Girl Talk’s Holiday Gift Guide: For the Family

By Emilia Santos Thomas

So you’ve got two more days til the parents come to pick you up and you suddenly realise you don’t have any gifts to hide at the bottom of your suitcase? Mum’s already talking about how early you’re going to have to get up to go to the grandparents on Christmas Day? First candle about to be lit on the menorah and you’ve got absolutely no gift ideas?

Do not fear, Girl Talk’s got your back! 

For the siblings

Ah, the sibling! The ultimate contradiction! The person you most love and most hate, the person you know the best and simultaneously not at all. What do they like again? If cold, hard cash isn’t an option for you, here are some ideas:

Duplicate their favourite item in your wardrobe

Sibling always stealing your clothes? Whether it’s your favourite jumper or that really cool ring, why not get them a duplicate so you never again find out, 10 minutes late, that your pre-planned, super-cool outfit is ruined by thievery!

Inside joke present 

Got an inside joke from when you were younger, undamaged and actually got on with your sibling? Why not remind them of those good times? Whether it’s a movie, album, or Wii game, they’re sure to appreciate it. If it’s something visual, why not put it on a custom t-shirt? Maybe it’ll even lead to one of those long, rare talks in the kitchen.

Prank present 

You knew it was coming! Keep the sibling love alive with a good prank present – you’ll know what will really get them, but here’s a website for some inspiration. 

The parents 

Parents are the easy ones. They have to like anything you give them. So you could keep giving them the old-faithful homemade card and voucher combo you’ve been doing since age five, or…

Do them a big favour 

Okay, maybe this is slightly like that voucher booklet you gave them when you were 10, but I promise they’ll appreciate it. You know that task or thing they’ve been saying they’ll do for a year? (normally something for themselves!) Just do it! I promise it’ll be a weight off their shoulders and they’ll love you for it.  

Coffee maker or fancy cafetiere 

Good coffee in the morning makes everything a little more bearable and will be in serious demand after all the holiday celebrations. Treat your parents (and you a little too, let’s be honest) to a good cup of joe and they’ll thank you every time they take a sip – could come in handy in the future!

(Alternatively, if they’re already up to date on coffee technology or you don’t want to break the bank – get them a frother! It truly elevates any coffee experience.) 

Massage gun or neck and back massager

Has looking after you all these years been a massive pain in their … neck? Gift your very deserving parents a relaxing solution to your (and their) problems, because god knows you’re not going anywhere!

The grandparents 

Aww, your sweet, sweet grandma and grandpa! They may have been getting you the same socks and pyjama set from M&S for the past 10 years, but you can still switch it up for them, no? 

Start a new board game tradition!

I don’t know about you, but my grandma absolutely loves her Rummikub. The holidays are the time for family, so why don’t you buy a new board game and agree to play 3, 4, no maybe 5 rounds with her? 

Family Cookbook 

Did grandma make that amazing gravy again? Want to know the secret ingredient to those fabulous cookies? Start a family cookbook – either buy a dedicated book like this one or save on cash and just get yourself a large notebook to start adding to. You can spend nights round the fire putting it all together!

Personalised jigsaw puzzle 

Similar to the board games, the holidays are the time to gather round the table and argue with the family about which puzzle piece goes where! Make it just a little more personal as they argue over where to place your earlobe. This is something that could even be framed later, after all the arguing is done of course – a two in one gift!

The (nearly) in-laws 

Have you and your partner had a really good year? Spending a couple of days over theirs at the holiday? Get in their parents’ good books! 

Seasonal Wreath

‘Tis the season to be insanely nervous about walking through that door! Why not get them a wreath to decorate it? You can go classy and give them a premade one, or bring a DIY one and find a way to fill another evening of awkward chat.

Voucher to their fave local restaurant

Shows you’ve been listening and gets them out of the house? Perfect! For those final days when it’s all getting a little bit grating, give you and them a break by suggesting they use up your gift and have a night out. 

Fancy candle 

Make sure the thought of you lingers in that house, days after you’re gone! A candle is always a safe bet, especially the fanciest ones from anthropology. I have it on good authority that the cheap ones with cringy names from M&S are really good too. 

For the family member you barely know (who hasn’t seen you since you were this tall!)

Cambridge Merch (classic)

Do they know you go to Cambridge? Make sure they remember for the next time they see you (in 8 to 10 years). King’s parade has everything you need, so you can fit it in with your people-watching Nero visit. Pop into Ryder & Amies or the King’s Visitor Shop to look at everything from socks to branded alcohol. 

Reusable travel cup 

They must live very far away for how little you see them. Make their journey easier and do a little for the planet with a reusable travel mug. Perhaps the most universal gift – everyone drinks, right? This one is my personal favourite. 

Family Conversation Cards 

Forgotten their name? Where they live? Why not use these conversation cards to ask all the questions you’ve been dying to ask, but politely. Please, please, please check that these are family -friendly cards before you buy – I will not be blamed if you ask your great aunt twice removed the last time she went skinny dipping. 

Got a special someone in your life but haven’t gotten them a special something yet?

Next up we have Girl Talk’s Holiday Gift Guide for your partner!

Happy Gifting xoxo

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