A genuine attempt at a useful Christmas gift guide

Stuck for gifts this festive season? The last postal date’s not far off, so here are some suggestions.

Anyone who’s maintained a state of semi-consciousness in the 21st century knows that Christmas shopping is best done online. Fighting your way round an over-heated crowd-filled John Lewis is just not becoming of the modern human.

Granted, browsing online can be a stressful experience. Trawling through page after page of crappy gift idea can sap your confidence.

So, with the last first class postal date before Christmas coming this Friday, here’s The Tab’s guide to some actually-quite-decent presents to get for your family. You’re welcome.

For your mum



The latest in must-have crockery, Cornishware’s kind of like Cath Kidston for grown-ups.  A mug costs a tenner with free delivery, from T. G.Green & Co. They do more exciting stuff too if you’ve got the funds.

Face creams of various varieties


Not being a 50-year-old woman, this Tab writer can’t advise too accurately on which face cream works best. However, Vichy Idealia Life Serum from Boots is good, apparently. A Tab source says: “This stuff is amazing and doesn’t say ‘anti-ageing’ so it’s less offensive.”

Personalised iPad case


As the ones with the money, parents seem big on technology. Every middle-aged mum’s got an iPad these days. Remind madre how much you love her by slapping your mug on a case for her tech. Photobox have a discount on at the moment.

Afternoon tea at…


If you’ve got deep pockets, treat mum to afternoon tea at swanky Harrods. Tie it in with a shopping trip to bag some January sales and you could recoup your investment. (Substitute Harrods for somewhere equally posh if you don’t live near London.)



You’re taking a gamble that she hasn’t been super-organised and bought one already, but a Moleskine diary looks expensive without breaking the bank.

Teapot and posh tea


Tea seems to have infiltrated this gift guide in a big way. Sorry, it’s probably just ‘cos we’re British. Anyway, it has to be loose-leaf if you want to be posh. The 50g ‘tasting’ bags actually make like 25 cups of tea. Team a couple of them up with a Cornishware teapot if you’ve got the funds.

For your dad

USA Soccer Guy T-shirt


The Tab thinks this means ‘Tottenham’

Dads are notoriously hard to buy for. However, if yours has got even an ounce of banter, get him a USA Soccer Guy jersey. He’ll love that you think he’s in on the joke.

Cards Against Humanity


This game is unbelievably good. It’s slightly on the rude side, so not really suitable if your granny’s round, but get your ‘rents drunk and they’ll find it hilarious.

Lower-league football or rugby match tickets


Tickets seem a bit standard, so switch it up by going grassroots. For football, go for your local League One or Two side. Rugby, you can probably get away with the Championship.

Personalised Famous Grouse


It’s like when Coke put people’s names on bottles, only for grown-ups. You’ve probably seen the advert already. Catchy tune, isn’t it.



Literally every boy had a plastic harmonica and your old man probably has a tune or two up his sleeve. This one comes in a vintage-style box, so it looks half decent too.



Debate has raged in The Tab office over what clothing item you should get a dad for Chrimbo. Buy him a tie, he’ll never wear it. Buy him socks, it’s too much of a stereotype. Handkerchiefs are a safe bet and not too expensive. The lairier the better.

Posh dog collar


Kill two birds with one stone by giving a present to your dad for man’s best friend (excuse the clichés). Pimp out your pet with a Pioneros collar.

For your sister

Beyoncé’s secret album


Yer, in the age of t’internet, she’s probably already got it, but Bey’s album’s a good bet. Best to check if sis is into Mrs Carter, but realistically, who isn’t?

Spineless Classics


If she fancies herself as a bit of a literary hipster, give sis her favourite book printed on one poster. They ain’t that cheap, but one of these classics on your wall looks pretty sweet.



It wouldn’t be a gift guide without a jewellery suggestion. These earrings look all right and aren’t that expensive. What more do you want?



So apparently TK Maxx is the place to buy candles? Team them up with some bubble bath and you’ve got the ultimate relaxation kit (don’t make it weird though).

Tartan scarf


A Tab source says “everyone loves tartan” and, as it’s winter, you might as well make it a scarf. This Zara number has the added advantage of two patterns, so if she hates one, you’ve still got a chance.

For your brother

Perfect push-up


Give your bro these press-up handles and he’ll be hosting his own gun show in no time.

Wacky Sox


Literally the best thing to happen to sports apparel since this shirt, Wacky Sox are highly-banterous and very comfy. Yer, the name’s a bit tragic, but the designs are pretty cool.

American sweets


As far as we’re concerned, Christmas is all about eating and drinking as much of the things that’ll kill you as possible. But who wants boring Roses or Quality Street? Get some foreign candies, then make him share them with you.

Scratch-off world map


Brother off on his gap year? The scratch-off world map will let him show off all the amazing places he’s been to. (If his gap year’s going to be working in a pub with a bit of inter-railing on the side, he could just lie.)

Posh cider (or beer)


Booze always goes down well, and if you get enough of it, you could drink a bottle too. Artisan ciders are quirky and taste a hell of a lot better than Strongbow.

Slightly old-skool box set


He’s probably already seen Breaking Bad and is addicted to Homeland, so introduce him to something he knows he should have watched but was too young to get into when it started.