I expect you're being bombarded with ideas for Christmas gifts right now, and if you're anything like me then you've probably still have more Christmas gifts to buy. I've made a start, but a slow one. I have crossed a couple of gifts off the list and more importantly have bought some marzipan and mint matchmakers, my Christmas essentials.
I've bought some mince pies too, but there's very little chance of those lasting if I'm honest. I have been thinking about gifts, and well, that's a start isn't it... As well as thinking of what I can buy family, I've been thinking about the types of gift that appeal more generally to me. More and more that's a gift that brings enjoyment throughout the year and despite my slide down The Orbit I'm not exactly a thrill-seeking kinda gal, so those kind of experience days aren't for me.
But membership, now that's a different matter
I'm already a member of the National Trust and it's a great way to see houses and gardens in all parts of the country in a cost effective way. They do a gift membership and say it's the membership "that opens doors (and gates too)" and I think it's a great gift to give. You'll know by the number of National Trust properties we visit, that we get good value for money from ours.
But if it's the buildings that are the attraction then perhaps a RIBA Friends of Architecture membership might work? As well as access to a programme of events which give the opportunity to learn something completely new and get out and about with RIBA's expert guides, there's also discounts at the RIBA shop and in the cafe and more.
Or if it's the gardens that appeal most, then maybe a gift membership to the RHS could be the thing to inspire someone's love of gardening. I hadn't realised until I looked into it for this post, as well as the four RHS gardens, of which I've visited two - Wisley and Hyde Hall, there are also many partner gardens that the member also receives free entry to.
Now that's given you something to think about hasn't it?
But do you know what, after all that exploring, there's often only one thing for it. And that's a cup of tea.
And tea with a difference makes the list too
These little, but great, boxes of tea from T2 Tea sum up what a Christmas gift should be for me. That's something you're familiar with, but is just that little bit special than our everyday brew and because it's a little bit special it's the thing you keep meaning to buy for yourself but often don't. Well at least not the first time anyway.
The gift boxes group together similar flavours of tea, so there's a Breakfast Club box and a London Calling box, plus many more.
And cake, you'll need cake
Yes, when I said there's only one thing on my mind after exploring, I was wrong. Because along with my cup of tea I'd happily have some cake. And you can have a selection box of Christmas Cupcakes delivered too - oh the wonders of the internet, and with thanks to Hummingbird Bakery.
What would you add to my list?
* This is a collaborative post, but all views and opinions are my own