The FT Christmas Gift Guide

We’ve all been there – December rolls around, shops start playing horrendous covers of classic Christmas songs and you start acceptably having chocolate for breakfast. You know you should start to buy some presents, but you’ve still got time.

Then, all of a sudden, it’s the 23rd December and you have absolutely no idea what to buy anyone. Jewellery for your missus? Socks for your dad? What about your brother? Your Mum? Your Secret Santa?

Don’t worry – we’ve got you sorted. We’ve picked out presents for your friends and family and put them together in this handy Christmas Gift Guide.

Don’t get your hopes up too much – we don’t know your family and friends, so this Christmas gift guide isn’t filled with ideas that are thoughtful, personal or especially fitting. But they are all weird, fun, classy or sure-fire winners, so you can’t go wrong, really. They won’t blow anyone’s mind, but they also won’t look like you scraped together present on Christmas Eve from the local petrol station forecourt.

Plus, with only a week or so to go until Christmas, you can’t really afford to be too fussy, lest you be remembered as ‘The One Who Ruined Christmas 2016'.

The FT Christmas Gift Guide


What to buy for: Your Mum

Good old Mum. What would you do without your Mum, eh? You want a gift that thanks her for everything she’s done for you – all of the lifts to football practise, the bowls of soup when you were sick and the constant support and love. But she’s so bloody difficult to buy for.

For mums, you’ve got two options: the sentimental and the every day. Played the right way, both can be winners.

The Sentimental: Odds on, you hardly tell your mum how much you appreciate her. Now’s the time – nothing takes your Mum’s Christmas gift up a notch than her feeling genuinely loved and treasured when she opens it. In fact, that feeling will probably mean more to her than whatever is the box.

So why not try and get a personalised gift? Not On the High Street is incredible for these – you can get necklaces, prints, tea towels, dog leads, aprons… The list goes on, but anything that your Mum is interested in, you can get personalised here – and that makes for a doubly thoughtful gift: something she likes and something unique to her. Win, win.

The Everyday: We’re also willing to be that your Mum never takes any time for herself – so why not give her a gift that forces her to chill out, relax and unwind? Perhaps some new pyjamas, dressing gown or a candle set? Maybe put it together with a box of chocolates and a bottle of wine? Like we said, it’s not going to blow the other presents she gets out of the water, but sell it to her as ‘you never get to unwind, Mum, and you deserve a break’ and she’ll feel appreciated and love it, trust us.

What to buy for: Your Dad


Right, your Dad. That’s a tricky one too, right? You’ve run out of presents to buy that are related to football/sheds/DIY/golf/red wine/beer/Steven Seagal (delete as appropriate) and now you’re stuck.

Well, look no further. Your Dad might be hard to buy for, but I bet he’s easy to please. You can’t miss with alcohol, especially if it’s unusual. Firebox (which, if you manage to order before the cut-off date, is an absolute God-send at Christmas) is the king here. You can find rum in a buccaneer pistol, vodka with an edible scorpion floating in it, spreadable beer to put on your toast and a brew your own beer kit. Easy. Done!

Unless your Dad doesn’t drink. In that case, go for one of the holy trinity: gadgets, tools or ties. For gadgets, we’d recommend Amazon Echo Dot: a small powerful speaker with built in AI. Your Dad can revel as he asks his new artificially intelligent assistant the time, to read him the news or to play his favourite songs. (Seriously, this thing is incredible. Buy one for yourself too. It’s only £50!)

For tools, go for a fancy drill. Men love getting power tools for any occasion. You honestly can’t go wrong with this one, even if he’s got 100 drills. Maybe go for a lithium battery – very nice!

And for ties – what else but a Frederick Thomas tie (shameless plug!)? His sister or Mum will probably get him the M&S or Next set he likes, so why not get him a truly individual tie that he’ll love.

Easy. Done. Next!

What to buy for: Your Partner


Right, we don’t need to tell you this, but if you’re reading this Christmas gift guide to look for presents for your partner, you’re already without a paddle.

But we’re here for you – there’s still time to pull it together. Focus up.

Step One: sentiment. You can’t just cobble together a gift, it needs to have some thought behind it. What does she like? What has she already got?

Step Two: The unexpected. The best gifts are the ones you haven’t guessed you’re getting, right?

Step Three: Panic.

Step Four: Personalise. Like with your Mum, you want to personalise the gift if possible. Not On the High Street, again, is the place to go for this. Start here, find something she’ll like (preferably something you have in common as a couple) personalise it and order. Honestly, it’s a winner.

If you can’t do this, propose. It’s your only option.(PSA: That was sarcasm. Marriage is not something to rush into. Remember kids, marriage is the number one cause of divorce.)

What to buy for: Your Brother/Sister

Siblings are hard to buy for – but we’ve got the answer. What does your sibling want more than anything in the world? To see your face everywhere they go, of course.

So, why not give them exactly what they want? The gift of your face for Christmas.

At Firebox, you can become a heat pad (what sibling hasn’t, on occasion, wanted to put their brother’s head in the microwave?), a car air freshener, a pillow or a ping-pong paddle. Come on, wouldn’t you kill for a ping-pong paddle with your siblings face on? No? Just us?

If that’s not enough for them – or if you’ve ever got the impression your sibling wants to be just like you – why not have your face made into a mask for them to wear all year round. But remember, a mask of your face is for life, not just for Christmas.

So, there you have it, our Christmas Gift Guide for 2016. Like we said, there’s nothing in there that’s going to blow their mind, but it might be enough to save you a little bit of embarrassment and trouble over the festive period!

Merry Christmas!