Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Gift ideas for neighbours and friends

I say this every year but this year, I really mean it.  When it comes to Christmas, I am going to be organised.  Yes - really!

During the Christmas season, the focus naturally tends to be on buying presents for close friends and family members. Generally, these are the types of gifts that you consider far in advance, and spend a great deal of time on. After all, at Christmas, we like to show those closest to us how much they mean to us, and part of this means finding great gift ideas.  That's the easy bit.  However, we still need to think about those people we see often, but might not consider to be close friends. You may want to give little gifts to people in your neighbourhood, colleagues, or even teenage friends of your children. These gifts can be a bit harder to come up with, but really (because I like to embrace the concept of 'less is more') something quite simple will usually do the trick. Here are a few ideas to help get you started. 

Gifts For Neighbours

  • Treats/Accessories - Perhaps the simplest and nicest gift to give to your neighbours might be a set of baked treats, such as biscuits, fudge, etc. Of course, finding time to bake even a batch of cookies can be tricky, our national obsession with The Great British Bake-Off notwithstanding! However, you can make loads at once, and divide them in tins or jars to give to neighbours. You may even want to make the tins or jars part of the gift.
  • Christmas Hampers - If you want a gift that involves less preparation, simply head to Marks and Spencer online and order a few Christmas hampers for neighbours or friends! These lovely hampers are essentially pre-prepared gift baskets filled with anything from selections of fine cheeses or wines, to seasonal treats. They are very convenient, in that you can order them online, ready to be presented, and they are also fab for families to have around during the holidays. And being from Marks and Spencer, you can be assured of the quality.
  • Snowman Kits - If you want to do something a bit lighter, or funny, for your neighbours, consider something like snowman kits! A few sets of black hats, scarves, and fake eyes to set up snowmen can be a fun, charming gift, and one that you might see in the gardens next to yours in the coming days - assuming the good old British weather plays the game. I guess it's not too much to ask that we have a proper, snowy winter having had to suffer the worst and wettest summer weather for three zillion years?
Gifts For Teenagers
  • Christmas Decorations - For the friends of your children, simple, funny gifts usually do the trick. Consider small Christmas decorations, such as a bobble Santa for a car's dashboard, or a musical ornament that sings a joky tune, etc. These presents don't need to be huge, and even teenagers will appreciate these sorts of little jokes.
  • Hot Chocolate - Finally, if you've run out of ideas, there is always hot chocolate - the simplest possible Christmas present - to consider. To make it a bit nicer, you can purchase tins of different flavours of hot chocolate, which will certainly be enjoyed and appreciated - even by the surly teen in your life!
Published on behalf of Marks and Spencer.


  1. You buy gifts for all those sorts of people? Wow, what a nice, generous person you are. I buy for my mum, my kids and my brothers' kids, and my DB and that's it.

    And I'm usually reeling in January from the expense of it all, not helped by including the cost of travelling to the UK which would buy a ton of pressies.

  2. Yup, I'm all heart Sarah! Luckily I don't have the cost of travel to contend with but have family and very good friends who were inconsiderately born in early January which pretty much doubles the cost of the happy season :-(

  3. I am so crass I started giving cash to the after-school carers. I didn't trust my baking and most of them didn't drink! Teachers I end up giving jewellery (sp?)even though my husband says that is way too personal. I think they can re-gift. And for the neighbours - who most drink- a bottle of kiwi white


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