Christmas is always a magical time of year. But all too often, it results in the same pair of socks, bottle of wine or box of panettoni circulating during the annual gift-giving.
Well, not this year!
We understand that choosing gifts can be tricky, especially when Christmas feels like it comes around so quickly each year. But we can help.
To give you some great gift inspiration this festive season, we've created this guide. Below, we'll look at nine unique ideas for gifts you can give your friends and family this year.
1. Bonsai trees
No houseplant collection is complete without a Bonsai tree. So, let's kick start the list with a gift for the plant lover in your life, a beautiful little Bonsai tree that will bring them years of joy. Bonsai trees are thought to bring expansiveness into your life and open up even the smallest spaces, making this a great idea for those with small gardens or perhaps no garden at all.
It is also believed that bonsai trees have many health benefits, including supporting mental well-being and helping to relieve stress. So if you want to bring happiness and positivity to your friends or family, this can be a lovely way to do it.
Not to mention that tending to a bonsai tree can be very therapeutic and a wonderful hobby.
2. Unusual candles
OK, so a candle might not be a unique gift idea. In fact, it's a pretty classic idea. However, we're not suggesting you buy any old candles that you find in the shop. This year, why not opt for something special, like candles that embody the scent of Ireland?
You can also opt for all-natural ingredients, candles shaped like the human form or something personalised.
This shows the recipient that you didn't just make a quick last-minute purchase; you put thought into your gift. But let's face it, who doesn't love a candle? They smell great, look great and can be a real mood booster.
3. Monthly subscriptions
There are loads of exciting subscriptions available nowadays that can bring joy to a loved one throughout the year, whether you sign them up for three, six or twelve months. Firstly, a book subscription is always a winner for the literary lover in your life.
Or, for the foodies among you, there are lots of delicious food and drink boxes you can get delivered, from monthly wine deliveries to cheese and even bacon! So choose the subscription that best suits your loved one and give them a gift that keeps on giving.
4. Eco-conscious beauty products
Help your friends and family turn their bathroom into a spa as they kick back and relax with some luxury beauty products, such as soap and essential oils. But don't settle for the usual chemical-filled shop-bought nonsense! Choose all-natural, eco-conscious products that are better for the body and for the planet.
Better still, select handmade products and support a small business. That way, you know you're getting something truly special to give as a gift. Plus, it will be better for their health and skin.
5. Personalised prints
Framed prints can brighten up a room and are a welcome addition to any home or office. There are lots of wonderful prints to choose from, but why not take it that one step further and get something personalised?
You could have family portraits made, personalised typographic stories of how you met or perhaps a quote or song lyric that means something to the two of you. The options are endless, and this can be a unique gift that a loved one might not have thought to buy themselves.
6. Board and card games
Give your loved one a chance to put down their phone, disconnect from technology and join their friends and family for a game.
There has been a huge boom in the games market recently, and no, we're not talking about the Xbox or PlayStation. There's been a surge in board and card games created for adults as well as families.
So this year, why not choose from the many entertaining games out there? You can keep it classic with Monopoly or Pictionary, or choose something a little different, like Cards Against Humanity or What Do You Meme.
Because what is better than spending some quality time and having a laugh with your family and friends at Christmas?
7. Gratitude journals
Do you have someone in your life that overthinks, worries or might just need to spend a little more time being present? Then we have a perfect present for them.
Gratitude journals encourage people to pay attention to all the good things in their life, particularly the things we normally take for granted.
They can be a great way to become more attuned to the small pleasures, and often they will have space for up to a year (possibly more) of entries. Not to mention that they usually have a beautiful cover and are carefully thought out, making them the perfect gift and a great way to start the New Year.
8. Canvas tote bags
Tote bags have become a lifestyle staple in recent years as we try to reduce plastic waste and become more sustainable. They can also be a great and practical accessory.
Best of all, the boom in the market means there are so many beautiful tote bags out there you can choose from. You can even have these personalised.
Canvas tote bags will never not be handy, and as these are literally a blank canvas, so you can choose something that reflects the person you're gifting this to and something they will want to carry around with pride.
9. Beebombs and hotels
Last on the list we have something for gardeners and nature-lovers. If you know your loved one spends as much time as possible outside, help them to their garden into a sanctuary for the local wildlife.
In particular, you can give them the gift of bees. It might sound a little unusual, but bees are the key to a healthy, happy garden, and they are so important for the planet. So this year, give them a bee hotel where these beautiful creatures can flourish, or help them create a wild meadow with a Beebomb.
This will attract all manner of pollinators to the garden and create a very important and joyful ecosystem.