Whenever Christmas rolls around, I’m faced with the same dilemma, year after year. What should I get my friends, my relatives, my parents? Often interests of our loved ones are niche or hard to cater to, and finding the perfect gift can prove a real challenge. Shopping during the holidays is stressful and more often than not, inconvenient, whilst keeping to a budget and not buying yourself gifts can be difficult !
Yet there are some online lifesavers – and one of these is the fantastic Uncommon Goods, a website I recently trawled across while looking for gifts that I could personalise.
What I love about Uncommon Goods is their commitment to creativity and originality in the form of gifts being supplied by independent makers. Their products are artisan made and eye-catching, their catalogue a row of tempting items – it’s hard to keep a minimum of self-control and not place an order on absolutely everything! I really like that added factor of individualism that comes with ordering a gift from their website that is most probably produced in limited numbers. It makes the gift even more special. Besides this, there’s an added bonus that helps you feel like you’re doing a little bit of good in the world, too, in the form of a programme named Better To Give, that allows customers to pick a partner non-profit to donate $1 with every order. That makes this great find not only aesthetically pleasing, but sustainable, too. Post-shopping guilt no longer!
There’s a lot to love about Uncommon Goods, yet so much choice that it’s necessary to narrow choices down a tad. So, much like I do with regards to music or books in this blog, I thought I’d give you a breakdown of my absolute favourites by Uncommon Goods, divided into three different categories. Here’s what I’ve got bookmarked to choose from, this year, for my family!
Round one: stocking stuffers
Who doesn’t love a stocking? They’re very easy to fill, they don’t break a budget, and they’re incredibly cute. I found some hilariously apt gifts on the website for each member of my family – they don’t break the bank, and more importantly, they fit into everyone’s stocking.
My dad wears glasses and constantly leaves them lying around. There’s been many a dramatic moment where someone’s nearly stepped on them, or a glasses case has gone missing – leaving his beloved glasses in fatal danger. So what better gift than a glasses holder? I love this Easter-island style, beautifully made wooden head to perch his specs on – it’s useful, sure, but more importantly, it’s hilarious. And it would suit a wooden desk perfectly, but could also be left in the lounge – it really could pass as a decoration, even.
Mum is also a forgetful type, though she struggles mainly with things you’ve told her (perhaps we could just call that selective hearing) and technology. Computer commands are tricky to master, but the most troublesome of all things technology-related is without a doubt the array of passwords she needs to keep anchored in her brain. When I spotted this password book on the website, you can see how I instantly searched for the “add to cart” button. This little password reminder book, called Open Sesame! is alphabetized and designed specially for passwords, even featuring a password hint space (just in case you don’t fancy the idea of someone knowing all of them).
Possibly the fussiest member of the family, the stocking filler for my brother took a while to choose. I’ve given him books in the past, and it’s never gone down very well. So this year, I opted for something that was absolutely not educational and a whole lot of fun – as well as being something I’d never seen anywhere else before. A miniature bowling set! It’s so tiny and looks deceivingly easy to play – I can anticipate family arguments over it – but the best bit is definitely the reset button. The pins rearrange themselves – no need to retrieve them, table football style, at the end of each game. BLISS.
I know you’re itching to get one of those, so here’s where to find all three stocking filler – just click on this link.
Round two: personalised gifts
We’re all a little bit in love with ourselves, and getting a gift that features our name or something we love has to be one of the best feelings out there. I still remember how pleased I was when someone made me a homemade birthday card last year, featuring photos of us together, and how much more meaningful it felt compared to shop-bought cards. I think a personalised gift ( a whole selection of which you can find here) is one of the easiest ways to score smiles galore come Christmas. You really can’t go wrong.
My personalised gift, bookmarked specially for Mum and Dad, is without a doubt this beautiful wooden clock, designed to have its hands perched on the timezone a friend or relative is in. It reminds me of the Weasley family clock in Harry Potter, where each family member has their own hand, pointing to their location or their status.
We have friends and family living in both Europe and in the US, from London to Chicago, and some of my close friends are currently studying in Beijing and Sydney. So remembering all of those different timezones can get a bit overwhelming, and it looks like this clock could give the whole family a helping hand. No more confusing adding up or subtracting to be done when you know exactly whether someone’s asleep or available to Skype!
My brother, on the other hand, as a budding baker, suits this perfectly: a miniature rolling pin that prints out his name onto pizza, bread, and cookies alike. And not only can you bake with it, and leave your mark on your baked goods, but it can act as a dough or clay print, too – a great way to impress younger cousins or kids he babysits for as they watch their own name printed out. I think this one’s going to be the talk of family lunches for quite a while!
Round three: tokens of love
Christmas, let’s not forget it, is a time for loving.
It’s a time for being with those that matter to us the most, and proving to them just how much their presence in our lives is appreciated. There are some truly wonderful gifts on the Uncommon Goods website that are love-themed, and that make for a touching Christmas present. Here are my favourites – though don’t limit yourself to my choices, when you can explore the whole catalogue here. Despite the selection being aimed at best friends, I’m convinced that a lot of them make fantastic gifts for family members, too. Let me prove that to you!
My dad might get this stunning compartment valet, made of North American maple – I mentioned earlier in this post he’s a professional loser of things, and this might just help to combat that, by becoming a space for keys, loose change, bus tickets, and what have you. While the fact there are two compartments, one for everyday use, one for less frequent use, included, I think I find the fact that you can include a personal message inside the best part about this gift – the more affectionate, the better. After all, I’ll be taking the loose change out of there when I fancy a coffee…
Mum, on the other hand, gets an even soppier present – this hardcover book, that can be filled in with the things I love the most about her. The best part about this gift is that you can set the tone – you can be funny or racy or just sweet, depending on the person receiving the gift, and it will never not be appreciated, precisely because of how much of a personal component makes up for it. Something for our parents to read while we’re away at college….
And my darling brother, last but not least, deserves this bag of coal. Not just because it’s actually soap – and we all know how much teenage boys need that – but more importantly, because it’s a jokey way of letting him know just how much I care about him, despite his bad behaviour. Without a doubt the best gift for naughty children or those who are expecting something else. You can make up for the coal with the stocking fillers 😉
I’ve loved writing this post almost as much as I’ve loved browsing the Uncommon Goods website. Go and take a look at it by exploring the links I’ve given you, and I can guarantee you’ll find a gift you’ve been looking for your whole life for someone this Christmas. Have fun, but above all, a very merry Christmas.
This is a sponsored post, written for the delightful likes of Uncommon Goods.