London Mums’ ultimate Christmas Gifting Guide in times of cost cutting
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- Tested & Recommended
- Published on Monday, 05 December 2022 11:04
- Last Updated on 13 December 2022
- Monica Costa
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London Mums have put together the ultimate Christmas Gifting guide based on a combination of practicality, usefulness, fun and cost-effectiveness.
Christmas is a magical time for little ones, yet an overwhelming amount of parents admit to feeling the pressure to deliver gifts their children will be pleased with this year. No matter how expensive a present is, it is always precious. Italians say ‘A caval donato non si guarda in bocca’ which literally means ‘You should not look into the mouth of a gifted horse’, i.e. you should not be fussy with regards to presents received. The thought is what counts.
We are aware that particularly toys at Christmas can be a catalyst in bringing families closer together and bring joy and excitement to Christmas morning. This year’s stars includes games for the family, dolls and cheap and cheerful entertainment.
This year, whilst picking the gifts, the London Mums’ testers were mindful in selecting a list that represented value for money with a range of products to suit every parents’ pocket, so every child and family member can experience the magic of Christmas this year.
For the kids: toys and games
Have a rocking good Christmas time in this fast and frantic game of pairs, with a fruity twist. Match by object, colour or number in a race to grab the rocking pear. Ages: 7+
Available from www.camdengames.com
Metal Ride-on Car by Hippychick
This retro inspired classic racing ride-on car will provide hours of fun whilst helping children to develop essential motor and co-ordination skills. London Mums can take advantage of 20% off discount using code LONDON20 at checkout.
Available new and pre-loved from £65
Sleuth board game
On Christmas day instead of going outside to spend money, playing a board game with all family members seems like an excellent idea. Sleuth is great because it is suitable for the whole family. The youngest children can play with mum or dad. Teenagers will definitely love to test their powers of deduction in this solve-it-yourself, who did it game of Sleuth. During a roller-coaster ride aboard the Oriental Express a deadly crime has been committed and players have to step in the detective’s shoes to try and solve the case. I loved playing the role of a famous detective – from Sheerluck Homes to Missing Marbles – as I moved from carriage to carriage (sliding through the board) solving clues to catch the criminal. Warning: be prepared to get addicted to this captivating murder mystery broad again and loose the sense of time. Available for £21.99 from Mulberry Bush.
Barbie is set to be the number one children’s toy of Christmas 2022, leading retail experts have predicted. Barbie, which was first launched in 1959, has experienced a resurgence of popularity amongst youngsters in recent years.
And with hype building around the upcoming Barbie movie starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling – London Mums predict Barbie-mania will reach fever pitch this Christmas. Between 2011 and 2015, the Barbie brand was losing popularity, with the toy’s appeal waning and its image viewed as outdated. But when the Barbie Fashionista line was updated with dolls of different shapes, sizes, body types, skin colour, and hair colour, Mattel, the company behind Barbie, began seeing a change in fortune. Barbie is an iconic toy, which has kept multiple generations entertained. Although the doll fell out of favour with children in the 2010s, recently Barbie has seen a surge in popularity, and toy trends insight points towards her topping the 2022 Christmas toy charts.
In early 2023, a movie adaptation directed by Greta Gerwig is set to be released, and experts believe anticipation and excitement for the movie will further amplify the doll’s popularity this Christmas. The closer we get to the film’s release, the more hype is going to build. And not only Barbie dolls are selling well, but also accessories, such as the Barbie 3-in-1 Dream Camper, Scooter, travel accessories.
Barbie® Scooter Doll
Perfect gift all year round, this classic Barbie doll wearing fashion and stylish accessories on a pink and white vehicle includes a kickstand, a basket on back and wheels that roll. RRP £14.99
Available from www.bmstores.co.uk
Barbie® Gym Playset
Barbie Gymnast Playset includes a gymnastic training environment featuring the Barbie Gymnast doll in a colourful metallic leotard. She also comes with an extra outfit, a warmup suit, shoes, towel, snacks and a gym bag.
Available from www.bmstores.co.uk
Travel Barbie® & Accessories
Barbie doll can take her puppy, a pink suitcase, and young dreamers, around the world with this travel-themed set. It comes with so many pieces to help imaginations take off.
Available from www.bmstores.co.uk
Fairy lights for the Christmas host
BM stores sell fabulous fairy lights that don’t cost a fortune. I have decided that I won’t take them down this year. Fairy lights make me happy and I want to see them in my house all year long. Here are my favourite ones.
Tickets for shows and other entertainment
Fun fairs in London over Christmas
London Mums’ favourite fun fairs in London are listed here.
Christmas Village Fayre at Lower Hampstead Heath – Family festive rides and attractions until 3rd January 2023 Open Daily 11am-7pm – FREE ENTRY.
FAIRLOP Winter Village – Skating on Real Ice until 2 January 2023.
For the Musical learners
Fender Play (£19.49/month or £144.99/year)
For those that want to pick up a new musical skill over the holidays, Fender Play has you covered. A complete online learning platform for guitar, bass and ukulele with engaging step-by-step tutorials, with personalised learning journeys and 100s of songs to choose from. Join the Fender community where you can watch live lessons and chat with other players plus, subscriptions come with 10% off Fender guitars, amps and gear.
For the new mum and baby
Baby Brezza Food Maker Deluxe
Here’s the best kitchen tool to make homemade baby food and any family food that requires steaming and chopping. The combo of steam and blend functionalities is very practical. I made some broccoli pure and stored it in the freezer to use in soups and ‘pasta coi broccoli’. The Baby Brezza One Step Food Maker Deluxe includes all the tools needed to make, serve and store healthy flavourful meals for the family, all from scratch.
The great thing about it is that you don’t need to transfer foods while cooking, the One Step Process automatically steams and blends food in the same bowl. Saving time and energy, the machine makes 3.5 cups of baby food in under 10 minutes! It Prepares food to the perfect consistency with the 3-in-1 functionality: ‘Steam and Blend’, ‘Steam Only’ and ‘Blend Only’. This flexibility saves parents the cost of store brought ready meals. The 800g bowl capacity works great for single portions and large preparation, with 3 reusable baby food pouches for feeding and storage included. Everything is fully accessible for straightforward cleaning. The Bowl and Blade are dishwasher safe. After completing your baby’s weaning journey with the help of the included weaning guide with flavourful recipes and expert advice, the machine is great for non-baby foods too. RRP £159.00
Bag insert / organiser by The Nappy Society
Turning Stylish Designer Totes into Organised Baby Bags
Do you know how many times I cannot find things in my bag every day? I love large bags but they are nightmarish… Not only that, but I change handbag with every outfit so swapping all single items is so time consuming.
The product I have always waited for is a bag insert, a a genius product created by The Nappy Society for new mothers but equally great for any woman. Being a new mum or even the mother of a teenager doesn’t mean you have to lose your sense of style. With the clever Baby Bag Insert, you can go from fashionista to super organised mama without losing your chic. You can now take everything that you need on the go in your favourite designer tote. Creating clever compartments in your existing favourite tote bag, these products are designed to enhance your existing accessories by turning the fashionable into functional. So mama, what’s in that bag? Imagine everything you need right at your fingertips and organised without it rattling around in the bottom of your tote. Keys, phone, purse, nappies, and all of baby’s bits to hand and neatly kept in their own little pockets. All whilst keeping your pride and joy (well, second to your little one) beautiful and free from staining on the interior lining. I know! It’s the dream, right?
The Baby Bag Insert is made from durable yet lightweight coated cotton canvas. It is available in two colours and sizes to suit virtually any tote bag and style. Each organised insert features separate compartments, including five hidden pockets and two insulated bottle pockets. The ideal alternative to traditional changing bags, simply choose your insert to fit your tote and you’re ready to go.
The great thing about the Cot Organiser by mokee is that once the baby grows out of the cot, you can keep using this to organise the kids’ room or, like me, your collection of sunglasses. Ha Ha!
These baskets look amazing in any room. For laundry or anything else, really.
The smell of seagrass is so natural and reverberates around the room.
If feels like being on a meadow.
New Baby Gift and Parents Treat Hamper
£35 from www.lottieshaws.co.uk
The hamper includes:
- A super soft bunny toy – Choose from a beautiful soft bunny or bunny soother, the perfect gift for a baby. Lottie Shaw’s soft toys are designed by a local Yorkshire company and meet all the soft toy UK standards.
- Gift tube filled with Shortbread Hearts, baked with butter and sprinkled with sugar. There are 8 biscuits in the tube.
- Box of Ginger and Chocolate Biscuits. Baked to Lottie Shaw’s parkin biscuit recipe with chocolate chips. Winner of a Great Taste Award.
- The yummiest Large Millionaire Shortbread! That won’t last until Christmas. It is baked with an all butter shortbread base which is then smothered in caramel and Belgian chocolate. Cuts into 4 large slices
- Oat Flapjack. Our oat flapjack is baked with rolled oats to our family recipe.
- Chocolate Chip Flapjack, baked with rolled oats and lots of Belgian Chocolate chips.
Grohanger, a World First in the Wardrobe
Grohanger is a revolutionary fashion accessory that grows with your clothes and will eliminate hangers ending up in landfill. Not only super practical but also good for the environment. I wish they existed when my son was a baby. Grohanger, the original extendable hanger is back and better than ever, now unveiling a world first hanger that grows to fit any garment from baby to adult sizes!
Saving parents 20% of the cost and 60% of the CO2 emissions compared to the equivalent standard hangers, the truly sustainable design quite literally grows with the family, saving time and money, as well as the planet. The innovative hangers which are designed in Britain and made from 100% recycled certified polypropylene, grow to fit every garment, and promise lifetime use. Grohangers not only eliminate the need to buy hangers again, but they also create ZERO waste. With 10 billion hangers produced each year, only 12% are recycled or reused leaving almost 90% as waste. Baby and kid’s hangers are the worst culprit as they are constantly outgrown, with Grohanger this waste could be completely eradicated. From the tiniest newborn outfit, to a toddler’s t-shirt, a teenager’s jumper or adult trousers – the Grohanger’s unique arms extend from 27cm to 41cm – and with the handy clips, unique extending trouser bar and jaw feature for bottom’s, they can literally hang ANY type of clothing without having to hunt around for the right hanger. Truly versatile, when the next size is needed you simply pull the arms to adjust and it’s just as easy to push them back to make the hanger smaller – voila, baby hangers ready again for the next generation!
RRP: £21.99 | Stockist: https://www.grohanger.com
Breastfeeding Clothes From Juno Jack’s
Juno Jack’s has to be the brand behind some of the best breastfeeding friendly clothing. The new breastfeeding friendly dresses have both stylish yet practical solutions to feeding throughout the year. Thanks to the genius hidden zips, mums can nurse with ease, whilst looking great too.
The standout animal print in the super cute Freya is set to be a sure-fire hit. Available in a versatile grey with black leopard print detailing, it’s ideal for dressing up on an evening party, or dressing down event. Featuring Juno Jack’s trademark hidden zip for nursing access with ease, anywhere! Juno Jack’s is also launching beautiful Bella, a longer, floral dress to ensure Mum’s are covered no matter what their style preferences.
Freya Dress |?RRP: £38.99?https://junojacks.co.uk??
For the lovers of cosy family nights
Winter sleeping bag by Slumbersac
Winter sleeping bag for babies and toddlers ensure safe sleep even at low temperatures but is breathable at the same time. London Mums can take advantage of 10% off winter sleeping bags when you spend over £40 using code LONDON10 at checkout.
Available at www.slumbersac.co.uk
Winter Fun Adult Pyjamas
I am not a winter person so I try to make my home and life indoor as cosy as I can. Starting with snuggly pjs. This Christmas, the London Mums team have tried Polarn O Pyret matching pjs for the family. Not only we love the luxurious softness of their fabric but also the new styles such as this heart print adult pyjamas. Polarn soft organic cotton always looks like new even after lots of washing.
It will come handy to watch lots of Christmas movies. Their label GOTS Organic means that every step of the supply chain is checked, from organic cotton to the end product, where cultivation has less impact on our planet and the people who grow cotton. Most of the Polarn ranges include matching baby & kid’s pyjamas which will make festive photos decent even if you are staying in pj all day.
My son and I recently tried funky skeleton-shaped matching PJs by Very.co.uk when we visited family over Halloween. My mother (my son Diego’s grandmother) even got scared when she saw us looking like skeletons. Ha ha!
For the lovers of useful gifts
No more old pants from the back of the drawer – update your period wear with these super comfy pants. They’re washable, reusable and sexy with a snug fit and soft feel. They’re as comfy as your normal pants.
Available from www.bodyform.co.uk
Ladies Hiker casual ankle boots BY LANDROVER
Car manufacturer Landrover has designed an exclusive range of hiking boots for Deichmann for the whole family. Walking shoes need to be comfortable, durable and strong enough so that you can walk, climb and hike through other harsh conditions. Great gift for active parents and children.
Family First Aid is in the Bag with Must Have Kits
Mini First Aid, best known for delivering multi-award-winning first aid classes to the nation through its 70 strong franchises, has launched a new large family first aid kit to keep at home or in the car including 115 items from essentials to extras (foil blankets, gloves, a digital thermometer, a cold pack, and a resuscitation shield).
Crane 2.0 4-in-1 Humidifier with Sound Machine
This thoughtfully designed humidifier safely releases moisture into the air. Super stylish and easy to clean, the whisper quiet 4-in-1 humidifier features an ultrasonic cooling mist, 3 soothing sounds, an aroma tray to enhance relaxation and an optional nightlight.
Available at www.cheekyrascals.co.uk
The LYT 500ml Bottle £49.99 from ZeroWater.com
This bottle has a powerful ultraviolet light is your family’s new favourite tech! Built right into the cap, hard-working rays are on the same wavelength as the UV used to sanitise operating theatres and water treatment plants. These UV-C rays destroy various micro-organisms in your drinking water. Third-Party tested to kill 99.9% of e-coli in your water. The LYT bottle cap stops odours from breeding inside your water bottle. EVERY HOUR, powerful UV rays in the cap automatically activate, keeping your bottle fresh and clean keeping odour and everyday funk away from the bottle.
For the keen Instagrammer who want to make live streaming a breeze!
Thumbs Up Vlogging Light
This flexible LED light is the ideal tool for London Mums to get the best shots for vlogging, streaming, selfies and even Zoom calls. Allowing hands-free filming it has three light settings for complete control and tone. It is portable, compact and USB powered with a large clip to fix securely onto most surfaces.
RRP £19.99 from ASOS
Quirky and cool gifts for teens and parents
Guitar-Shaped Multi-Tool by Kikkerland
A pocket tool for your favorite strummer who likes to be prepared for anything. Made of beechwood and stainless steel, it holds 4 versatile tools: a screwdriver, Phillips screwdriver, bottle opener, and knife. 3½” x 1”. This little gadget is super cute and ideal for every day purpose. It’s the ideal stocking filler for hands-on dads!
Dobble: Friends is a small and handy family game to bring your Friends together and get re-energised after Christmas lunch. The game is based on the popular TV sitcom Friends.
Dobble Friends is the latest addition to the already popular fast-paced a and world-famous card game, Dobble including Dobble Harry Potter, Star Wars, Disney Princess, Pixar, Dobble Marvel and many more.
The game includes all the iconic show’s characters Rachel, Phoebe, Monica,Chandler, Joey and Ross, as well as classic features like the half the chicken and the duck, a smelly cat, the Central Perk logo, the English trifle half shepherd’s pie and the famous purple door of course. You need to be the fastest to match all the symbols to proclaim yourself Friend’s biggest fan and win. Playing this game will bring back hilarious memories. A famous fan of this game is TV presenter Holly Willoughby. It requires observation and speed. The goal is very simple: spot the only common symbol between two cards and name it. In this new version of the game, you get to join a team. Two teams compete at the same time through five new challenges inspired by the series. The goal of the game depends on the challenge you choose, but you will have to be quick and attentive to find the most common symbols before your opponents and win. This game, accessible from 6 years old, allows you to have a great time with family or friends. With its small size and tin box, you can easily take it everywhere. Choose a challenge, form two teams and play the game. Get it from https://www.asmodee.co.uk/
Pocket Money gifts – Stocking fillers
Golf In A Tin, £13 from Kikkerland – Retro inspired golf game. Includes: 2 clubs and balls, 9 holes
Kobe Hiking Kit, £15 from Kikkerland – All you need for a great hiking experience with your best friend.
Mini Celebrations Kit, £7 from Kikkerland – Once you have your hands on this adorable kit, you’ve got everything you’ll ever need to celebrate life’s little successes. This nifty little tin contains 2 party blowers, multicolor confetti, and a book of fun toasts. Small and convenient to bring around with you in your bag and when you’re travelling.
Gentlemans Beard Tin, £13.50 from Kikkerland – Keep those good looks going anytime, anywhere – with Gentleman’s Beard Tin. You’re on the go, whether it’s work or play and Gentleman’s Beard Tin has all you need to keep you looking dapper 24/7. With its stainless steel trimming scissors, 10 ml of beard oil, and double-sided pear wood comb, you’ll have all you need for grooming in a reusable tin.
Pop Culture Trivia Game, £6.50 from Kikkerland – Great conversation starter. These questions will trigger movie memories! 50 Pop Culture trivia question in a tin.
Sports Trivia Game, £6.50 from Kikkerland – Fun for the whole family! Test your knowledge of many different sports. 50 trivia questions about different sports.
Gamer Trivia Tin, £6.50 from Kikkerland – 50 Trivia questions in a tin. Perfect for on the go.
Travel Trivia Game, £6.50 from Kikkerland – Where have you been lately? Remember where you have been and think about where you want to go next. 50 questions about world travel.
Movies Trivia Game, £6.50 from Kikkerland – What do you know about the big screen? These questions will trigger some movie memories. 50 trivia questions about movies.
Dog Spa Kit, £14.99 from Prezzybox – Pamper your pooch with this spa kit.
Dog Birthday Kit, £10 from Kikkerland – Celebrate the birthday of your best friend in style and make him feel special. Bake a cookie, put on the party head and decorate the room!
On The Go magnetic Shapes Play, £13 from Kikkerland – Ideal for on-the-go, use the magnetic shapes on the inside of the tin to build the images on the cards and much more!
On The Go Matching Memory Game, £10 from Kikkerland – Ideal for on-the-go, take turns to turn over the animal cards to see if you get a match.
On The Go 3 in 1 Tiddlywinks, £10 from Kikkerland – Ideal for on-the-go, this classic game will entertain and bring big bear smiles to the whole family.
On-The-Go Games, £10 from RNLI – On-The-Go Games is a handy travel-sized partner for your holidays. With playing cards, dice and score cards, you can play all your favourites just with this handy little pack. As well as traditional card games, the pack includes instructions on how to play Chicago, Going to Boston, and Midnight.
The classic gifts that will build lasting memories for chidren by parents
– based on London Mums’ survey:
- Lego (51%)
- Barbie doll (47%)
- Board games (34%)
- Puzzles and jigsaws (27%)
- Bike (33%)
- Football (33%)
- Cuddly toy / teddy (30%)
- Doll’s house (24%)
- Rubik’s cube (21%)
- Toy kitchen (20%)
Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums