Christmas blogging no.1 | The Gift Guide

OH MY LORD. Forgive me while I hold back my excitement.

We're not quite yet in December, but now it's officially allowed to be excited for Christmas, because Advent has started and that means that Christmas blogging is back in full swing. If you didn't catch last years' run, then here's the shabang; I will post a blog post, concerning anything remotely related to Christmas every Advent Sunday up to Christmas, just to make your life a bit easier. I will try and post genuinely useful things and starting with perhaps the most stressful thing of all time... gifts.

I am the person who will get gifts a little while upfront, just to be safe and secure and not run around at the last minute, freaking the hell out. I used to be really shit with picking out gift ideas (books and candles was as far as I got), but this year, something clicked and I have had enough gift ideas for my whole family for the next three Christmases. Yeah, something has happened and I have no idea what.
So, I will split this into a few sections, making it easier for everyone to take in.

For the sisters/girlfriends
Sisters and best girlfriends are usually the trendy people, the ones you can't go wrong with. They will appreciate something related to a private joke or a cool beauty set, they're in my humble opinion, the easiest to buy for. So, without further ado, here are my suggestions.
If you want to go a bit all out and you have a sister or a best friend who loves to have a bit of a pamper and lie in the bath for a very long time and just relaaaaax... look no further than Lush. They're a brilliant brand, doing really awesome Christmas sets and just gift sets in general. If your budget is a bit low, then I'd suggest the Ray Of Sunshine Gift Box (read my review here), but if you have a bit more money to spare, then Star Of Wonder, Elves' Workshop, Jingle Bells, It's Magic, Deck The Halls and 12 Days of Christmas would be my choices.
If you want to buy some other beauty bits and bobs (and if you're not afraid roaming the drugstore, trying on different lipsticks, eyeshadows and all that), then the option I will go for this year for someone close to me is the following: scrap together bits and bobs from the drugstore that you know the sister/girlfriend will love and you will have your personalised present for 20 euros and it can be amazing. (throw in a nice lipstick, eyeshadow, maybe a slightly pricier skincare item, a set of brushes and you're good to go). Just... wrap it up in a nice box et voila!
I have a couple of recommendations concerning books; if the sister is in her teens and appreciates a bit of good YA, look no further than Let It Snow by John Green, Lauren Myracle and Maureen Johnson (great holiday read, by the way). If they're still into fiction, but want something a bit more naughty and not quite so innocent, then How To Build A Girl by Caitlin Moran should do the job. If they want a bit of beauty education, then Bobbi Brown's Beauty Rules and Makeup Manual are great and Lauren Conrad's Style is also pretty amazing (so I heard). And if they're a fan of a certain British all-around perfect woman with the most perfect boyfriend on the planet, give her It by Alexa Chung.
(surprise, surprise, all of these books are on my Christmas wishlist, apart from Let It Snow, which I already own). 

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For the mums
Mums always appreciate homeware, candles, skincare sets and books (tested and confirmed theory). What I think would be a gorgeous gift for your mum considering the books department, I think it depends on the person you're buying for, but for my own mum, I know she loves crime novels, very philosophical books (like the ones that question the meaning of life and that jazz) and very optimistic books, so three very different genres. My recommendations for you guys are Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, anything by Haruki Murakami and the Book Thief by Markus Zusak (that's... the most depressing and yet the best gift on this planet).
For candles, if you want to splash out a bit, go for Yankee Candle. They've got so many different sizes and scents and accessories and I think you can really make it a brilliant and unique gift. If you're wondering about my favourite scents, they're Kitchen Spice, Home Sweet Home, Luscious Plum, Winter Garden, Cinnamon Stick, Chocolate Layer Cake, Home For The Holidays and I could go on.
The recommendation for skincare sets is not from Lush, but L'Occitane. I'm saying them, because a) they smell amazing and b) they're a lot more elegant and appropriate for mums. Granted, their gift sets aren't the cheapest, but I think they still make a nice gift with the sleek packaging and the wonderful scents. I'd definitely recommend the Sensual Arlesienne Collection (the cheaper alternative is the Arlesienne Petit Collection, with a few lest products), Delicious Almond Collection (with Almond Petit as an alternative) and the Delicate Cherry Blossom Collection.
As for homeware... go to a freaking IKEA and it's gonna save your life.

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For the dads/guyfriends
Up comes the tricky bit. I've always found shopping for my dad to be the biggest choir of my life, because I never freaking know what to get him. It's just the worst, I know, but this year, I've kind of got it down, I think.
I'm gonna go back to L'Occitane, because they do amazing gift sets for men, strangely enough. I definitely recommend the Perfect Shave Collection, Soaps For Men and Men's Shower Essentials. It's very rare that a beauty company does amazing sort-of skincare sets for men and I think when you come across one, then you definitely have to make use of it.
I also think that a nice, slightly more expensive alcoholic beverage tends to make a nice gift (if they're past the legal drinking age, of course). Maybe a new bottle of gin or whiskey or something, along with a lovely set of two glasses can be really classy (as long as you're not going to empty the bottle in one night).
Again, everytime I am in a bit of a puddle concerning gifts, I always go for books and picking out books for guys that you know they're gonna love is... kinda hard. However, one series has always won, because everyone I got it for just adores it and it's A Song Of Ice And Fire series by George R.R. Martin. You can get it in sets of five books and I think that gives them something to read and adore for quite a while.

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So, I definitely hope that this has been a tiny bit helpful and that it has helped you find some really good gifts for anyone in your life. I will definitely take my advice and start buying presents early this year, just to be safe very early on and I hope you will too. I hope you have a fantastic start of December and I shall see you soon!
xxx Katherine


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