Alternative Christmas gift ideas for your family and friends

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I tend to start my Christmas shopping at the beginning of the year and buy bits as and when I see them. I find that this way it helps to spread out the cost of Christmas, but with three children who change their mind regularly it can also mean what they liked in January they don't like any more come Christmas. Often we receive gifts which are not to my children's liking and it perhaps comes as no surprise that we are not alone in this, us Brits spend almost £1 billion on unwanted presents each year!

I try to put a lot of effort into my gifts, I love the reaction when you get it just right. If you’re struggling to get started this year, here are three killer gift ideas that will go a lot further than a voucher or toiletry set.

An experience

For the people that claim they don’t have room for any more physical objects, what about an experience instead? It’s better for the environment after all - and the memories they’ll make will last longer too.

How about white water rafting on an Olympic course? Or an experimental cooking class on cuisine from their favourite holiday destination? You could play it safe or challenge them to try something outside their comfort zone and discover their new passion. There’s even the option to invite yourself along as an excuse to spend some quality time together.

A planter

The minimalist trend that’s dominated the interior design landscape for the last few years has left many homes lacking that bit of character. If your friend is in need of some redecoration or has just moved into a new place, houseplants are always a winner. But what about the planters to put them in?

See if you can find something quirky and give them the choice of the style of plant they put in it. If you opt for a larger pot you may need to use a special delivery service to get it there safely - use Parcel2Go’s handy courier comparison service to find the right option for you.

A food and drink hamper

Christmas is a time to eat good food and drink good drink. Imagine how much you’d enjoy opening a hamper of all your favourites? Or better yet if you’re a foodie like me – a selection of delicious items you’ve never tried before.

See if you can pick up unique items at your local farmers market or in independent stores close to where you live. Remember to factor in their dietary requirements – more and more of us are becoming vegetarian and vegan each year.

Have you started tackling your Christmas shopping yet? Give one of these ideas a go and watch your loved one’s face light up.

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