Christmas is sending out its sparkly tendrils already, reaching into your purse, pointing out the ideal-but-unfeasibly-expensive gifts for your loved ones that you know you shouldn’t even consider…
You do often end up considering these costly presents because you’re stuck for other ideas and you end up running out of time. Either that, or you just fall back on old favourites and end up buying the same things year after year. If you’re planning a laid-back, cheaper, or even a more original, sort of Yuletide this year, then you’ll have to think outside the box.
Here’s some brilliant ideas to get you started.
Some precious metals
Presenting someone with some gold or silver bullion is guaranteed to draw some gasps of appreciation from the crowds! The good news is that it doesn’t have to break the bank, with small silver bars from Golden Eagle Coin starting at around $15 (which works out at roughly £12). You could really make someone’s Christmas here, especially if they’re a collector. Alternatively, giving precious metals to your children is a good way to invest for their future as these commodities always gain.
A monthly book subscription
There are several options available to you and most subscriptions start from £12 or so. The works that are sent to your recipient tend to be eclectic and by as-yet undiscovered authors and poets, so each month’s instalment is something of a journey of exploration for the reader.
A milkshake maker
Most of us wonder how certain burger bars manage to produce such creamy, thick and (in some cases) nutritious shakes. Well, for not much money at all, you could help a friend or relative to find that out! It might be a good idea to throw in a bunch of bananas and some vanilla extract to get things started.
Homemade pomegranate vodka
By now, you’ve missed the boat for sloe gin, as you need at least three months for those odd little astringent berries to work their even odder alchemy. Instead, get a litre bottle of decent vodka, some fancy (and empty) 60ml bottles from a craft supplier and a couple of pomegranates. The riper and darker the seeds are the better because you’re not aiming so much for flavour as for a pretty pink tint. Add the seeds to the vodka and leave to steep for four or five days (turning the bottle twice) before decanting the blushing spirit into the 60ml bottles and offering (most of) them to your favourite cocktail fiends.
That’s right. It’s also faintly ridiculous, but it’s Christmas… If you know someone who’s very fond of their well-maintained face fuzz then you can help them develop festive face fuzz (try saying that after the pomegranate vodka) with a set of colourful miniature baubles. These tiny balls simply hook into the luxuriant growth and stay there, twinkling away, until they’re removed, fall out or go into hiding for several decades.
A quality computer
If your important person is a student, consider buying them a computer or laptop within your budget. These days, it’s more difficult to survive school when you don’t have your own computer to do research and schoolwork. Because of the pandemic, lots of schools haven’t reopened yet and are doing classes online.
A computer will be an incredibly useful and much-needed gift for students right now. If you have a limited budget, think about buying fully functional refurbished laptops. They’re much more affordable and work just as well as brand-new ones do. Do make sure that you buy from a trustworthy supplier that gives you a warranty.