Christmas Gift Guide 2013

If you’re short on time or lack the energy needed to wander aimlessly through shopping centres looking for gifts, then grab yourself a cuppa or a glass of wine and sit down at the computer in the comfort of your own home. There’s a rapidly expanding matrix of online gift stores all clamouring to offer you the best deals for your Christmas shopping. Here we’ll explore 5 online shopping portals and have a look at what they’re offering.

Very.co.uk is a big online department store. It’s a one stop shop for everything, so you could literally do all your Christmas Shopping in one online trip! You can even buy your Christmas tree, decorations and gift wrap there. They have a Christmas section showcasing special deals, up to 50% off on some items. They don’t currently list any deadline times for ordering for delivery in time for Christmas but they do offer next day delivery on most items as long as you order before 8pm Monday – Friday. Update : They are now offering Christmas Eve delivery guaranteed on orders made by 9 PM on 23rd December!.

See Deliveries & Returns for specific details.

Christmas gift purchases can be returned after Christmas if they receive them before the 9th January 2013. To qualify items must be unused and in the original packaging. This does not apply to non-returnable products.

LastMinute.com is usually thought of as the place to visit to book last minute holidays, but they also offer some fantastic deals on theatre tickets, restaurant deals and entertainment deals. Instead of buying the usual dressing gown and slippers ensemble for your mum and a bottle of dodgy aftershave and a box of chocolate brazils for your dad, you could treat them to a pair of tickets to see The Cirque Du Soleil Totem performance.
Before booking, please be sure to check their Terms & Conditions.

Buy a Gift seamlessly blends traditional gifts with the unique. Their website has a special Christmas gift section, offering everything from a Supercar Driving Thrill – with a choice between 8 supercars; to a deluxe afternoon tea for two at a choice of over 20 locations in the UK. For the more traditional gifts they have a selection of Christmas gift hampers for under ₤50. All experiences are 100% exchangeable, so if the recipient wants to exchange the gift voucher for a different experience, they can! Gift vouchers are delivered by either first class post or by signed for next day courier delivery.

Amazon not only has a fantastic reputation, it has an online Christmas store stuffed with lots of amazing deals. You really will find something for everyone here and if you’re really struggling to find the perfect gift, you can always order a gift voucher instead. They have books, digital products, laptops, games, hampers, clothing, makeup, electric shavers etc.

They offer free super saver delivery on most of their products and if you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can also get free next day delivery to the UK. If you need a guaranteed delivery date then check out their guaranteed delivery section.

If you need to return a gift then the ‘easy returns page’ will guide you through the necessary steps. They also offer you the option to a list a book, CD, cassette, DVD, video, or video game for sale, if it’s past the return date. All you need to do is find the product on the website and and click the “Sell yours here” button. It’s easy!

With all these amazing websites and extremely easy options to purchase online, it almost seems silly to waste your time fighting the Christmas crowds!

Gift ideas for him

Most men would just love to find one of these fantastic gifts under the Christmas tree!

Name me one man on the planet who wouldn’t just love to play with the Silverlit Spy Cam Remote Control Helicopter with Gyro? It’s brilliant! The Spy Cam Helicopter is a spectacular remote controlled helicopter that also doubles as a spy plane. It has a range of up to 10m and is fully charged after only 30 mins. You can take up to 3 minutes of video or hundreds of photos. It has an enclosed USB cable, so you can easily upload your photos and video to your computer. It only flies for up to 10 minutes but you can easily recharge it with the USB cable! Here’s a list of some of the cool features:

  • Fantastically balanced and easy to use
  • Charge time: 20-30 minutes for a full charge
  • Camera: 1.3 megapixels with a 128mb memory
  • Camera video resolution: 640×480
  • Camera picture resolution: 1280×960
  • Length: 190mm (excluding rotors)
  • Flight Battery: 3.7v 8.8w 200mAh 6g lithium polyer

At only £59.99, this is one top gadget any man would love to play around with. (Even if they pretend they’re not interested.)

At the higher end of the market, price wise, is the Kodak Zi8 HD pocket video camera. It’s still a bargain considering what you get for your money. With over 160 reviews on Amazon, it’s worth checking what people are saying about this nifty little pocket sized camcorder. There’s no need to buy any extra cables or batteries because it comes with a rechargeable Li-Ion battery and HDMI and composite AV cables. It only has 128MB of internal memory though, so you’ll need to buy an SD card to shoot a decent length video. Here’s what you get for your money, roughly £399 of it:

  • Full HD 1080p video with built-in image stabilisation and Smartface tracking technology
  • Large, vivid, 2.5 inch LCD and 5MP still camera
  • Built-in USB arm for sharing and charging
  • Edit and upload to sharing sites like YouTube with built-in software
  • Up to 10 hours of HD video with SD/SDHC card slot, memory card required

For more technical details, check here.

Know any karaoke fans? Grab the ipod/iphone karaoke doc. You can turn your iPod Touch or iPhone into an instant Karaoke machine to party any time and anywhere. It’s a great gift at an excellent price – £79.99.

Choose almost any song from the iko Store and it will come up as a Karaoke video with words and music when played on your iPod or iPhone.

It comes with a docking station, microphone and a voucher for 5 free Karaoke downloads to get you started. It’s great for parties, you can even connect the system to a TV or stereo for large-format display of karaoke lyrics or video. You can also use the station to dock your iPod or iPhone and top up your battery!

For the football fanatics, why not give a tour of their favourite stadium as a gift. Send them  behind the scenes of their favourite club. They get to visit the changing rooms, walk up the players’ tunnel, sit in the dug out and the Director’s box. This is a fantastic gift experience for a football fan. You could even grab a grow your own miniature football pitch pack as an extra! Available for 7 top UK stadiums, with grass seeds used on the selected team’s actual pitch. Each pack also includes a poster, history of the football ground and a certificate of authenticity from the club. Both these gifts can be bought cheaper with our Gone Digging Promotional Code.

If you’re totally brassic, then look no further than the Cash Stash keyring. At only £4.99, you can’t really go wrong with this cool keyring. Made from chrome plated aircraft grade aluminium, in a choice of colours, well silver or hot pink, so it’s probably a safer bet to go with silver for the men. It’s waterproof and pretty slick looking. The Cash Stash is also a great way to give money or a cheque as a gift. Much more exciting than just opening an envelope! You can even store headache tablets in it for emergencies!

With so many interesting gifts out there, you can easily choose something a bit different for Christmas this year!

Gift ideas for her

Women tend to be easier to buy for than men, or is that just a myth? There are so many wonderful gift ideas out there, you’d be hard pressed not to find something fabulous for the ladies! So let’s jump right in and see what’s on offer.

Let’s start with the Diamante mini speakers. They are perfect for anyone that likes a bit of sparkle. Encrusted in diamantes, they work with ipods, the ipod mini or any audio player with a 3.5mm jack. Simply plug it directly into your ipod. There’s no messy cables to get tangled. They’re great to pop in your bag if you’re heading to a party and ideal to take with you when you’re travelling. They have a 500MW power output per channel for exceptional stereo sound and use 2 x AA batteries for the power supply. At £12.99 per speaker, it’s an ideal choice for any woman that like a bit of glitz.

The Bespoke Heart Map won the ‘Gift of the Year’ in the Make awards 2011 and it’s easy to see why. It’s an unusual gift, you won’t find it in the high street shops. Simply choose a location anywhere in the world, that’s dear to their heart, and they will source a vintage map of the area and transform it into a beautiful, bespoke artwork. The heart map can then be finished with a handmade frame! At only £48.00, it’s a beautiful gift for both young and old.

If you happen to have £695.00 burning a hole in you pocket, you could splash out on a fabulous hand made stamp rug by Isabele Ballardie Interiors. Blending heritage with contemporary style and embossed with the Queen’s head, you can either hang it on the wall or find a nice spot in your lounge room. It’s handmade with 100% pure New Zealand wool and comes in a choice of  five  stunning colours. It measures 120 x 100cm. A perfect gift for lovers of the Royal family!

Women that like to add a bit of glamour to their home, can easily do so with a Pop Art Pic. For only £105.00, you can create your own custom designed ‘Warhol’ style canvas print. You can also name and date it.

You can choose between two sizes: 16 x 16″ or 20 x 20″  with a choice of 20mm or 38mm depth

The canvases are printed using high quality inks on 100% Cotton, stretched over a solid wood frame. All you have to do is send them a snap shot (or a professional photo) and it will be transformed into a Warhol icon you can proudly display in your home

You can choose from a variety of colours or you can specify your own colour, by sending an image featuring the colour you would like.

Last but not least, for the novelty factor, these toast it coasters are a brilliant find! Made from thick heat resist cork, they’re an amusing resting place for any drink!

Gift ideas for kids

There’s such an amazing and diverse selection of gifts for kids these days. It’s a great idea to try to combine both fun and learning within one gift, and there are many gifts available that let you do just that.

The top choice for this Christmas goes to the VTech kidizoom twist kids camera, priced at £39.99. Aimed at ages 3 and up, it’s available in blue or pink, so great for both boys and girls. It’s a 2 mega pixel camera featuring a 4x digital zoom, built-in flash, colour screen, 5 great games and dual view finders.

You can edit and enhance your photos with various frames, stamps and wacky effects. There’s even a voice recording function with 5 different voice changing effects; pitch up, pitch down, slow, robot and echo.
It has an SD card slot for memory expansion. Not only will a child love this gift, it will help them to improve their creativity, social and emotional development, hand to eye co-ordination and visual development. I only wish this was available when I was a child. How times have changed!

Next in line is the build your own kaleidoscope. It’s a simple toy that will amuse kids of all ages. In fact, I bet most adults would like it too. This Build Your Own Kaleidoscope kit comes with everything needed to make your very own kaleidoscope; mirrors, tubes, lenses, beads and easy to follow instructions. The kit comes with beads, but you can also add glitter, buttons or sweets to the chamber for different results. It will provide hours of fun and will help to stimulate children’s imaginations. Priced at £5.95 it’s a bargain, so even if it fails to amuse longer than a few hours, you won’t feel like you’ve wasted money.

Living in the UK usually means lots of rainy days, which usually means indoor games. Why not combine art and geography using an educational colouring map of the world. It shows 90 flags and their countries, famous places and landmarks, many endangered species, the Seven Wonders of the New World, time zones and more. There’s a colour reference for the flags. A fantastic gift for a boy or a girl. It offers hours of mess free fun on any rainy day or holiday. They can  learn the names of all the capital cites and names of mountain ranges and rivers. They can also have competitions with their friends to see who can remember the names of all the capital cities! Priced at only £12.00, It’s pretty big at 84x59cm and comes with 20 fibre pens.

Teach kids about taking care of the planet with the Wiggo educational composting pod. It’s a brand new prize winning educational tool that will teach them about the recycling of food waste. It uses composting worms. Children can add an apple core to the system and can then watch the wiggos worms turn it into compost in 2 weeks. A magic bean can then be planted in the compost which will grow into a plant with a message! They can discover the formation of the worm cocoons and pop them on the viewing pod to watch them hatch. Even the packaging can be recycled and turned into a space pod. Everything is recycled and nothing is thrown away! Priced at £14.99, check out  wiggos.com to learn more.

A lot of little girls will be put off by the worms, so as an alternative, there’s the pretty crystal garden. at only £9.99! It’s actually a crystal growing kit that comes with easy instructions on how to grow crystals. There’s a growing container with lid, crystal powder and crystal seeds, a pebble base and measuring cup, with loves and a stick to stir the mix. By simply dissolving the crystal powder in water and sprinkling crystal seeds onto the provided pebble; a crystal will begin to form within a day. The crystal will be fully grown within 2-3 weeks. And there’s a choice of 5 colours; Blue, Pink, Orange, Green, Purple. Each crystal group that grows is totally unique! Take photographs as the crystal grows and even make it into a school project!