Putting together Christmas presents on a limited budget can be stressful.
It can also be really fun, as I found this year. I’ve never been much of a present swapper with most of my friends, so the list of people to buy for was mercifully short. On it were my mum and dad, my two sisters, two of my best friends, and my boyfriend.
Anybody else who is a friend of mine and thought they were getting some sort of present – sorry. I’ll buy you a cocktail or something.
Without further ado, here are what these special people in my life received.
Mum & Dad I got my mum a cute little espresso cup from Prague Castle, and I got my dad two bottles of Czech beer.
Leila Leila’s present consists of an adorable Russian doll from Prague, and a coaster from Harvey Nicks, dahling. She has flown the nest and therefore I thought she might appreciate bits and bobs to decorate her house with. I’m not sure whether other people consider a Russian doll as a good ornament, but I do, and a coaster is always useful – and awesome, in this case. (I haven’t given her this yet because she wasn’t home for Christmas. Leila, if you read this, pretend you haven’t!)
Harriet When I went to Italy in August, I got a turtle ring from a market in Rome and gave it to Harriet as a present. She asked for another from Prague. I got her two: a rather evil looking, red-eyed rabbit, and a silver crocodile. She also got a Harvey Nichols coaster.
Holly A few months ago, I spotted some London-themed boxes of teabags while shopping. I lingered over them, thinking they were cute, but decided against buying them for myself, because a) I have plenty of tea and b) I don’t actually heart London as much as the average person, so it seemed a bit silly for me to have them. ‘They’re more of a present’, I thought, walking away, before suddenly sprinting back with Holly in mind. I wrapped them before I had chance to take a photo, though. The Russian doll pin is another Prague souvenir.
Becci For Becci’s present, I got a bit creative. She works as a hairdresser and sometimes complains that her hands are dry and painful because of it. I got her some hand cream, nail varnish and nail files. So far, so cute, so boring, right? I decided to jazz things up a bit by completely ripping off Vivatramp and sticking it all in a snazzy little jar with some tissue paper and confetti and sequins. I think it looks quite impressive and thoughtful, and yet didn’t break the bank or require a lot of painstaking effort to put together.
It would appear that my tip for a frugal Christmas is to be a bit sneaky: go abroad and buy cheap things then fob them off as ‘authentic’ gifts, rip off other people’s ideas, and buy the cheapest thing from an expensive shop, take the price off but leave the tags on.
Did you give any amazing presents this year?