Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? I’ve been doing a bit of browsing, and I’ve found some unusual Christmas gifts. As well as a lot of old classics, of course. Here’s my round-up of Christmas presents 2018, for the adventurous at heart. Whether you’re looking for gifts for Dad, the best Christmas gifts for youngsters, or cool presents for that special someone, you’ll find something here.
“We love Dobble” seemed to be the resounding response when I posted about this Asmodee game on Facebook. The game features a set of cards, printed with a range of brightly coloured pictures, in a lightweight tin. Only one picture is the same on any two cards. To play, you just have to shout out when you spot a matching picture. Simple….but genius, eh? The tin is a nice size for stockings, too. Dobble is aimed at children over six, but as one of my Facebook friends said, “I’ll happily play Dobble with my three year old”.
Also from Asmodee’s Fun Fast Games range, Bananagrams is a set of letter tiles that you can carry round in a handy banana-shaped travel pouch. Players take 21 letters, and try to make interconnecting words out of them – which end up looking a bit like a crossword puzzle. The player who uses all their letters up first, and isn’t successfully challenged because of any ‘rotten banana’ non-words, wins.
Gifts for people on the move
These Jack and Jones Walbany boots from Jacamo are aimed at men who like to look good when striding out. D tested them out, and said the padded collar at the top made them extra comfortable. I like the way they have two distinct looks. One, with shorter trousers, is more rugged. But if the trousers are rolled down, the boots take on a more formal appearance. So they wouldn’t look out of place, even if your day involved activities as diverse as a ramble in a forest followed by a pint in a gastropub.
Ion8 sent us one of their funky new leakproof 500ml flasks to try. It would make a nice gift for someone who’s on the move all day, as it keeps liquid hot for 12 hours, or cold for 24 hours. The double steel walls stop condensation from forming on the flask, so there’s no worry about things getting damp inside your bag. We love our green flask, but you can also buy the Ion8 in cerise, aqua, pink or taupe.
If you wanted a more colourful version, for a romantic or someone who loves pink, this Ion8 leakproof water bottle‘s cute. It’s not thermal, like the flask is, but it’s PBA free and is suitable for hot drinks as well as cold.
Eco warrior gifts
The environmentally conscious will love this awareness-raising Global Warming mug. When you pour in a hot liquid like tea or coffee, the ocean and sea levels rise, blotting out part of the map. It’s a timely reminder of the state of our planet.
Gifts for active kids
We love these retro-style Rio Roller skates from Skate Hut. They’re designed for slightly older kids, and come in UK sizes 1-5. The boots are made from PVC leather, and if you’re looking for vegan Christmas gifts, look no further. These boots were manufactured without the use of any animal products or by-products.
Gifts for imaginative souls
This Unicorn stress ball – or ‘squidgy‘, as they’re known by every youngster of my aquaintance, is good for beating the boredom of a long journey. And they’ve become a bit of a craze. Once you try squishing them in your hand, then feel the soft ball slowly unfurl again, you’ll understand why. This cute little unicorn head is perfectly palm-sized, and easy to pop into a pocket or small bag.
Cheap Christmas gifts for fun-loving families
Zimpli Kids have some produced some lovely fun substances that are completely baron-free. Gelli Baff and Slime Baff transform water into goo or slime and Snoball Play transforms water into realistic snow that you can mould into snowballs. Just check out this video to see it in action:
Cookery Books to remind you of travels
Lavender and Lovage is a beautiful book that would make an ideal gift for someone who likes to wander, dream and cook. “Part travel diary, part memoir, part history, and all cookbook, Lavender & Lovage is an invitation from Karen Burns-Booth to join her on a personal culinary journey through the memories of the places she has lived and visited.”
Toys to remind you of travels
Sylvanian Families are an enduring classic. They make great imaginative play toys for that can help relive a holiday, or a fun family experience. Sylvanian Families sent us a Delicious Restaurant set from their new Town range. It’s decked out a little like a Parisian restaurant, and reminds us of a day trip we took to Paris with Grandma, back in the spring. Our set came with a little story book that described how Freya from the Chocolate Rabbit family celebrated her birthday in her dad Coco’s restaurant. There was even a birthday cake, and all the teeny-tiny tableware you’d expect from Sylvanian Families. If you’d rather something different to a restaurant, there are other items in the Town range, including a Gelato Shop (to relive a trip to Italy?), or a Ride Along Tram (San Francisco?).
We’ll be adding to this gift guide as items catch our eye over the festive season, so do check back
This post may contain affiliate links, and partners sent us some of these items. All views are my own.
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