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 2019, 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.
This feature contains affiliate links, and some gifted items.
The best luggage for adventurous families
If you’re looking for a durable, stylish daybag or travel bag, top of the list shoud be these backpacks by Swedish brand, Gaston Luga.
The Scandinavian rucksacks are designed to last, with good-quality fastenings and strong, durable canvas. D and I can fit our 15” laptops into the padded laptop sleeves, with bags of space left over. You can read our Gaston Luga review here.
These Pråper backpacks are the largest bags Gaston Luga sell, but there are six other styles, from A5-size up. In pink, grey, burgundy, black….. if you fancy picking one up, do use my discount code PIDGEONPAIR for 15% off (yes, there IS a ‘d’ in that code 😊). Look out for special offers – at the moment Gaston Luga are giving away an Årlig travel bag with every rucksack.
The nice people at Fruitcase only use recycled materials when they make their colourful, juicy suitcases, and for every case bought they plant a tree in a Better Globe plantation in Africa. These watermelon and orange cases have a sturdy, hard shell – and you’re hardly going to miss them on the luggage carousel! They’re small enough to carry on to lots of flights. The insides are lovely and colourful, too. When you open the cases you see pink watermelon, or orange segments – with all the pips!
There are lots of other flavours coming soon, like pineapple, mango and strawberry.
Christmas gifts of men’s clothing
We love this Helvellyn Illustrated t-shirt, designed by artist Rachel Gaw and inspired by the Cumbrian mountain of the same name. Accompanying it is a cute junior version of the same artist’s Scafell Pike t-shirt. You can find these and other mountain-inspired Christmas gifts for men and women at Go Your Own Way, a new retailer of art, apparel, jewellery and accessories based in the Lake District.
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.
“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
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 and adults
This Sportsman Recovery Kit is one of a range of items on sale from Atlantic Folk. They include elegant barware like whiskey cooling stones, a hangover kit, and a gift set for ‘The Middle aged Man in Lycra‘. Sound like anyone you know?
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.
The best mattress for a good night’s sleep
If you want to really treat the special adventurer in your life, gifting them a good night’s sleep after all their adventuring is possibly the best present they could wish for. That’s how I feel about our Leesa Sleep mattress, anyway….
It has that ‘soft-but-supportive’ quality that you usually find in a memory foam mattress. But as well as memory foam, the luxury mattress from Leesa has a strong base layer, designed to give structure and intense support. And a 5cm Avena® foam top layer lets air flow around you as you sleep.
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.
Snoball Play transforms water into realistic snow that you can mould into snowballs. Just check out this video to see it in action:
The newest kit from Zimpli kids is their Chocolate Emoji Maker. It’s made from 100% delicious Belgian chocolate, and it allows you to make your very own chocolate emoji bar!
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 of 2018.
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.
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