Arts and crafts
Online sketchbook club, modules £7 each, £20 for course
The best present to get someone with even the slightest touch of frustrated creativity. A blank sketchbook can be intimidating, but Jennie Maizel’s course talks you through creating wonderful little works of art. Each module contains a video to explain the project, and downloadable images to use, copy or just spark your imagination. A blissful way to spend a few hours.
Greeting cards subscription, £7.50/month
A monthly delivery of beautifully designed cards. You can totally justify getting this for yourself – after all, you’ll be giving most of them away, right? Never scrabble around for a birthday card, or scraping through the hideous range at the corner shop again.
Art supplies, £12.50/month
Monthly box filled with carefully selected art materials, tried and tested by the team at H.Blyth Co – a wonderful independent art and crafts shop which has been trading for over 125 years. Encourage artists to experiment and creative types to try new things.
Stationery subscription, from £12.95
Boxes of papery goodness, from wrapping papers to stickers, notebooks and cards. You can order a taster box, get a three- or six-month subscription, or just sign up for a rolling monthly parcel and keep it going for ever. Possibly not literally. First parcel will arrive in the new year – there’s a limited number each month.
Food and drink
Chocolate club, from £41.50
Groucho Marx famously said he didn’t want to be part of any club that would accept him as a a member. That’s clearly because he didn’t know about Chococo’s chocolate club, which sends out wonderful, fresh chocolate truffles using seasonal and local ingredients to members each month. You can choose between a small, medium or large box each month, and subscription options start at three months.
Coffee subscription, six months for £50, a year for £95
Origin sources its beans on a seasonal basis, so throughout the year your lucky coffee-loving friend’s tastebuds will travel the whole world, from Ethiopia to El Salvador, via a different freshly roasted and amazing-smelling parcel every month.
Wyldsson subscription, price as you like
Wyldsson make superb nut butters, trail mixes and mueslis as well as a brilliantly easy bake-yourself flapjack mix. You can customise this box to your own, or recipient’s, tastes – just chose their favourite products, then get the box sent every four to six weeks (with a 10% discount on all those products). You can change the contents of the delivery at any time.
Cocoa Runners, from £18.95
For those who prefer their chocolate to come in slabs, and have an interest in different origins and cocoa-percentages (who doesn’t?) then Cocoa Runners is just the thing. Each month will bring a delivery of single-origin chocolates in an astonishing variety of sources and flavours from around the world. Stunning packaging, too.
London Tea Club, £10/month
Each month will bring three new teas for a more interesting cuppa. From the traditional to the experimental, all are delivered in rather lovely little test tube-style packaging, complete with tasting tips and notes.
Honest Brew, from £12
A personalised craft beer subscription? Someone is going to have a very merry Christmas. Either sign them up for months of merriment, or go for a taster kit – six unusual craft beers for £12. If any go down particularly well, you can also just purchase that particular beer in the online store. The full subscription offers 12 beers a month for £36, and you can cancel any time.
Pomora, from £29
Adopt an olive tree, and receive quarterly deliveries of fantastic quality olive oil – not to mention regular updates on your very own tree, of course. Can’t guarantee that the trees will write a thank-you letter, but you might get one from their Sicilian producers. Adopt for £29 per quarter (for a minimum of two quarters, until you cancel) or if you aren’t yet ready for that level of arboreal-committment, you can foster one from £39 per quarter as a one-off.
Microbar, from £14
Who needs to go outwhen you can get a cocktail bar in a box delivered to your door? All the benefit, none of the queues at the bar. The box contains a mix of old favourites, original and artisanal products ranging from liqueurs to wines, mixers and some snacks to go with them. A special offergives you the first box for £14 – after that it’s £24 per month (+£3.50 pp).
Dot magazine, from £15
A wonderful quarterly independent magazine, beautifully designed, for little people. Dot is aimed for boys and girls of five and under; for their bigger siblings, try the sister magazine, Anorak. Both are ad-free, filled with fun stories and activities and there’s no plastic tat stuck to the front, either.
MORI baby clothes, £12 for a box, £42 for a subscription
Perfect for those either expecting, or with newborns this Christmas. A Mori box contains baby clothes in simple, neutral colours – essentials like sleep suits and bodysuits, made from a lovely, soft mix of bamboo and cotton fabric. You can choose a one-off gift box or an ongoing subscription that will growas the baby does.
Craft boxes, £8.50
Lovely craft boxes designed around themes – from space to (of course) Christmas – for children from around three to eight. The boxes can be personalised, and you can chose from the full range of themes.
DisneyLife, £10/month (first month free)
This is probably what they really want. A digital membership so you can download Disney films (including all the Pixar ones) TV box sets, books, music and apps, all from one place. Parents can set limits on screen time and on what content can be viewed. Kids can just go to their happy places. Netflix for the pre-teen generation.
Health, beauty and fitness
Shaving supplies, from £5
A very flexible subscription for shaving supplies, in which you choose the combination of products, the schedule to which they are delivered – and can also pause your deliveries if you go away, change your products and cancel at any point. Now that’s a smooth shave indeed. Buy a subscription or a one-off Christmas giftbox for £30.
Energy for cyclists, £20/month
This is a brilliant gift for keen cyclists: a monthly box of sports nutrition gels, bars, and recovery shakes. Everything they need to fuel their obsession for £20 a month – which is an awful lot cheaper than a Pinarello.
Box of beauty treats, £11/month
Beautifully designed little box containing beauty treats, accessories, a charmingly-illustrated magazine and surprise treats from tasty teas to gloves to keep your hands warm in cold snaps. Each box has a theme, and you can browse past ones to get an idea of future surprises here. Can be cancelled at any time.