Christmas gift guide: your friends.

To me, my friends are a bit like my extended family.  When you live a long way away from your family, you tend to build up your own support network, and you go to your friends for help with things that you would normally go to your parents for.  Friends are the people we go to for support, but they’re also the ones that we celebrate the good times with.  I think it’s really important to remember your mates when you are buying Christmas gifts.


I don’t buy presents for every single one of my friends.  The only reason for this is that I can’t afford to.  If I had a larger budget, I would certainly lavish gifts upon each and every one of my mates.  As it is now, I tend to buy a substantial present for my best friends, and then smaller presents for my other close friends.


I’ve made a little list of suggestions for gifts for your friends that suit all budgets and are personal and fun.


– Buy a copy of your favorite book and then give it to a friend to read.  Select a book that really changed your life, or that you have read over and over.  A few years ago I gave a copy of Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom to one of my mates, and it became her favorite book.  Giving a book that you have loved to a friend who loves to read gives them a chance to get to know you a bit better, and also supplies them with much-wanted reading material.  Lately, I have been trawling The Book Depository website for new books.  They have a huge range of books for ridiculously low prices.  Best of all, they offer free shipping anywhere in the world.


–  For the friend who loves a nice cup of tea, get them a gorgeous bone china cup and saucer to make tea-time extra special.  For coffee fiends, buy them a nice sturdy travel mug, so that they can enjoy their favorite caffinated beverage without wasting loads of takeaway cups.


-Get your friend a gift voucher to their favorite restaurant, so that they can enjoy a delicious meal without having to worry about the bill.


–  Buy your friend two movie tickets to a film that they have been dying to see, and then tag along with them.  For an even more special gift, get them a gift voucher to a gold-class cinema or a special 3D session of a movie that they have been looking forward to.


-Everyone deserves a little bit of luxury pampering.  Get your mate a gift voucher for a masssage, and they will be sure to thank you for it.


– If you are feeling a bit crafty, try your hand at making some beaded jewellery to give as gifts.  Beading is really quite relaxing once you get the hang of it, and you can make a range of pieces that suit your friends’ style.  Best of all, each piece will be totally unique and personal.  You could also try making gorgeous hair adornments and fascinators out of feathers, silk flowers and sequinns.  Just glue or sew your creation onto a felt backing and add a hair comb, or glue individual flowers or ornaments onto bobby pins.


–  If you are a little low on cash, but you are handy in the kitchen, you could make each of yoru friends a hamper filled with delicious home-cooked holiday treats.  Just buy some large boxes or baskets, and wrap cookies, cakes, truffles or sweets in little cellophane bags and tie each one with a Christmas ribbon.  You can even add in extra treats like gourmet tea bags or tiny tubes of lipgloss.  I am going to be posting up some of my favorite Christmas recipes over the next few weeks, so stay tuned for some baking inspiration.


–  For the friend who loves body art, get them a set of Amazing Raymond temporary tattoos.  Amazing Raymond has a huge range of body art products, which are easy to use, last for ages and look very realistic.  I especially love the luxury tattoo sets.  Raymond also has plenty of tattoo paints and accessories that take body art to a whole new level.


– Even adults love toys.  There are plenty of retro yard toys that are available at the moment, like paddling pools, shuttlecock sets, totem tennis sets, bocce balls and yo-yos.  Just because you’re grown up, doesn’t mean that you are too old to play.  Fun, sporty gifts like these are the makings of backyard tournaments.  If your mate isn’t really into sports, consider getting them an awesome board game instead.  Choose one that is best played with a group of people, so that you can play it when you have parties and get-togethers.  My favorite group games are Cranium, Trivial Pursuit and Twister.


–  I am in love with the Friendship Algorithm shirt. This would be the ideal gift for a friend, especially one who loves science and logic.


These are just a few ideas to get you going.  I’m sure that you will be able to think of plenty more on your own.  You don’t have to spend a mint to show somebody how much they mean to you, and it’s always nice to get a gift from a friend at Christmas.  Gifts from family members are great, but they are pretty much a given, so somehow, getting a gift form a friend is extra-special, because you know they aren’t really obliged to get you anything.  Buying a little token of affection for your mates really does show them that you appreciate them, and spreads a little extra cheer at Christmas.

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