The Style Disco Guide to Gifting

I like to think that I am regarded as an exceedingly good gift buyer. When I mentioned this to a friend recently, she said: “oh, me too!”

“What did you get me last Christmas?” I asked her.

“Um....." She couldn't remember.

"A build it yourself robot...?" I prompted.

“But it’s fun!” she replied. “Yes, it is fun” I replied “For a 6 year old boy. Am I a 6 year old boy?”

I may have the underdeveloped physique of a 6 year old boy but last time I checked I was a 25 year old female who lives in London and writes a style blog.

Said robot is still sitting in his box in tiny little pieces (although not so tiny that the intended recipient might choke on them when he or she opens the box on Christmas morning and puts them in his or her mouth) with the step-by-step, large print instructions on how to build it folded neatly inside.

If you’re going to get me something stupid for the sake of giving me a present, I’d rather you got me nothing: I’ll like you better for it as I won’t feel irritated every time I see the unopened box of 'bath time teabags' (yes that’s right: tea bags that go in your bathwater. Could there ever be anything less chic in the history of un-chic things?). It will only clutter my very tiny living space for the couple of months it will take for my guilt at being a horrible ungrateful person to diminish enough for me to stamp on it so that it fits into my very tiny bin.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve hated my own birthdays (I was never a very good actress) and loved those of my siblings, parents and best friends. There is nothing better than seeing the look on someone’s face when they are genuinely surprised and delighted with something you’ve given them. When I gave my little sister 2 tickets to see MGMT (her first ever gig) on her 16th Birthday she screamed and then promptly burst into tears. Likewise, most of the things I receive from her are so thoughtful they have me blubbing (though secretly of course, behind the Christmas tree).

Let’s be honest, no one really wants to receive anything they need for Christmas. Even if they say all they want is a new pair of gardening gloves, they are lying. There are always far too many horribly practical (and practically horrible) gifts that get given by my family on December 25th. Last year my Dad gave us all torches. I live in London! We have streetlights here! Although I did love that present just for the sheer laziness of buying every one’s present in the hardware store whilst he was topping up his supply of raw plugs, or whatever it is that Dads do.

So, down to the nitty gritty. If you stick to this simple guide you can’t go wrong. Trust me.

When you have a gift in mind, ask yourself these very important questions:

1. Is it something 'practical?' if the answer is no, proceed. If the answer is yes, ask yourself:

1a. is it insanely great? If the answer is yes, proceed. If the answer is no, start over.

2. Is the recipient likely to already own it, or something similar? No? You may proceed. Yes? Please start over.

3. Is it something the recipient would buy for themselves? Now, here you may be thinking that ‘YES’ is the desired a answer. Wrong! If it is something they would likely buy for themselves then what is the point in getting it for them as a gift? So, if the answer is yes, then start over. If the answer is no, then proceed.

And finally...

4. Will they love it?

That may seem like the most obvious one of all but I think it’s the one that probably gets overlooked, when really, that’s all good gifting comes down to. Unless you hate the person you are buying a gift for. In which case see The Style Disco Guide to Ruining Someone’s Life. Just kidding. That one’s not ready yet.

If you’re at a loss as to where to even start your Christmas Shopping, here’s some fabulous gift suggestions. What's more, they won’t leave you penniless.

An amazing Flamingo Candle, £12, get it here

Minty Mouse leggings, £29.28, get them here

A Dana Levy bracelet, from £25, get one here

6 Dashing Lassie Eye Shadows, £29.50, get them here

This Is For You book by Rob Ryan, £7.85, get it here

Cross necklace, £16, get it here

Lomo Fisheye, £35, get it here

Hello sign, £27.33, get it here

Max print, £6.50, get it here

Fair Isle Cardigan, £30 - £185, get one here, or here, or knit one yourself!

And my personal favourite...

Anybody Can Be Cool, But Awesome Takes Practice book, £7,60, get it here