A John Travolta mirror as a Christmas present probably wouldn’t elicit the same whoop of joy at the age of fifty plus as it did at fifteen but for many of us the types of presents we loved at Christmas as teenagers are still welcome as we battle (or sail) though the menopause. Smellies, vouchers, make-up and chocolates are always winners in my book as is a book. Books will always be my favourite present (unless a holiday is on offer but let’s not be greedy). Then there are the grown up lady presents such as candles and scarves which are always lovely but don’t provoke a ‘wow what a surprise!’ response. Here are my ten suggestions for the best Christmas presents for the mature woman (otherwise known as my Christmas list for Santa) followed by five to avoid:
1 Books, especially books which offer to improve my mind, my outlook and my life in general. I already have these in abundance and should be an astute, organised all round perfect individual, alas that’s yet to happen but I love the promise of a new me. The one that did make a difference and galvanised me into training as a fitness instructor was this: The Idea in You: How to Find It, Build It, and Change Your Life: Amazon.co.uk: Amor, Martin, Pellew, Alex: 9780241971390: Books
2 Chocolate but not Thorntons, I am not a Continental woman and I don’t like fancy chocolate. I used to love the chocolates that were presented in boxes with the pictures on. Sadly they don’t seem to be around anymore so Milk Tray or Black Magic please. Reassuringly established and you know what you’re getting (sugar mostly).
3 A course – in anything. Learning something new keeps the brain ticking over and there is a plethora of courses available to buy online. OfCourse have hundreds of reasonably priced courses including soap making, mindfulness and life coaching.
4 A gorgeous notebook. I’m no technophobe but I love a notebook, the fancier the better and I can never have too many. A sparkly pen also reaches the inner teen.
5 Vouchers and book tokens. It’s always lovely to go into a shop or online and be forced to buy yourself something nice Not supermarket vouchers though, yes there is lots of choice and you can buy clothes, make-up, flowers, plants…food. The temptation to reduce the food bill would be too much and that’s not really a present. Amazon vouchers are my favourite online vouchers because I don’t think there is anything you can’t buy from there and and they now do a pretty flower pot gift card to go with it.
6 Flowers, plants, seeds…many of us get the urge to grow things and have flowers in the house when we stop wanting to go to discos. I’ve no idea why. Herb sets are reasonably priced but look like a substantial gift.
7 Outrageous costume jewellery. This is not the same as Statement Jewellery which is for women who all seem to want to make the same statement.
8 Make-up sets. The best Christmas present I ever received was a Mary Quant make up and skin care set when I was fifteen. I’m still fifteen inside and I’d love a great big make up pallet.
9 A holiday. If you’re feeling flush or are married to me then as a Christmas present this wins every time. Anywhere will do, Blackpool or Ibiza. A holiday to anywhere will always make me whoop with joy in the same way that the John Travolta mirror did when I was fifteen.
10 A toilet, a water pump or maybe a cow. Not what you would want as a teenager but as an adult a gift that benefits other people gives a nice warm glow. Charity Gifts | Sustainable Gifts | Send a Cow
Five to avoid
1 Anything beige.
2 Anything leopard print – I’m either too young or too old for leopard print, I can’t decide which but I just don’t like it.
3 Expensive Jewellery (I prefer Claire’s or charity shop unique)
4 A toilet seat. I wasn’t over the moon to receive a toilet seat for a birthday a few years ago, and I don’t want one for Christmas (although I do appreciate that it’s the thought that counts).
5 A joint present that’s really for the Mr. This includes Halfords vouchers, B & Q vouchers or tickets to see a Death Metal band.