Stuck for ideas this Christmas? All out of steam in the shops? Gemma Hayward and Lee Holmes select the best buys for budgets big and small
It's that time of year again when humankind is split into two very distinct groups. The former comprises those who did their Christmas shopping in August and have now only to ponder whether wrapping paper looks better adorned with a classic curly ribbon or a festive sprig of holly.
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The rest of us may be feeling less serene, tearing up and down high streets – and tearing our hair out – completely stumped by the infinite variety of gift sets, limited editions, froth and tat offered up for us to spend our hard-earned cash on this Christmas.
Wouldn't it just be easier if you could buy everyone vouchers?
Enough of this Grinchery; if you have to buy your loved ones something this Christmas, you may as well get them something they'll be grateful for. And there's something out there that will bring a smile to that special someone's face, whatever your budget.
In the olden days, hats, gloves, scarves and socks were the ideal accessories to bestow at this time of year. They still are, but they have evolved – now, you can also buy all manner of socks and scarves for the gadgets in your guy's life, too. A brightly coloured iPad sleeve is the modern equivalent of a jaunty tie.
Add to that the scope nowadays for male vanity and there are any number of manly accessories to choose from – bags, boxers, even a de luxe Paul Smith toothbrush.
There's plenty of choice for the ladies, too, whether you're looking to break the bank or simply get the most bang for your buck. The high street comes into its own, with eye-catching and bold bags and shoes which will come into their own for New Year's Eve but last well beyond that too. Similarly, a cosy knit is for life, not just for Christmas – though some of the sludgy burgundy-ish hues on offer at the moment offer a rather more refined take on the traditional festive jumper. Not a reindeer in sight.
And if all else fails: chocolate. Everyone loves chocolate – almost as much as they love vouchers.