lifestyle

CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE: LAST MINUTE GIFTS

The house is covered in lights and festive decor, the turkey’s been ordered and the presents are wrapped under the tree… or are they?  If you’re still got a few awkward family members or unexpected guests to find gifts for, and few pennies left to spare, there’s no need to panic!  Today I’ve got a few last minute Christmas gift ideas to share with you; and the best bit? You can whip them up in next to no time with things you probably already have in your kitchen and if not, a quick visit to the supermarket will do the job (without battling the last minute shoppers – hurrah!)

To prove just how easy these are, I put this lilttle haul together in just a few hours while watching Sunday Brunch (my guilty pleasure)!  Wrapped with pretty paper and finished with ribbons & tags, your friends and family will really appreciate the love and effort that’s gone into making these homemade gifts (and they’ll never know they were almost forgotten!)

SPICED PEAR CHUTNEY

BLOVED Lifestyle Blog Christmas Gift Guide Last Minute Gifts Claire Graham Photography Spiced Pear ChutneyIt wouldn’t be Christmas without a jar of chutney, and this deliciously sticky one is a firm family favourite after I made it for my Dad a few years ago.  Crammed full of juicy pears, dried fruit, nuts and spices it’s the perfect accompaniment to turkey leftovers or festive cheeseboards.

YOU WILL NEED:

  • 1kg conference pears
  • 300g light muscavado sugar
  • 500ml cider vinegar
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 40g ginger, peeled & grated
  • 250g mixed berries and nuts
  • cinnamon stick
  • 3 star anise
  • 1/2 tsp caynee pepper
  • 4 x 250g jars, sterilised

METHOD:

Start by sterilising your jars in the oven at 200c for 10 minutes.  Next, put the sugar and cider vinegar to a pan and bring to a boil.  When the sugar has dissolved, add all the other ingredients and simmer for an hour on low year until the liquid has reduced and become sticky and glossy.

Chutney can be stored in jars in the fridge for up to 3 months.

Get the original recipe here

BATH SALTS

BLOVED Lifestyle Blog Christmas Gift Guide Last Minute Gifts Claire Graham Photography Bath SaltsI think re-gifting is a totally accceptable practie when done right, and with an explosion of beauty products in my bathroom cabinet there will be a few items finding new homes this Christmas (I’d rather sometone actually enjoyed them!)  A little extra effort will turn them into a special and thoughtful gift, and my favourite this year was created using a rather boring packet of bath salts.  Poured into a clean jar and topped with some pretty festive wrap and a tag this makes a great present for aunties, in-laws and grannies!

CHOCOLATE ORANGE DROPS

BLOVED Lifestyle Blog Christmas Gift Guide Last Minute Gifts Claire Graham Photography Chocolate Orange Nut DropsThis is one of my year-round last minute gifts as I always have a bar or two of chocolate in the fridge and a bag of fruit and nuts in the larder.  One of my favourite Christmas indulgences is chocolate orange; this recipe using Green & Blacks spiced orange Maya Gold is a grown up version and never fails to impress.

YOU WILL NEED:

METHOD:

Gently melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.  When melted and smooth, carefully drop a spoonful of chocolate onto a sheet of greaseproof paper and spread into a circle using the back of a spoon.  Sprinkle your chosen toppings on each one, or mix them up for a flavour explosion!  You could also try plain dark, milk or white chocolate – or any of your favourite flavours!

Get the original recipe here

MACAROONS

BLOVED Lifestyle Blog Christmas Gift Guide Last Minute Gifts Claire Graham Photography MacaroonsThis is another cheat… I bought these metallic macaroons in M&S, and while they’re super pretty the box they come in isn’t exactly gift-worthy.  Popped into a cellophanne bag, and tied with a length of ribon and coordinating tag these make a lovely hostess gift or perhaps something to pop in to your neighbour?!

CHILLI OIL

BLOVED Lifestyle Blog Christmas Gift Guide Last Minute Gifts Claire Graham Photography Chilli OilThis is so simple, looks impressive, and is so delicious your family and friends will be begging for more next year!  It makes a great present for your host or hostess at festive gatherings either on it’s own or along with some of our other last-minute festive treats.

YOU WILL NEED:

  • 500ml olive oil
  • 2 tbs chilli flakes
  • 3 whole dried chillis

METHOD:

Add the dry ingredients to a clean bottle before pouring in the olive oil.

PARMESAN SHORTBREAD

BLOVED Lifestyle Blog Christmas Gift Guide Last Minute Gifts Claire Graham Photography Parmesan ShortbreadAnother family fave, these parmesan biscuits will be waiting under the tree for my Dad this Christmas presented in a beautiful hamper alongside his favourite homemade and shop-bought treats.  Flakey, cheesy and buttery these are exceptionally yummy, super quick & easy to make and go beautifully with the spiced pear chutney on a Christmas charcuterie board!

YOU WILL NEED:

  • 130g plain flour
  • 110g Parmigiano  Reggiano, finely grated
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 100g butter, cubed
  • 2 large egg yolks (plus extra for glazing)
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 60g Mixed seeds

METHOD:

Preheat the oven to 180c.  Place the dry ingredients (minus the seeds) in a bowl with the butter and mix in a food processor until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  Add the mustard, seeds and egg yolks and mix until combined.  Shape into a ball and roll out on a lightly floured surface until about 5mm thick. Cut out approx. 20 rounds using a 5cm diameter fluted cutter and glaze using the remaining egg yolk before leaving to rest in the ridge for an hour.  Bake for 12 minutes in the middle of the oven until golden brown.

These will keep in an airtight container for 5 days.

Get the original recipe here

HOT CHOCOLATE MIX

BLOVED Lifestyle Blog Christmas Gift Guide Last Minute Gifts Claire Graham Photography Hot Chocolate MixTreat your little guests to this cute hot choc mix this Christmas. It’s super easy to make – just fill a mini milk bottle (a jam jar would work just as well) by layering your favourite mix and toppings, or see my favourite recipe below!  I tied with gold twine and added a star patterned straw for a fun festive touch, it’s a great gift for Christmas Eve waiting for Santa to arrive!

YOU WILL NEED:

  • hot chocolate powder
  • sugar nibs
  • chocolate curls
  • mini marshmallows

You could also combine one of more of these gifts to create a lovely homemade hamper, which is exactly what my Dad will be getting this year (sorry Dad if you’re reading!).  I found this copper baseket in HEMA, and piled in a selection of his favourite treats.  Merry Christmas!

Like? Love? Let us know if you try out any of these ideas on your family and friends this year – we’d love to hear their reactions!

Suppliers

Louise

After a decade-long career in corporate interior design, I took a giant leap of faith, left the security of an office job, and founded B.LOVED in 2011 as a platform for romantic and beautiful wedding inspiration. Thanks to a whole lot of creativity, hard work and passion, my gamble paid off and B.LOVED became one of the leading wedding blogs in the UK.

You’ll also find me working as an Editorial Stylist, where I design and curate beautiful photoshoots for wedding and lifestyle brands, as well as contributing as a founding member of bridal inspiration hub Aisle Society, and running wedding industry community the B.LOVED Hive from our super pretty base in London. Yep, I definitely have the best job in the world.

GET PERSONAL

Is it just me that’s a sucker for a personalised gift? Whether it’s a wedding,

VIEW POST

#HANGOUTWITHDAD

I’m sure all you ladies will agree that Dad’s are simply the trickiest people

VIEW POST

Gift Inspiration for Mothers Day

We share some beautiful inspirations for Mother's Day with lovely candles, perfume, makeup

VIEW POST

UNDERSTATED FESTIVE FASHION

Is it just me, or is anyone else counting down the minutes until Christmas…? I’m not u

VIEW POST