11 Christmas Gift Ideas to Save your Lazy, Last-minute Ass

In I spied... on December 13, 2011 at 4:53 pm

This year, I could have gone ahead with another personality-themed gift guide like I’ve been seeing all over the goddamn internet. You know …  gadgets for geeks, cooking utensils for cooking enthusiasts etc.

But guess what I figured out?

Geeks know their gadgets better than anyone and would rather buy their own shit– the same applies to creatives/ cooks/ outdoor adventurer types/ fitness enthusiasts….

You wouldn’t take an exchange student from China to a Chinese restaurant downtown, would ya? No, because they would just think the food was crappy. You follow? So let’s get smart people.

Let’s also get real. There’s only a few more days until Christmas and you my friend, are looking at a gift guide. So I’m going to assume you’re getting kind of desperate. I’m also going to assume that like me (and pretty much everyone else celebrating this carefully marketed holiday), you’re kind of lazy mixed with last-minute, and would rather not die a slow death shopping in a department store on Christmas Eve.

So with so many of us in the same boat, it got me thinking….

What is the most important quality in a Christmas Gift Guide? 

  • All gift suggestions can be ordered online for delivery before Christmas (but delivery deadlines obviously apply you dummy – so double check the shipping info before you buy).
  • Some can be printed off and inserted in a Christmas card so you don’t have to wait all damn day for the delivery man.
  • Some can be emailed so you don’t even have to get off your ass to walk over to the printer.
(Kids’ presents not included because those little people are just so easy to please I figured you don’t really need my help on that). 

1. Nato Straps
Suitable for: Dad/ Boyfriend/ Brother / Grandpa
Calm down, I’m not suggesting you buy him a Rolex– you know not to go messing with men and their watches. But NATO straps are pretty much a new fool-proof trend with watch connoisseurs, switching the metal bracelets on their beloved watches for these nylon straps. True to their military origin in durability, the colors and patterns also make for a refreshing contrast against those classic watch faces.

2. House of Holland Tights

Suitable for: Giving out amongst girl friends

Buying a gift for a girl that likes fashion is a slippery slope. These on-trend House of Holland tights however can spice up a girl’s wardrobe rather than invade it like Grandma’s knitted reindeer sweaters– and you don’t have to think about sizing. Offering an accessory that’s more exciting and bold than a makeup bag shows you gave a little thought to her passion for fashion.
From £12 each
3. iTunes Printable Gift Certificates
Suitable for: Anyone who knows how to use iTunes or has an iPhone/ iPad/ iPod

This really is the last minute solution. Bet you didn’t even think of it did ya?  And I’m going to go ahead and say that gift certificates are much cooler to give than they used to be. In this economic climate, any kind of free money is going to be a cool gift. By the way, giving an iTunes gift card not only lets your receiver download music, but this is also valid for buying new apps on the App Store.

Buy gift certificates here 


4. Coffee Table Books

Suitable for: Adults who aren’t still living at their parents house. 

Ah, Amazon, so refreshingly on time with their shipping, they are the most reliable online retailers just before Christmas. As long as someone has a coffee table to proudly display their coffee table books, you can never have too many. And don’t be afraid to go for something more interesting than Beautiful Gardens of Yorkshire. 

The Big Butt Book (Taschen), $37

Lady Gaga Cutout Book $11 

Both at

5. A Beautiful Pair of Vans
Suitable for: Your best friend (like me!)
Who doesn’t love a brand new pair of Vans? I mean really, who? Everyone needs some nice-looking sneakers, whether it’s pristine white for Mum or a two tone color combination for your Vans-obsessed best friend. Casually ask what shoe size they are– lie and say you having a shoe clear out.
You can buy them pretty much all over the internet, including here, here and here.
6. Swatch Watches
Suitable for: Mum/ Dad/ Sister/ Brother/ Girlfriend
So Swatch had the comeback of the century I think it’s safe to say. Against all odds, these affordable simple plastic time pieces are miles more trendy than any  wrist bling out there on the market. With this seasons’s super minimalist design and range of colors, you can’t really go wrong here. They also come in great little boxes for gifting. Hey, just get one in a different color for each family member and your Christmas shopping is done! I love the wrap-arounds for women above (Lady) and the classic style for men below (Gent shiny).
Browse this style for women and this style for men here (without the wrap-around)
£32/ €37 / $50
7. A Super Awesome High Tech Bottle Opener
Suitable for: Your boss/ Mum/ Aunty/ Uncle/ In-Laws 
Wine bottles are a pain in the ass to open. Especially if you’re a girl. If there’s no man around and the only thing in the drawer is one of those standard screw bottle openers, let’s face it– you’re not getting that bottle open. Now you may have seen one of these super-awesome hi-tech looking bottle openers before. It usually impresses people and can be quite the conversation starter. The point is, it’s both a highly practical and very well-received gadget gift.
£50/ €59
8. American Apparel Duffle Bags
Suitable for: Sister/ Young adult friend
American Apparel is a my personal go-to for gifts for close friends/ young adults like myself. Although very on-trend, they specialize in basics so it’s unlikely you can end up choosing anything too offensive. I’m suggesting this denim overnight bag mainly because denim never goes out of style and a timeless, simple gift is a smart gift.
£38/ €44/ $45
9. Magazine Gift Subscriptions
Suitable for: Anyone as long as you know what they like to read about… 
I think this a great unexpected gift and very inexpensive for what it is (usually under 20 bucks for a year). It’s the gift that keeps on giving! Seriously, who wouldn’t love that?
Here are a few links to gift subscriptions:
10. A Parisian Wardrobe Staple
Suitable for: Girlfriend, Mum, Gran, Sister
Parisian chic is a style most women of the world like to emulate and a classic Breton top is pretty much a wardrobe essential for French women. I thought these little Bolero cardigans from French brand Petit Bateau were a nice twist on the wardrobe staple and paired with jean shorts in the summer or with a pleated woolen skirt in the winter, who would refuse?
11. Concert Tickets
Suitable for: anyone who likes music
Check online at your local concert venues or ticket sellers and see which bands are playing near you. Any of them look familiar? Any of them the favorite band of someone you know?
The problem with Christmas presents is once you’ve played with them for a while, they can just sit there can’t they? But concert tickets to a great gig ? Well that’s something to look forward to! Don’t rule out ‘experience gifts’ as I like to call them. If you know your loved one wants to go somewhere/ see something/ do something– help them live the dream!

And I’d like to leave you with Mariah Carey and Justin Bieber playing real-life lovers in this Christmassy music video…

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