Last minute gifts

With Christmas almost upon us, Stephanie Smith gives her top tips on what to buy when in a hurry while still ticking the right boxes.


EVEN for the most organised among us, it’s impossible to remember every single Christmas gift for every single deserving person in our life (not to mention the not-so-deserving, who still need buying for).

The good news is, even up until the very last shopping minute on Christmas Eve, you can still track down gifts of all prices that will bring whoops of joy come Christmas morning. Of course, there is no point in shopping online late on in the run-up to Christmas, but it is worth taking a look to see what is still available, because there’s a good chance that it will be in store too.

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Jewellery always goes down well with women, and it doesn’t have to be the expensive variety (welcome although that is).

High Street fashion shops such as Topshop and Dorothy Perkins have some really great fashion-forward pieces, ideal for those who like to make a statement – look for bold and chunky pieces that will work to transform a little black dress or simple silk tee in an instant (edgy twists of chains and strong metallic cuffs are ideal).

For more expensive statement pieces, look to All Saints (VQ Leeds and Meadowhall), Jaeger and Hobbs and then of course there’s Pandora and Thomas Sabo (and here’s a tip for those less than keen to join a long queue in Pandora – there’s a good chance that another jeweller close by stocks the brand, with no queues at all – search online).

Bags are always welcome and always needed, so they make great presents. If you keep the tag on (minus price), it means the bag can be passed on to another recipient if deemed not quite right. Next is brilliant for bags this season, as is River Island.

Then there are gift vouchers. If you know her hair salon, phone them and ask what she usually has done, and then buy a voucher to cover the amount.

A pamper treatment at a nearby (and recommended) beauty spa is another great idea, but just choose a value that will cover the cost of most treatments, rather than pick out a specific treatment itself (the number of women I know who hate massages but love facials, and vice versa, is amazing, and some hate both and would prefer to spend on a couple of manicures and an eyebrow dye and thread).

If you haven’t much to spend, head to Lush for gorgeously scented bath products, while Marks & Spencer has really lovely nail polishes for around the £4 mark. And anything from Bobbi Brown will work for make-up lovers.