In the words of Mariah Carey, “all I want for Christmas is you” and it’s true. With bumps arrival around the corner, I have to admit I’ve never been more excited for the festive season but it has nothing to do with the gifts or food and everything to do with being surrounded by my favourite people and logging off. The older you get the more you realise that time is everything, time to catch up snuggled up on the sofa while the dark clouds roll in, outside. Welcome to my Christmas gift guide with a difference! This year, I’ve chosen gifts that come a little more from the heart and less from a store. So here’s my list of gifts that mean you can spend a little more time together and create memories you’ll laugh and smile about for future Christmases.

1 I bloody love getting tattoos and just like piercings I’ve had several inked on a whim with a friend. I understand that a tattoo might not be the best present for your 98 year old Grandmother (although how f*cking cool would that be) but we all have that one friend you know would love it. I wouldn’t recommend going as far as to book it and design the tattoo but a voucher ready for when they’re free to commit is such a lovely way to spend some time and do something that’ll get you sweating and creating memories for a lifetime!

2 I have 13 piercings and 9 of them were done with a friend, I love thinking back to the sweaty palms we both had as we held hands while getting our nipples pierced and I love those random Saturdays when we go and treat ourselves to a new jewel to wear. Piercings are a more affordable way to get some adrenaline pumping, spend some time together and cement that friendship.

3 Ok, so this is more of a shop bought gift but the thought is in the way you use it. My friend has a Polaroid and every time we meet up she takes a random snap of us, it’s a lovely way to document our time together, shows how we’ve changed through the years and cannot be edited or photoshopped, it’s a true reflection of that moment and It’s such a lovely way to remember each other.

4 I’ve made a date jar for so many people during my time and honestly, it’s such a great way to make time for a friend or loved one. No matter if you’re super creative or simply use the alphabet for inspiration or Google it’s a great way to go and do something with the people you care about. Dog walks, hot chocolate IOUs or simply a call me message works a treat and keeps you connected throughout the year.

5 A date in a card. Now this sounds like nothing but I’ve actually found it to be one of my favourite gifts to give. As you get older simply getting people together seems to be the hardest task, so one of my favourite gifts is to simply put a date in the diary and promise that you will do something together. Book an Airbnb, a small or extravagant break, it’s something to look forward to and might actually be the only time you see each other that year but hey, it’s booked, it’s happening and it’s going to be mega! I’d love to hear your favourite alternative gifts to give so pop them in the comments below!