Monday, 5 December 2011

Christmas gifts: cheap and gorgeous

I don't know about you, but it's unlikely I'm going to be getting a KitchenAid for Christmas (about as unlikely as me being found trotting around Belgravia in bright red Louboutins and a mink shawl). The coveted food mixer has been popping up in the weekend supplements for weeks, as an ideal 'foodie' gift. A gift that costs over £300. Yeah, right.

As a child, I remember giggling as I discovered a hidden stash of Christmas cards my mom sent out to open-minded friends and relatives. The size of a postage stamp, they simply read 'Life is shit, times are hard, here's your fucking Christmas card.' I'm not a scrooge, neither is she, but Christmas is complicated: families, budgeting, cooking for large parties, booze... a toxic mix.

To make life just a little easier, I've done some research and found these beautiful, fun and desirable objects - all available online - that will please your wallet as much as they will delight the most hard-to-please recipient. I hope they provide inspiration. (Last year most gifts came from my kitchen, but it didn't prove to be a budget-friendly exercise. A few still will, but canny online shopping is key.)

Under £10
Spectacular Sourdough A loaf of Richard Bertinet's sourdough (Bertinet Kitchen Shop) £5.60
2 Person Paella Pan From the venerable purveyors of Spanish food (Brindisa) £8.95
Tea Towel Creative, fun designer tea towels (ToDryFor) £9.50
Floral and Bird Teapot Dainty tea time fare (Graham and Green) £9.50

London Lunchbox A trendy way to transport your office sandwiches (V&A) £5
Mezzaluna Set Stylish herb chopper, half price at time of writing (The Cook's Kitchen) £7.65
Glass and bone door knobs Add a glam, retro touch to cabinets and drawers (Graham and Green) £2.95-£3.95 each
Salt dish Adorable, totally frivolous; I want one (Anthropologie) £8

Under £20
Sari Measuring Spoons Cute, pretty and useful (John Lewis) £11
WRAP Christmas Goody Bag For design geeks (WRAP) £20
Sweet Shop Jar Nostalgic treats in a retro jar (Hope & Greenwood) £16.99

An English Rose A bare root rose plant for garden lovers (David Austin Roses) From £12 each
Spice Bundle The famous Spice Shop's selection of their favourite spice blends £10.55

Coffee Cup Beautiful, and ageless Scottish pottery (Highland Stoneware) £12.25
Iridescent Glass Jar Add a bit of glamour to your bathroom or vanity desk (Willow and Stone) £17.50

Dr Hauschka Hand Cream This smells intoxicating, and works like a dream, leaving no residue (Look Fantastic) £12.95

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