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’tis the season for giving: what I got loved ones for Christmas (a reverse gift guide?)

’tis the season for giving: what I got loved ones for Christmas (a reverse gift guide?)

I’ve read hundreds of blogger gift guides this year, mainly because I work in PR and it’s part of my job. Not to throw any shade at the blogger community, cough, I’m kind of a blogger myself, but so much of it is product based.

This year I promised myself that since I was embracing reduced waste and minimalist living that I would gift more experiences and less stuff.

One of my favourite gifts I’ve ever received was from my best friend and it was tickets to my favourite band’s gig. Best. Night. Ever. That fuzzy feeling in the pit of my stomach was what inspired me this year.

Theatre tickets

I got my best friend two pretty okay tickets to see the Rome and Juliet at the Theatre Royal. (She better be taking me instead of her bf!) Yes, it cost me a bit of £££ but really if she does take me, it was kind of like getting a gift for myself.

Similarly, for my mum I got her two tickets to see a show. I know this is something she will enjoy seeing either with her partner or one of her friends. I like the idea that some parts of her will remember this night fondly and think of me as well at the same time, even if I won’t be there.

Pampering and other types of relaxation

I guess this one is rather popular, but gifting someone a pampering evening/weekend is one of the nicest things anyone can do. There are so many options on Groupon chances are you can snag an SPA package for a fraction of the price!

I treated myself to a massage couple weeks back. Imagine how much nicer that day would have felt if someone had gifted it to me? I think people often don’t want to spend on such experiences themselves so it’s nice to receive it as a gift.

Comedy gigs

For another dear friend of mine, I got him tickets to see a stand-up show. (He better also take me with him to see that.) What’s better than garbing a beverage, laughing a bit in a great company?

When you think about him, for Christmas this year I gave him laughter. Can you think of a greater gift than that? I can’t.


If you’ve got a bit of money to spend and someone special in your life that you want to spend time with, why not surprise them with a trip?

The beauty of gift giving is that you could just get really cheap plane tickets and the rest of the expenses you could share. I don’t think when gifting a trip to someone, you should cover all the costs. It’s the gesture that counts. You’re gifting them the opportunity to take an awesome trip with you!

Cook food or take them out for a meal

This might seem like a lack of effort, but that’s because you’re thinking of Christmas as a consumer. I took two of my friends out for dinner, to catch up, gossip and have a bit of fun. It was lovely to see their faces when at the end of the night I paid for the bill. Really it’s such a small thing but it really has a massive impact. I mean who doesn’t enjoy a belly full of food for free?

If your finances are tighter, why not cook a lovely meal for your loved ones? Invite some of your friends over for a meal, share some bubbly and play some Christmas music in the background. Since you’re hosting the dinner party, I’m sure your friends will be happy to think of it as their Christmas gift! When you think about it, what you’re really gifting people is a place and occasion to come together. Some people get awfully lonely over Christmas!


Sometimes people are up for trying new things but they are too scared or never really find the time for it. I think Christmas is the perfect time to gift your loved ones something that’s going to be a completely new experience for them.

I got my stepdad a whiskey course – it includes whiskey tasting, which I’m sure will be his favourite part, learning about the history of whiskey and different types of whiskey. He loves whiskey so this was a gift I was sure he’d love.

Why not get your favourite aunty a taster session for a pottery class, or your grandpa a beer brewing course or your sister an aerial training class?

“Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn’t come from a store.” ― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Of course, if you’re reading this, you might think: “Simona, those are excellent suggestions, but where the hell were you when I was gift shopping?” Chances are, I was stuck at the office sending goodies out to bloggers.

All I’m saying, I hope you had lovely Christmas, but next time when there is an occasion for gift giving – remember that the best gifts are those that are not going to end up in a bin one day but those that create memories!

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas! We’re so close to the New Year!


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