Christmas is all about giving and receiving gifts. They say it’s better to give than receive and we agree, but sometimes it’s hard to find the right gift. We asked Jemima Forbes to do a bit of Christmas shopping. This is what she found.
Gifts For Him
May Christmas Be With You
This may seem like a slightly geeky choice of present for many, however the much anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens film coming to cinemas this Christmas has brought on a bout of embarrassingly high-pitched excitement among many grown men. You may know a full-fledged fanatic or a closet fan who would appreciate the array of Star Wars themed products available at Star Wars Man in Affleck’s. Choose a figurine of their favourite character or challenge them to recreate the Death Star. Magma also has some amazing Star Wars themed books and Fred Aldous are selling a selection of starship model making kits for the more creative follower.
We Wish You A Beardy Christmas
While Movember may be well and truly over by Christmas, why not continue the trend of clipped moustaches and rugged beards in your kitchen? This selection of beard themed plates, mugs and egg cups from Oklahoma are a quirky and useful gift for any male that may just entice them to make breakfast in bed more often and bring a smile to everyone’s face on a gloomy Monday morning.
Jingle Bell Rock
Manchester was and still is a hub for world class musical acts as well as less well known incredible talents. We all know one man who lives and breathes music and would definitely appreciate a melodious gift. Check out Panic Posters in Affleck’s for a broad range of album artwork, posters and other memorabilia or have a peak in Oklahoma for musical related stocking fillers like guitar shaped ice moulds and record shaped coasters.
Know a man who is already planning their next summer holiday or constantly dreams about future trips to faraway places? Help their intrepid explorations become more visual with a 3D cork globe from Oklahoma, a decorative gift that allows them to place coloured pins in countries they have been to or would like to discover. Fred Aldous also stock a 3D scratch globe or if you are more of a home bird, check out Pencil Me In’s Manchester doodle street map.
Gifts for Her
All I Want For Christmas Is Fashion!
For all the fashionistas out there, here are some stylish and trend setting gift ideas that are a little different from the average store gift card. Head on down to Magma for some fantastic books such as the Flip Fashion Designer that allows you to mix and match designer outfits, and don’t forget to browse their great selection of global fashion magazines. If you know someone who loves jewellery, take a peek at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art gift shop for bespoke handmade pieces and don’t forget to check out Fred Aldous for impressive DIY craft kits for the more creative fashion guru.
Have Yourself a Personalised Christmas
Personalised gifts have become a popular service of many stores over the last few years. Personalisation give items an extra touch of Christmas sparkle and are the ideal way of giving luxury gifts the extra wow factor. On the 12th and 13th December, the Manchester UGG store will be offering a bespoke and complimentary monogramming service on their iconic Classic boots so ladies can flaunt their new one-of-a-kind super soft shoes. Selfridges are also offering a range of personalised items from bespoke Chanel perfume at the Exchange Square beauty department to Nutella jars with your name on the label.
Handmade natural soap and bath products are a lovely and aromatic gift for any woman. Soapy J in Affleck’s have a great range of vegan handmade soaps, bath bombs and cosmetics in varying vibrant colours and shapes. We especially like their cake shaped soaps that almost look good enough to eat! Similarly, Fig and Sparrow sell a selection of handmade soaps with some amazing and tempting scents.
Christmas time is the season of parties and get togethers with friends and family alike so why not get the celebration off to a flying start with a cocktail set from Oklahoma. From pina coladas to champagne cocktails, these sets will make any lady the sophisticated life and soul of the party. Magma also have a great range of drink related gifts such as cocktail themed tea towels, Carry On cocktail kits and a gin making set for those who like the occasional G&T.
For many of us, trying to find the right present for the right person on Christmas morning is nearly impossible when they are all wrapped identically underneath the tree. For those women who like to get a bit inventive and make a gift look amazing on the outside too, why not invest in some quirky and creative Christmas wrapping paper from Oklahoma? Alternatively, check out Fred Aldous for a selection of crafts for the perfect Christmas gift box or bow embellishment. This is equally a lovely and more personal way of making gifts for the ladies in your life more special during the festive season.
Gifts for Foodies
Christmas Time, Macarons and Wine
Looking for the perfect gift for someone with a sweet tooth? Take a look at Baked With Love MCR, a family run artisan bakery in Whitefield that specialises in creating delectable and delicate French macarons. These treats are gluten free and their bright colours are completely devoid of artificial colours and flavourings. Order them online or catch the Baked With Love MCR team at Spinningfields Christmas market every Friday until Christmas.
Rockin’ Around the Coffee Pot
Slow Brew Club are a new addition to Manchester’s coffee market and the company greatly values flavours, origins, processes and aromas of the coffee drinking ritual. Their coffee beans are sourced from Tanzania to El Salvador and roasted right here in Manchester! They are also developing a range of special coffee cups designed to give you the best aromas and flavours when drinking your brew. A great gift idea for a coffee lover and a fantastic way to support a local Manchester brand, Slow Brew Club’s coffee is currently only sold online but the company is aiming to sell in pop-up shops and retail outlets in the New Year.
For quality ales and beers, head to Beermoth in the Northern Quarter. This independent shop has been supplying Manchester beer lovers with an evolving selection of specialty brews for over two years and continues to source bottles from the world’s best breweries. Purchase a selection of bottles for a present or gift someone a session at one of their Saturday beer talks and tasting tutorials.
Jingle Bell Kitchen
For the foodie who thinks they have everything kitchen related, take a look at some of the quirky gifts available around Manchester. From a Humpty Dumpty egg and soldiers set to a cat-shaped egg mould available at Oklahoma, a precision chopping board at Manchester Science Museum Shop to Christmas leftovers recipe cards at the Chinese Centre of Contemporary Art shop, Manchester is just bursting with foodie Christmas spirit.
Gifts for Cyclists
Cycling is Coming to Town
Cycling is becoming more and more popular in Manchester so you probably know a cyclist even if you are not yet one yourself. A healthy and cheap way to get around, we all fantasise about cycling on the sunny French Riviera but rainy Manchester will have to do for now. For cycling enthusiasts or those thinking about buying their first bike, why not choose from an amazing selection of cycling themed presents? From fantastic art work in Pencil Me In, Magma’s selection of cycling books and trump cards or an innovative bicycle wine holder from Oklahoma, the choices are endless.
Affleck’s, 52 Church St
Magma, 22 Oldham St
Fred Aldous, 37 Lever St
Oklahoma, 74-76 High St
Pencil Me In, 189 Chapel St
Chinese Centre of Contemporary Art Shop, 13 Thomas St
Beermoth, 70 Tib St
Fig and Sparrow, 20 Oldham St
Manchester Science Museum Shop, Liverpool Rd