How to stay out of the dog house this Christmas


Stay out of the doghouse this Christmas


So, here we are, it’s Christmas Eve, you’re all sorted. Nothing to do but maybe take a nice country walk, pop into the pub for a seasonal beverage, head home and light the fire…

Oh, hold on, what’s that you say? No one told you it’s Christmas tomorrow?

Oh come on, not that old one again. I’ve been writing this blog for years and every time it’s the same There’s always someone still looking for a gift on Christmas Eve, even as the rest of us have started sales shopping.

I mean, I could really just suggest you head out and brave the high street or shopping mall, that it serves you right. But you might find that you’ll fare better to find a great gift for a food lover from home than picking over what’s left on the shelves, and might even have something to show for it on Christmas Day. Here’s some thoughts:


Opening our minds, and appetites, through travel


Go for tickets to something, or somewhere. You could book a full on trip to a great food destination, or even just to something like the Good Food Show. Use your printer, use your crafting skills, get the wrapping paper out and you can still make something of this.


Holiday reading


Take out a magazine subscription for them (even better if you can pop to your nearest convenience store and find the latest edition too). Quite a lot of them are geared up for you to print out cards and things so again, something for their stocking. Slightly harder to wrap, but gives them huge scope, is to take out a subscription for them to Readly. For a food lover this is amazing, as there’s a huge selection of food and drinks mags from around the world.


Afternoon tea and more


Many of the gift experience companies do downloadable vouchers, or again you can get busy with your printer, scissors and glue. Red Letter Days are one of my favourites for their range of “gourmet” experiences, from sushi or chocolate making to vineyard and brewery tours. BuyAGift also have a great range, and an e-voucher option.


My holiday cookbook reading


Steal their Kindle or any other tablet, and load it up with good e-books on food. I’ve written about lots of different books during this year, from the best cookbooks from around the world to cookbooks fit for a Queen, so surely something for everyone and all kinds of tastes.

If they are like me, and the cookbooks are taking over the kitchen and beyond, then give them a subscription to Eat Your Books. It means that they can find any recipe in seconds, as Eat Your Books have done the hard work and indexed every recipe for them. There’s over 1 million recipes listed from a huge number of books, and they might enjoy the setting up as they look at all the lovely books they have just sitting there.

If these are still not quite doing it for you, and you want to give an actual gift, then check out my guide to shopping at St Pancras (other stations are available) or how to do gifts from your local convenience store with style. All of which are better than sitting there tomorrow morning with nothing for your loved one at all.

And no, saying that it’s the thought that counts doesn’t count when you haven’t thought about it! Get to it!


Did you leave it till the last minute again?


Christmas is happening on December 25th. Again.


Honestly, every Christmas Eve it’s the same. Someone wakes up and realises it’s Christmas Day tomorrow.

I know, it’s such a surprise. It’s on the 25th December, shocking.

So, if you want to not be left out in the cold this Christmas Day, then here’s my last minute guides:

In 2014, I flagged some of the downloadable gift cards that you could get to offset your forgetfullness.

In 2013, it was really all about an old Argos ad that showed what the cold blast of Christmas Day with rubbish gifts might feel like!

In 2012, this guide showed lots of ideas for things that could be done from the comfort of your own home, or the pub if they have wifi.

In 2011, I wanted to show that there was all sorts you could do and still have a proper gift ready to be opened on Christmas Day, even by using your local corner store. It really doesn’t have to be naff when done right (generally by stepping away from any left over Christmas gifts).

And hard to believe, given how mild it is currently for most of the UK, in 2010 many of us had a lot of snow by now making it difficult to get out and about. My guide that year definitely covered things that didn’t need you to go much further than you could slide or sledge!

So, these guides should give plenty of options to help you avoid being out in the cold this Christmas. Just remember, as I say most years, Christmas will still be December 25th next year so best get organised.

Photo by Magic Madzik on Flickr.