I was thinking about Christmas presents on the tube the other day and I started laughing to myself… Before I go shopping I have a plan in my mind of what I’ll buy for each person depending on their taste and style – isn’t that what everyone does? I’m asking this because in the end I was nearly laughing out loud thinking about some of the hysterical gifts I’d received (and witnessed other family members receiving) over the years! Are you ready for a couple? How about a can of “Sure” deodorant (were they trying to tell me something?)… A large blue pottery chicken – after looking at it for a couple of seconds my mother said, “It’s a jug!”. I asked her where the spout and handle were. After a closer inspection it was as I’d initially feared, a large blue pot chicken – just what I’d always wanted! Mummy said “… but Fiona it’s from Honfleur (Was that supposed to make it better?)!”… And the funniest was a knitted hat that my Granny gave to my sister which had attached ear flaps and was pointed like something an elf would wear (to fully appreciate it you really had to see it – my sister and I were crying with laughter when she put it on!). Honestly, it looked more like a woolly rag that you’d dry the dishes with than something you’d actually choose to put on your head!! Saying that, my Granny also once gave my aunt 2 car sponges and a packet of firelighters… hilarious!
Anyway, there are 23 Christmas shopping days left – I’m refusing to include Christmas Eve as there’s no need to be racing around the shops looking for last-minute gifts if you’re organized – you should be sipping a glass of champagne and nibbling on chocolate coins instead (if you’re doing Christmas lunch the next day however, it will be a different matter – you’ll definitely be out and about queuing for stuffing and fighting for the last bag of M&S/Aunt Bessie’s roasties!). Buying bigger gifts is easy enough – a handbag, a winter coat or a pair of boots for example. The hardest thing is often choosing smaller gifts and especially for “the girl who has everything”. So I decided to hit the shops in search of some suggestions…
My first stop was Urban Outfitters (www.urbanoutfitters.co.uk) and they failed to disappoint. Apart from clothing they have books, home-wares and accessories: they had some really cute wire jewellery stands (they look like mini hat stands) in lilac or pink for £16, over the knee stripey “ski bunny” socks with bows by Betsy Johnson for £28 and a great black sequin and multi coloured beaded mini clutch bag with a gold clasp for £32. For a lovely personalised gift they do “Personalised Classics” – a selection of books, including Alice in Wonderland and Pride & Prejudice, where you replace the famous characters’ names with those of your friends or family (£19.99 ordered online). They had lots of stuff for the home too – picture frames, mugs, Christmas decorations, superman aprons (£16)… Also some fairly pointless (but funny) things such as a “boot print” potato masher for £7 and “toast tattoos” for £5!
But one of the best things I found was an ingenious book called “The Girly Girls Point-it Book” (£4.99). A snippet from the back cover says “…Comes in handy when you want your man to get you something but you can’t muster the energy to open your mouth!” Basically it is the grown up equivalent of a toddler book featuring pictures of a puppy, diamond ring, handbag and cupcake to name but a few! Maybe the best idea is to give it to your man as a pre-Christmas “gift” (i.e. to make shopping easier for him!) with post-its marking your present of choice… What a great idea!
If you’re thinking of putting a watch on your wish list but are unsure of what to go for I would recommend a ToyWatch (www.toywatch.it/)… described to me as “a cross between a Rolex and a Swatch”. Prices start from £115 (going up to over £3000!), but the majority are around £150. I first came across these watches in New York last year, when I fell in love with one in Bloomingdale’s… It was my 30th birthday and I decided that as I didn’t have a man to buy me the Chanel J12 that I really wanted (how stunning are they please?), my second choice would be a ToyWatch! They’re chunky, but lightweight (they’re made of plastic) and come in a huge range of colours from hot pink to clear – some with crystals on the face, others plain. So they cover all tastes from crazy to classic (my sister wanted a black one with a skull and cross-bones in silver crystals on the face but my mother refused to let her have it as apparently it “looked demonic”)! Anyway, they have a good selection on-line and have recently opened a flagship store on Regent Street in London (they have a huge selection in Selfridges in London too).
What else do we girlies love? Well I’m a sucker for any kind of beauty stuff and a favourite place to visit is SpaceNK (if you’re on a budget however, don’t even venture through the door!). For beauty buffs there’s a new product from Chantecaille called “Lumiere de Rose” which is a fabulous powder you brush on cheeks and eyelids or anything else you want highlighting (approximately £27). Also, head down to Nails Inc (www.nailsinc.com) – they have a nail varnish especially for “The girl who has everything” called Crystal Colour. These crystal-topped varnishes would add some glamour to any dressing table (£15).
N.B. When I was in SpaceNK I also tried the By Terry under-eye concealer that’s been given a lot of press recently, created by the lady behind the YSL Touché Éclat (the gold pen thing for those of you who’ve been living under a rock for the last 10 years!). The pen is similar looking to the YSL radiant touch but bigger and I must admit it was really fantastic and well worth the money (£25.45) – it gave good coverage but in a very natural, light-reflective way. A definite must-have for my Christmas list!