My parents insist every year that they don’t want my sisters and I to spend our money on them. Or at least my dad does. It kind of ties in with the fact that my older sister, my father and my younger sister all have winter-month birthdays, and it can get quite frustrating thinking of gifts for two gift-giving occasions. But this year is a big year for my parents, especially my dad – so I just can’t follow through with the no-gift-giving thing,
However my parents are both really hard to shop for. We’ve done the ‘generic’ gift thing on a budget: all the gardening books (at mum’s suggestion), gardening tools (wow the motivation was real. – not.), cookbooks, humour books, mugs … and that was just for my dad. My mum is even harder, she doesn’t wear makeup or perfume, she works so much that she doesn’t really get time to devote to any hobbies, and she’s cut all unnecessary sugar out of her diet. It’s frustrating to know that I don’t really have to say much to mum or dad about gift ideas for me, they have some freaky parental intuition/sleuthing skills that are exercised and I’m never ever disappointed, but when it comes to them I feel I don’t even know them as people.
So if anyone is in the same predicament as me, I hope this is a tiny bit helpful.
So I’ve said that my mum doesn’t wear makeup or perfume, and she’s not all that into skincare either (her skin is amazing), so boxsets and gift sets are so out of the question because I know they won’t get used, and if I did, she’d end up feeling terrible that I’ve spent money on products she couldn’t care less about.
She does, however have a bit of a sweet tooth. Even though she’s cut out the ‘unnecessary’ sugar in her diet, christmastime can be a little bit of an exception – cue the chocolate boxes. I’m not a massive fan of giving chocolate as a gift, since I think it’s a reaaaaaaaally quick fix ‘oop I forgot’ type present (I know that this isn’t always the case!!!), so I try and avoid gifting it if possible. Sometimes though, it is the only answer. Thankfully, a lot of the chocolate shops are bringing out some spectacular celebratory boxes, enough so that I may have to rethink some of my gift-giving principles.
You can never go wrong with a Thorntons classic box. ‘Competitively’ priced, but still no cadburys milk tray or celebrations, but you’ve got all of your favourites. It’s currently on a half price offer, so £7 instead of your usual £14 – quite the different when you go up against the luxury brands.
Hotel Chocolat are a brand that I haven’t spent much time, if any really, actually, eating. I was aware they did stunning gift boxes though, and a variety of interesting and seasonal flavours. I’m particularly excited by the gingerbread truffle included in this set, although mum would probably be more interested in the 72% dark chocolate christmas tree.
Godiva was a brand that I first became acquainted with in Korea – there was a shop on the way to my closest subway stop – and I’ve had their chocolate at functions before. It’s heavenly. (So is their ice cream.) It’s another ‘classic’ collection set, so nothing particularly christmassy, and I’d probably have to hide the price tag if I get either this or the Hotel Chocolat box, but it’s nice knowing that I’ve spent a bit extra to pamper my mum.
Mum doesn’t have a lot of time on her hands, but she does enjoy a bath to relax when she can, so this year I was thinking of perhaps introducing her to a few Lush products. They’re always so highly spoken of in the blogging community (mostly because they have an ace blogger program), and even though I haven’t tried a lot of their products myself, mum might really enjoy them.
The ones I’ve chosen here are all bath products that are mood brightening, perfect for when she’s feeling really stressed. The gift sets lush do are a little too pricey for me to be spending on things that are going to essentially disappear when you’ve finished with them, so the individuals are where I think I’d spend my money.
My third present idea is one that I know my mum needs. She’ll dispute and protest as much as she likes, I know she will, but I noticed that mum would certainly benefit from a new handbag. Handbag shopping for someone else though, is hard. Super hard. It’s not just a case of whether or not they like it, but is it practical and will they use it. My mum has a simple black leather shoulder bag that she uses for everything, and this is the one that’ll be replaced, so the replacement needs to fit a set of specifications. Zip fastening, compartments, shoulder bag, not too big, not too small, preferably black, preferably leather.
The Zara bag is probably my favourite out of the ones I’ve found, but I think the one from John Lewis is probably most suited to my mum’s needs. She prefers shoulder bags to cross body, but I think the strap adjustments on both of the black bags are fairly decent, so hopefully that should be an issue.
If I thought shopping for my mum was hard – dad’s a whole new game of frustration. He’s one of those people that will moan and complain the minute you suggest anything, and sets maximum amounts we can spend. I mean, I completely understand where he’s coming from – I guess the uneasiness of being sent gifts is hereditary – but at the same time, I want him to feel appreciated in something other than hugs and how often I cook when I’m at home. Something that won’t just be relegated to the clutter pile.
Idea no.1 for my dad is a jumper. My dad lost a fair bit of weight over the past year, and I really do think some new clothes are in order. Especially jumpers, as we’re set for an absolute freezer of a January, apparently, and my dad spends a lot of time outdoors or travelling from place to place. I was initially thinking something slightly christmas themed, like a very subtle fairisle, but thought he might get a bit grumpy over patterns.
These three choices are all very neutral, plain and quite safe, but I’db have no doubts about quality, and my dad loves a quality product. The cable jumper is my favourite, it looks so soft and cosy, though all three of these are a little out of the spending maximum my dad has set, so I may have to keep these in mind and head off to primark.
The next gift idea I had was one that was brought about by thing that happened earlier in the year. We found out that there weren’t any photos of my family… together… as a family. So I started looking into places that we could get a family photoshoot done. Virgin Experience Days seem to have a pretty good line up in a load of locations, so I might end up getting one of these. It’ll probably end up being a massive cringe fest of awkwardness and messing around in the during, but I think the end result would be worth it. I think my dad would also really, really appreciate it.
Other than different types of experience days, I am really drawing blanks this year.
Well, that’s all of my ideas exhausted! If you have any more suggestions for parental gift ideas, then please share them with me. I’m not desperate yet, but the more ideas I have, the higher the chance of me giving my parents an absolutely stellar christmas gift.