you can space out the spending, and it won't be suck a shock to your bank account.
  • Shop the sales, by starting now you can keep an eye out on the sales and find things well within your budget.
  • Shop online, there are many sites where you can compare prices of things across many websites. If you are buying books as gifts check out Booko which will compare the prices (including postage) across every website possible. Be aware of the postage times so you won't be cutting it too close.
  • Get crafty. Buy craft materials in bulk (check out ebay and discount stores) and go to town! Check out pinterest for simple crafts and do it while you are watching TV at night, these gifts are great for co-workers .
Grab a cute Christmas box and fill it with a variety items linked to a theme, some great themes are:
  • Movie night - grab a film (or a Netflix subscription card), microwave popcorn, and lollies. Great new to dvd films to include are Minions, Big Hero 6, Inside Out, Descendants, Night at the Museum 3 and Jurassic World.
  • Pamper pack - nail polish, nice hand cream, a loofa, face mask (I love the Formula 10.0.6 ones) and some cute hair elastics.
  • Ice cream sundae - think all the toppings you can imagine, along with a gift card ($10 is plenty) for the ice cream and some cute bowls.
  • Craft - look on Pinterest and find a few cute crafts to make and include the items to make them,  along with the instructions. A fun craft is to grab a few colours of oven bake clay (like Fimo), some magnets, jewellery fixings and some inspiration photos. Studie DIY has a great tutorial for friendship bracelets just grab some thread and beads and print off the instructions and you are good to go.
  •  Book worm - include a book, some tea or hot chocolate mix, a mug, some chocolate and a cute bookmark.
The good thing about in-a-box gifts is that you can
spend a much or as little as you like and you can vary it from person to person.

Stocking stuffers:

  • Lip balm - I love the Urban Rituelle brand, as it conditions and protects your lips with a blend of beeswax, sweet almond oil and olive oil and sunscreen for extra protection (which is great during the Australian Summers). As a bonus there are tonnes of yummy flavours like cotton candy, carmella and peach blossom just to name a few.
  • Body shop body wash - I love the scents of the body shop body wash and a full size one will last you ages.
  • Fun stationary - check out Smiggle, Typo and Kikki K for some stationary that is fun and practical to use, people tend not to buy themselves cute stationary (I rarely do as people like to steal my pens and everything else) so its a great stocking stuffer and it won't break the bank (pictured set here)
  • Baked goods - I love baking around the holiday season and people will love receiving some yummy baked goods as a result. Gingerbread and shortbread are always popular, as are brownies, oreo truffles and cookie dough truffles
  • Adult colouring book - jump on the latest trend and buy them an adult colouring book. You can get some super nice ones for under $10 in most stores or the Book Depository has a nice selection here. If you want to make it a complete gift include some coloured pencils/textas and a yummy treat.

 Gifts for everyone

Its always tough to find the perfect gift so here is a great selection criteria for finding a great gift:
  • Make sure they can use it, unless its a framed print or art piece.
  • If you are going to buy a picture or art piece make sure its them and they can relate to it.
  • Its within your budget, any gift that will send you broke isn't worth it.
Here are my top gifts for Christmas:
I love playing games with friends so here are some games that I love and think would be great for that hard to buy person.
  • Coupe - this a great game that can be played with 2 - 6 players. Its also extremely quick and won't last longer than 15 minutes. The aim of the game is to assassinate the other players and bluff your way, Jocelyn and I had a lot of fun playing this and I know it would be great with more people.
  • The Resistance - this game is in the same universe at Coupe but is for more people and takes slightly longer to play (its like the game Mafia you play with a pack of cards). There are also two expansion packs (here and here) so if you know someone who has the game you can get them the expansion packs to continue the fun.
  • Wet Heads - think russian roulette but with water! Players take turns to strap on the hat, give it a spin and pull a pin, one person will end up with a wet head. This looks like such a fun game and I can imagine it being a good game to play with teenagers on a hot day.

  • Earrings - earrings are one of my go to gifts and for good reason, you can pick up some really cute stirling silver earrings on sale and every girl loves receiving jewellery. Keep an eye out on store windows to pick up some cute bargains leading up to Christmas. If in doubt buy simple and classic earrings like hoops and delicate studs.
  • Cute PJs - If you know the person well enough some cute pjs are a good idea.A great idea is to buy a nice pair of pj pants from somewhere like Bras N Things or Peter Alexender and grab a plain singlet from Kmart or Target to keep costs down. These pants are a cute pair from Bra N Things and they feel so nice on (I have a similar pair which I love) perfect for lazy Saturday mornings.
  • Experiences - no one ever needs more stuff but people are always open to experiences, movie tickets, zoo or aquarium tickets, museum tickets or concert tickets are always good presents. Plus with museum tickets you encourage the person to be a tourist in their own town. An old prison near runs a variety of tours including tunnel tours which means you get to go below the actual prison which sounds fun and adventurous! Ask at local tourist centres what tours they recomend and buy some tickets for yourself and a bunch of your family or friends and make it a fun day out. 
  • A subscription box - there are so many subscription boxes out there and its a gift that will keep on giving. For books theres FoxThings which contains a book and a few other book themed items, for makeup theres Marie Claire The Parcel, for the artist in your life there's ArtSnacks, if they love tea there's Tea With Alice or Monstrositea, there's also the Handmade Box if they love craft and supporting small businesses. You name it there's a box for it and half the fun is finding all the different boxes that are out there.
  • 2016 Diary or calender - call me old fashioned but I still use an actual diary rather than my phone. It also helps when I am planning out my year and the bigger picture. I like smaller diaries that can easily fit in a bag rather than the big ones. I recently bought this one and have already began filling it. Check out specialty stationery store such as Kikki K, Typo, and Office Works for cute diaries and calenders.
  • Magazine subscription - this is another gift that will last all year! With so many magazines around even the hardest person on your list can be bought for. The great thing so many companies have special deals for new subscribers at this time of year. My favourite magazine is Super Food Ideas and its a great magazine for anyone who loves cooking be it they are just starting out with cooking or who is an experienced cook plus at only $30 its an afforable subscription. 

Gift giving doesn't have to be hard and at the end of the day Christmas is all about the greatest gift the world has received Jesus!
Here are two of my favourite Christmas songs to help get you in the Christmas mood, because it is never too early to play Christmas music in my opinion!

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