Christmas Gift Guide (of Sorts) 2021

Gosh, it comes round quick, the time for the annual blog post gift guide. It came round so fast this year it took me by surprise, hence why it’s late, so sorry about that. As ever, if you’re buying any of the things on it, or if you have any other suggestions for fab gifts, especially from indie retailers, please share them in the comments or on Twitter. Merry Christmas!

1. Writers & Lovers, £7.49

A definite candidate for my book of the year, this flew under the radar a bit, but is a proper gem.

2. Hit List, £7

I will never tire of buying organisers and to do list pads with the intention of harnessing my inner chaos. What I particularly like about this one is it allows you to tick the tasks that are urgent (assuming that’s not all of them…)

QKK

3. The Essential Candle Collection, £50

Space NK’s Christmas Candle, Shimmering Spice, was in the gift guide a few years back. Here it is again with a few other equally lovely scents. Like a (pricey) selection box for grown ups (although you can easily get 15% off).

4. Graphic Puzzle, £32

1000 brightly coloured pieces – perfect for those dark winter days between Christmas and New Year.

5. Yani Yeti, £35

Things that always appear in the gift guide – bath stuff and notebooks – no longer count as part of the main 30 items. Perhaps next year, stuffed toys will need to join that category…

6. Origami Star Garland, £15+

‘You love a garland, don’t you?’ a friend said recently at a craft fair, and it’s true, I really do. This one is particularly beautiful – I bought one for myself last year and have bought another for a friend this Christmas.

7. Shark Swimsuit, £50

Made entirely from recycled plastic, but more importantly: super fun.

8. Barbara Throws a Wobbler, £6.99

Because it’s been the kind of year where we’ve all wanted to throw a wobbler…

9. Fight for Every Inch Body Lotion, £20

I’m very confused about why anyone would call a body lotion this. My suggestion is to buy it for someone you’re fucking, then, when they’ve used all the lotion, refill it with lube…

10. Marius boxers, £40

Frankly, I think yellow is an underrated colour option.

11. Garnier Self-Care Collection, £10

Garnier masks are incredibly cheap considering how well they work and this set is even better value. Pair it with chocolate and/or some of the beautifully-packaged Ophir pre-mixed G&Ts and you have a great gift for a friend.

12. Egg On Toast Activity Toy, £21

If you have a baby to buy for this Christmas, you are beyond lucky, because babies are the best people to buy for. And who doesn’t want a happy little egg on toast to welcome them to the world?

13. Tin of Crisps, £20

If you have a friend who’s more about the savoury snacks than the sweet ones, what better gift than a big tin of gourmet crisps?

14. Pasta keyring, £15

A wonderful Twitter friend pointed me in the direction of these lovely leather keyrings last year. I bought the ravioli as a gift, and the recipient was delighted. I highly recommend you do the same.

15. Lobster scarf, £48

Because lobsters will never go out of fashion*.

*hopefully

16. Hot Buns are Ready Tea Towel, £10.89

Look at his little butt cheeks.

17. Abandoned, £12.99

There’s always at least one thing on this list that I would want in my own stocking. This year, this book of abandoned places is the one.

18. Aubade Blue Saphir Bra, £89

I know the model gives no indication of this, but some Aubade styles, including this one, now go up to a G cup. Which has delighted this blogger who last bought an Aubade bra on sale at the end of 2003 when she was still a D cup.

19. Herbal Tea Mug, £10

Anthro is always a solid bet for good value but pretty mugs, and this one is no exception.

20. Aquamarine Ring, £125

On the one hand (ha!), £125 is a lot for costume jewellery. On the other, if you wear a piece of jewellery every day, which I think you easily could with this, it works out very cheap per wear. Honest.

21. COCO x Talisker Sea Salted Caramel Gift Set, £20

This year, don’t get him whiskey stones. Get him this beautiful whiskey and chocolate gift set instead.

22. Giant Wooden Xmas Bauble, £24

Immensely cheering Christmas decorations are always a good gift for anyone who loves this time of year.

23. Floral Personalised Liberty Hot Water Bottle, £19.75

If you have a group of girlfriends, you could buy them each one of these in a slightly different print. In fact, I may be planning to do that for some of my friends next year (shhhh).

24. Yoto Player, £79.99

This kids’ audio player with story cards also allows you to record cards of you reading their favourite stories, which I think is pretty cool.

25. Bacon Butty Box for 2, £14

I’ve made no secret of how good I think the Dishoom bacon naan kits are, but frustratingly, you have to choose a specific day for delivery, which makes them less good as gifts. A friend of mine recommended this as a solid alternative.

26. Too Horny Risograph Print, $30

If I had any space left on my walls, I would be getting me one of these for sure.

27. Jennifer Cardigan, £62

Dinosaur buttons!

28. Mulled wine, £16.99

I’m a big fan of Shop Cuvée, which opened during lockdown and sells bottled cocktails, interesting wines and mulled wine with a cool label that would make a great gift for your colleague/neighbours/sister’s new boyfriend.

29. Unsolicited Dick Pick-Me-Up Print, £10

For the friend who’s had a shitty year. How can his little face not make you smile?

30. Bookily Gift Card, £8.99+

Bookily is something I wish had existed long before now. A kind of gift subscription from National Book Tokens, the recipient will receive a book token for the average cost of one or more paperback novels every month until you say stop. My dream gift, tbh.

31. Fur Bath Drops, £26.18

Remember bath pearls from when you were, like, eleven? Allow someone to relive the joys.

32. Pantone Notebook Set, £17.95

If you have a friend who wouldn’t appreciate this, well, you need new friends.

33. RNLI donation, any amount

The RNLI do great work in many ways, but the main reason they deserve your donation this Christmas is because they’re committed to saving migrants trying to cross the Channel, all in the face of bullshit from hate groups like Britain First.

Christmas guest guide (of sorts) #02: @notsosexintheci

This is the second, and final, Christmas guest guide (of sorts) – (see the first one here) – and it’s the choices of none other than the wonderful @notsosexintheci. As previously, the guide contains 5 items which total no more than £100. And I’d be happy to fine a lot of these in my stocking in a few weeks’ time.

  1. Wooden Dip Pen Set with 8 Inks, £23.99

I really want to be one of those people who can master the art of calligraphy, so I reckon this dip pen set would probably help out with that. I’d probably just make a really big mess, but at least it’d look really cute on my desk.

2. Starlight Projector, £47.95

I just feel like this might really help with my insomnia. I had a colour-changing light strip that sat on top of the TV and plugged into a USB port once, and I loved the way the different colours danced around the room at night. Also, it’s just really cool.

3. Grow Tin – Killer Carnivorous, £7.99

Honestly, I’ve always wanted a Venus fly trap. I find killer plants weirdly fascinating. (I can’t have any plants because my cat eats them, so plant-ownership is a luxury for me.)

4. Happiness Aromatherapy Candle, £11.50

Firstly, I like to buy cute stuff from small businesses on Etsy to make myself feel better. Secondly, who doesn’t want to walk into a room that smells like happiness? I’m not really sure I believe that aromatherapy actually works, but I do love a good smelly candle!

5. Letter K Notebook, £7

There’s something almost orgasmic about opening a brand new notebook and seeing those blank, lined pages ready and waiting to be defiled.

Christmas guest guide (of sorts) #01: @BeStillMyBeaten

This Christmas, aside from, y’know, the standard SBOS gift guide, I thought I’d try something a little different, because hey, you can never have too many gift guides, right? And so the Christmas guest guides (of sorts) were born. Two fabulous tweeters agreed to be guinea pigs for the new format and they’ve both picked a fabulous selection of gifts.

The remit was (relatively) simple – five gifts totalling no more than £100. Today’s tweeter, the lovely @BeStillMyBeaten, has done a stellar job with the budget, managing to pretty much hit £100 bang on. Here are her choices:

  1. Eat the Rich necklace, £21

This necklace comes in yellow and rose gold colour, as well as the silver shown above. There are also lots of other ‘Fuck the Tories’ type designs, if, unlike me, you understand that metaphorically, rather than taking it dangerously literally.

2. Latex fractal frost crystal pasties, £8

One of the best things about having guests on the gift guide is that they suggest things that are genuinely sexy and, y’know, befitting of a supposed sex blog.

3. Madame’s Christmas set prints, £28.33

Arty. Sexy. Christmassy. What more could you want?

4. Glass anal plug, £35

Slightly bad news on this one. The plug that @BeStillMyBeaten chose (shown in the image) now seems to be sold out (my fault, for taking days to write this up!), and judging by the Etsy review, the person who bought it is delighted with it. The good news is, the store in question has lots of other beautiful toys.

5. Cuterus, £7

Look at that little face! Also, every purchase of one of these supports The Vagina Museum which, like a lot of museums, is having a pretty hard time because of Covid.

Christmas Gift Guide (of Sorts) 2020

Another year (no, really, it actually has been a whole year), another gift guide. This gift guide has always aimed to include a decent number of indies, but I have tried to make sure that’s where the majority of suggestions come from this year. There’s normally a charitable suggestion, too, and I haven’t done that this year – please pick your local cause that needs the help the most, because this year they really will need it. Oh, and Merry Christmas.

  1. Read to me babygro, £11.95

Almost a reason to have a baby, the cuteness of this. Available in three different colours, and three different age ranges. Best paired with a book.

2. I’ll always be a European print, £35

At least Rebecca Strickson’s art is cheerful, even if Brexit really, really isn’t. 20% of all profits go to The Trussel Trust because, as Rebecca says, ‘Guess what? They’re probably gonna need it.’

3. Yeti decoration, £10

My heart.

4. How to eat cock, £9.99

I don’t need this book, because I’m already good at … cooking chicken.

5. Kinky embroidery, £20-£40

Not only is Rosie, who makes these, a wonderful person to follow on Twitter, her work is gorgeous. Prices range from £20-£40 depending on size and complexity and Rosie is happy to discuss custom pieces.

6. Callie drop hoop earrings, £30

At the time of writing, these pretty silver-plated hoop earrings are only £21.

7. Vegan sausage roll pin, £6.95

There’s always a lot of food of one form or another in these gift guides, isn’t there?

8. This is fine dog, $25

He comes without his fire, but hopefully in 2021 he won’t need it. Either way, I love him.

9. Fuck, I love cheese tea towel, £12

I told you there was a lot to do with food…

10. Vulcan mug, £28

Are handmade ceramics expensive? Yes. Are they tactile as fuck and therefore worth what you pay for them? Yes. Plus, you’re going to be drinking your morning latte at home for a while yet…

11. Enamel mustard yellow jug, £38

Something cheery for their flowers.

12. Good boys not fuck boys print, £15

Word.

13. Hippos go berserk, £5.99

These hippos break literally every Covid rule going while going berserk. Good job they’re cute.

14. Petit bateau knickers, £34.30

Anyone know what it says on the bottom pair?

15. A Winter’s tale, £38

It’s not that clear from the picture, but there are little fairy lights in the houses. I think this would look super cute on a windowsill. A good one for your grandma, perhaps.

16. The Fixed Stars, £14.37

Molly Wizenberg used to write one of the best food blogs on the internet, and has written two previous memoirs. This one explores the breakdown of her marriage and the realisation that she wants to date women, all rendered in stunning prose.

17. Ultimate Fenty Beauty Hamper, £175

Ok, it’s madly pricey. But can you imagine opening this on Christmas Day?

18. Taco truck and donut van, $15.95

For reasons I can’t quite explain, I have become completely obsessed with these during lockdown. I want them all. Brits can get a smaller range of them from here.

19. Paint by sticker, £9.41

Because everyone needs some mindless creative fun.

20. Sod sprouts ‘meat’ card, £10

What do you get your friend who’d rather be having an affair with their local butcher? Er, this?

21. Paper coral princess plant, £60

A good option for your friend who loves things that are green, but also kills things that are green.

22. Christmas chocolate collection, £23

Oh god, more food. Aren’t they pretty though?

23. Attention Chenin Mechant, £21

I love a wine with a good label and this one, which is designed to mimic French ‘Careful nasty dog’ signs, ticks all the boxes for me.

24. Clementine and clove soy candle, £9

It feels a long time ago now, but I bought some of these as stocking fillers at a Christmas market last year. They smell super Christmassy, and they have beautiful packaging.

25. Digital nude commission gift voucher, £35

Personally, I’d love to buy this for a friend who didn’t realise just how gorgeous she actually is.

26. All I Want For Christmas Is You Tree Decoration, £16

Because everyone loves a bit of Mariah, don’t they?

27. Hollywood frame, £32

An extremely delicate and pretty frame – and, around Black Friday, you can get 25% off the price above.

28. Super Happy Christmas Window Decoration Set, £18

Yes, these are garish af. No, they’re not in particularly good taste. But nothing this year has made me as happy as that sprout’s face. Quite fond of the trifle, too. Last orders for these are December 4th.

29. Tom Ford Private Blend Lost Cherry Eau de Parfum, £189.24

Sure, the name of this is ridiculous. And it smells like bakewell tart. But in a good way, trust me on this. Shame I can never justify anything other than a quick squirt when I’m walking through John Lewis.

30. Simple rustic computer desk, £135

Honestly, if the person you love is going to be working from home until Spring, is there any kinder gift you could buy them than a handmade desk?

31. Our tiny bees bath melt, £5.95

This one looks like food, but isn’t food. Promise.

32. A notebook for bad ideas, £15

Because maybe it’s easier to write the damn idea if you pretend it’s shit. Maybe?