Newcastle Photographer and Content Creator, Mandy Charlton, Always on a quest for adventure, often seen on buses, trains and planes. On a quest to be happier and healthier. Lives in Newcastle with her 3 cats, Iris, Maggie and Arthur. Loves good vibes, musicals and cakes. Full time professional wedding photographer in the north east of england alongside content creator on Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook

Friday, November 13, 2020

The Ultimate 2020 Christmas Gift Guide

It's November, we're in lockdown but we're still edging ever further forward towards Christmas and if you're at my house, well Christmas is already here and my home is a festive wonderland, today I'm unveiling my ultimate 2020 Christmas gift guide which I started compiling in early September and scouring the internet for the best ideas for your loved ones in Christmas 2020.  Many thanks to all of the companies who have gifted me with their items, some of which will be donated to local charities.

Gifts for foodies

Rubies in the Rubble Christmas Relish Giftset - Christmas isn't Christmas without a panoply of cheese, cold cuts, chutneys and relishes, I'm fairly sure Nigella would approve if you opened these with your boxing day leftovers or your Christmas party tea.

Mermaid Salt Vodka, you may already know of the Isle of Wight distillery which excels at making both the blue and (my personal favourite) pink gins, well this year they've released Mermaid Salt Vodka which is infused with island sea and is described of having a flavour like the subtle kiss of a mermaid and there's no time like Christmas for a kiss under the mistletoe, I'll toast a sip to that.

Christmas is of course also a time for indulging in what I like to call "the good wine" and the lovely people at Independent Wines have premium wine by the bottle full and this year they're keen to tell me that they also have their own gift wrapping service so whether it's a red/white/rose or you'd like to indulge in something deliciously sparkling, that's where I'd go to purchase something lovely.

If ales are your thing then head on over to the independent Park Brewery, a microbrewery, who make stand out ales to be savoured.  They sell pale ales, IPA and my favourite, Isabella (the name of my granny) an American brown ale.  They've also been working with the Friends of Richmond Park to produce Tread Lightly, a pale ale which encourages us to enjoy our local parks but to leave nothing and take nothing.

Blog favourite Willies Cacao who happen to make my all-time favourite hot chocolate have once again excelled themselves to bring a range of the chocolatiest hampers, amazing chocolate gifts as well as a brand new chocolate subscription service, I've actually been working on another article with them which I'll be publishing soon but for now, go check them out and gift your friends (or yourself).

For people that favour a cider over wine, have you checked out Cider is wine, I think we all have one view of what cider is but really, this cider is intended to be savoured just like a good glass of wine they have quite the selection of cases of premium cider

I fell in love with Iberico Jamón on my first visit to Barcelona when you could buy it in a cone as a snack, honestly, pass me a Jamón cone over a cone of chips every single week.  I'm fairly sure that this Bellota Jamón from Cinco Jotas is the best you will ever taste, with an incredibly intense flavour you will remember forever.

Vegan friends popping over at Christmas, Oggs have the loveliest vegan products and as my serious journalistic job is to taste test these goodies, I can tell you from this non-vegan, I absolutely loved the vegan mince pies and a couple of friends also agreed that these are simply just tasty bakes whether vegan or not.

If you love your Nespresso but you're also concerned about the environment I recommend Lost Sheep coffee who's Nespresso compatible pods are all compostable and their coffee is so good, my personal favourite is the funky camper variety and I also love the decaf for those times when I want coffee but I also don't want caffeine.

I absolutely adore this fantastic Highland Cow chopping/serving board from Just Slate, a Scottish made family run company, I've long been a fan of the hairy coo's and saw a few on my recent trip to the Highlands.  Suffice to say this is going to be treasured and one would look great in your favourite foodie's kitchen.

For the gin lover in your life, and who doesn't like gin? Bobby's Schiedam Dry Gin is named after Jacobus Alfons, also known as Bob to friends and family and it contains 8 different botanicals which are all separately distilled, Bobby, you had me at gin!

Gifts for Pets

Forthglade has, as ever made a selection of festive meals for dogs this Christmas and it's only right that our furry four-pawed friends get their own Christmas feast, Holly Bobbins loves Forthglade food although she's currently on a special vet diet so this large pack has gone straight to our local dog shelter so that our local homeless dogs can eat well this Christmas.

Of course, Holly and the cats still deserve a few treats this Christmas and if you're looking for gifts for your pets you'll find something for all of them amongst the brands of Mikki Pet, Nylabone and Pet Love, I already know that she's going to love the flat squeaky badger and I won't end up with any stuffing all over my floor!  Oh and wait until you see Iris with catnip, I actually grow it in the garden for her and she sits on it and won't let anyone else near it!!

If you have a pampered pet like mine you might want to buy them some  top dog grooming products from Sniffle and Likkit, they have everything from Whippet wipes for muddy paws to dry shampoo, you know how stinky beagles can get so these are definitely going to come in handy.

Gifts for those who love their homes

Gus, isn't just a gorilla, he sits on top of a beautiful half bottle of wine made into a candle by Marokka, you only need to buy one lid and then you can get refills of the candle, this one smells of an evergreen forest so it's perfect for Christmas and in buying it you know it's sustainable and good for the planet.

Gifts for music/tech lovers

If you need some power in your life, of the tech variety then you need Juice power, they have everything from chargers to wireless speakers so you can blast those festive tunes and really, don't tell me you're not listening to "Step into Christmas" right now, shame on you if you're not ;)

If you're looking for someone who loves music of a more personal variety then you can't go past something like a pair of Edifier Bluetooth earbuds, I speak with some authority and say if your young adult is at Uni they will really appreciate a pair of these and confirm that they're great for sound too

Gifts for Beauty Lovers

For the beauty lovers in your life, why not get them some luscious lip balms as the ultimate stocking filler from Dr Paw Paw, perfect for the Christmas party season even if it is more of an intimate gathering for one this year!

If you'd love something of the anti-ageing variety I can really recommend the products from Slow Ageing, I don't think anyone would say no to a firmer body whatever age they are and it's a bath that also feels like a treat and smells good too

2020 has been rough and January promises to be a hard month so having something like this Alphagreen rejuvenate bundle in your armoury might just be the best present to yourself or someone you really care about.  I've been using CBD products now for a couple of years and find that they really help me personally, I find they just calm me a little and with the hectic life I lead running 2 busy businesses, a gift like this really is just the ticket.

Gifts for art lovers

For the art lover in your life, please check out Ink and Drop for quirky art prints and canvases they have so many varieties that I just love, this one was going to be for Looby and it's now hanging in my livingroom where she tells me that it definitely looks best!

For Christmas lovers

For lovers of Christmas and quirky gifts you really can't go past Philomena's Boutique, I hear the owner is the queen of Christmas and she's put so much thought into making her online gift boutique a real aladdins cave if beautiful quirky gifts you just won't find anywhere else.

Gifts for Travel Lovers

Okay so 2020 was not the best year for travel but with a coronavirus vaccine on the horizon I don't know about your but I'm already planning next year's travel adventures and a gift like a Red Letter Day's voucher is a great way to start the excitement of planning your next trip!

Educational Gifts for Kids

If you'd like to treat your kids to a fun educational subscription box which comes under the disguise of fun why not get them a year-long subscription to Our Little Globe, this one pictured above teaches kids about Christmas around the world and there are lots of fun activities and crafts which the small people in our lives love to do, just don't be surprised when they give you a Christmas card written in Japanese.

Fun stocking fillers for adults

If the special person in your life likes peanut butter then this must surely be the ultimate gift, Jackpot peanut butter is strictly for the over 18's in your life but there is a non-sweary version,  I just preferred this one as it reminded me of Bruce Willis in Die Hard and no, Die Hard isn't a Christmas movie! 

It's Christmas, why not have yourself a cocktail, you don't even have to purchase ingredients as. they come in their own little pouches, Disco cocktails come from the good people at Ladies and Gents cocktail bar and they're big on taste and low on the effort you have to make them.  Glass, Ice, maybe a flourish and you're good to go!

Gifts that give back

Finally, the good people at Treedom gifted me my own tree,  she's a cacao tree and she's called Mildred, she's in Cameroon and she's helping to offset my carbon footprint and well as being splendid, wonderful and producing cacao, when you gift someone a tree, you're literally helping the planet.



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