I have to say, this Christmas was a good one. The day was quiet, relatively calm and just all around pleasant. To be honest, my own build up to Christmas was far from the magical journey that I would've wished for and included stress, a lot of work hours, less money, and the most disastrous Blogmas to ever grace your feed (or not). Nevertheless, Christmas day made it worth it. Apart from, what I actually believe to be, the best Christmas Dinner yet and the lovely time spent with family, there were some lovely gifts that were given to me and by me that are still hovering on my mind.

This may sound a little different but, in my family, a handful of our gifts every year are actually chosen outright by ourselves and given to the gifter to wrap up and give back in a few weeks time. You're probably thinking 'wooooahhh, but where is the element of surprise?'. And yes, you're right, I guess there isn't one but we do understand that it can sometimes save a waste of money and it doesn't make me less excited. Keep reading... you'll understand.

One of the first gifts that I was given in the sweet hour of 9AM on Christmas morning (despite being excitedly awake since 7AM, heh) was the Dot Creates Premium Blog Planner. As soon as I was contacted to help with the 'market research' of this blog planner a few months back, I knew that the final product was going to be something special. Danielle, the lovely lady behind Dot Creates, very kindly offered a discount code for the Planner to anyone who had helped along the way. As these planners were so luxurious, they came with a reflective price so, I just knew, this was going to have to be something for my list to Santa. Luckily, my boyfriend, Jamie, not-at-all-sneakily got me a planner and I didn't get to see it in the flesh until December 25th. So there was definitely an element of surprise and awe. This planner looks like it's going to be worth the wait and I can't wait to get using it in the New Year.

You may or may not know but, this year, I was lucky enough to get a Christmas job at my local Superdrug store. It's actually been such a great experience for me and I have worked pretty hard. One of the amazing benefits that came with the job at Superdrug is 30% Staff Discount on Superdrug exclusives. Because of this, I was able to gift my sister an amazing set of 10 Makeup Revolution eyeshadow palettes for just £21! Also, when heading to work on Boxing Day, I got to check out some of the amazing discounted Makeup Revolution Gift sets and managed to get the 12 Days of Christmas set for under £15. The box contains 12 different full sized products; from miniature brushes, primers, blush pallets and eyeshadow sets and was worth £80. My sister and I did a little swap-shop with some eyeshadows and products from the box that I wouldn't use as much. I think it's fair to say, I'm officially sorted for makeup.

Along with that family time this Christmas, this year I decided to put something together that would really highlight the whole 'family spirit' of Christmas. With the help of my sister, I created a scrapbook full of photographs and memories of our time with our Grandma and Grandad over the years. It took me a few days to make and including lots of glueing and sticking, washi taping, and cutting out. Then, when I gave it to them on Christmas day, there were tears, laughter, and so many high emotions. Everyone loved it and the hard work felt so worth it.

Another gift that I gave this year, that I was really happy with, was a Fitbit Alta to my Dad. Jamie and I put together when the Black Friday sales were up and running and decided to get him something that he'd mentioned a few times before. The deal that we got was excellent and the general appearance and performance of the gadget is brilliant. Dad is really happy with it - I'm delighted.

For Mum, my Sister popped into Aesop while she was still home in London and picked up a Hand Balm. Mum had hinted on about having a hand cream for a few weeks before Christmas but she did not expect that little bit more luxury. The Aesop hand creams come in gorgeous metal tubes, packed in a canvas bag and, obviously, smell lush. The one that we gifted this year was the Resurrection Aromatique scent, a blend of Mandarin and Rosemary. I would describe it as the perfect bedtime scent - suitable for relaxation and settling down.

Another one of those gifts that I knew about, but didn't actually get to receive and hold in my hands until Christmas Day was the Veil Cover Cream. Since the event in September where Veil Cover Cream was promoting their products, I knew that this specialist foundation would be perfect for my skin. I tried the samples and worked out my shade then finally decided to get my very own small tub of the stuff. I'm so excited to get using it and plan on checking back in sometime next year to discuss how it goes.

I was extremely lucky to be given this Penhaligon's fragrance by my parents for Christmas (again, I chose it out). My Mum and I both got one each of different scents because, in the York Outlet Penhaligon's store, they had an amazing deal of 2 bottles for £100. My first Penhaligon's fragrance that I bought a few years ago was the Elizabethan Rose and was pretty much just like pure rose water. Now, hold up, you may be thinking A) I've never heard of this brand before, and B) Woah that's a lot of money (or C) 'Ew Rose is for old women' which, by the way, I don't care about - I bloody love the smell of rose). The reason why you may not have heard of this brand before is that they're a pretty modest brand despite their Double Royal Appointment badges and how they date right back to 1870.  Oh, and B), the £50 a bottle is amazing because your typical 100ml bottle of perfume would be £50-£70 and, I have to say, the lasting time and strength of these perfumes are unlike any other.
Anyhow... About a year ago, I discovered that Elizabethan Rose had been discontinued so, after a short weep in a dark, lonely corner, I decided that I actually wanted to broaden my horizons. Now, forgive me, the fragrance that I chose is hardly the polar opposite of a rose scent; it's still as 'girly' as can be, fresh and floral, but 100% me. Its name is Zizonia and I have completely fallen in love with it!

Now, last but not least, my Uncle remained with tradition and bought me some books this year (he's a language teacher, it's his thanggg). However, while it's usually fiction, either my little list of want-to-read's or his personal choices, this year I decided that, as I'm going to Uni to study English Language in September and I've had a break from it, I thought it would be a wise idea to ask for a few books that could help re-jog my memory and get me back into the right mindset. Nevertheless, he delivered with some fabulous books and, because of his own passion for language, we were both very eager and delighted with them. I am so excited to get reading them across the year. Let me know if you'd like me to show them in another post for a bit more detail.

As you can imagine, there were many more gifts on my list of giving and be given that I adore; this is just a handful. I am so grateful for everything I have received, I truly feel so lucky.

What were your gifting highlights this Christmas?


  1. That note book is super cute!! So glad to see you had a fabulous Christmas!
    a life of a charlotte

  2. This post is written so well, I love how you gave an insight in not only what you recived, but also what you gifted <3

    Lots of love,
    Agnese | www.agnesehadebe.com

    1. Thank you so much - I wasn't sure how the twist would go down but I'm really happy that you enjoyed it x

  3. That's such an interesting way of doing Christmas - I love it! I love giving people gifts, but would much rather know that it's something they really do want.

    Love Polly | www.pollymaisiexo.com

  4. That notebook is so cute, lovely post x https://candlesandfairylights.wordpress.com



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