This Christmas gift guide celebrates the presents that exceed 100 millilitres, refuse to fit into a plane’s overhead lockers, and are too fragile or pointy to be entrusted to your carry-on bag.
If you love someone enough to give them more than miniature toiletries and drinkables, take inspiration from the below. We’ve packed and repacked our luggage to bring you the best mid-size gifts for Christmas 2017. So, check yourself, before you deck your halls…
FOR THE HOME
Tom Dixon Elements Earth Diffuser, £85 ($120)
Best known for his burnished ‘mirror ball’ pendant lights, designer Tom Dixon’s elegant glass diffusers are a more easily wrapped and packed gift. Each is inspired by a different element, but our favourite is the woody, mossy Earth scent, which makes your home smell like a stroll in the country.
Marimekko Unikko blanket, £125 ($168)
For that friend who’s always cold, get something stylish they can swathe themselves in – Marimekko’s bold graphic florals punch up this blanket – a chic cocoon for the winter months; and, if you hoist that sucker in with a belt, it’s a winter coat, too.
Liberty for Anthropologie, sheet sets, from £44 ($58); duvet covers, from £118 ($158); Mabelle teapot, £88 ($98); mugs, £12 ($16) eachLiberty’s florals and Anthropologie’s free-spirited style make excellent bedfellows, and desirable bedding, with flower-strewn pillows and duvets. We also love the Mabelle teapot – it may clink around in your luggage, but makes an ideally proportioned set when paired with twin mugs from the range.
Oyoy animal placemats, £41 ($55) for set of three
The Scandi aesthetics of Oyoy’s homewares would make any item a gratefully received gift. But for playfulness, we like these eye-catching placemats with zoo critters rendered in delightfully childlike illustrations. This set comes with a lion, penguin and bear.
FOR THE GOURMAND
Finca la Barca Smoked Olive Oil, £28 ($78)
A dressing with a rather romantic back story: this tasty guy is made from arbequina olives and has been smoked with holm wood for 15 days, in the paprika smokehouses of the La Vera region in Western Spain. He has a breathy accent and will defend your honour by the sword… well, maybe not that last bit, but it’ll make your soups and pastas taste espléndido.
Biscuiteers sweets, from £6 ($8)
These exquisitely crafted treats, in Christmas-favourite shapes (snowflakes, reindeer, presents, baby Jesus…). They’re too beautiful to eat, but your sweet-toothed friend will anyway. Or, test out your icing interior-decorating skills with the DIY gingerbread house kit.
Stumptown Costa Rica Montes de Oro coffee,£14 ($18)
Stumptown bag a better bean than most, and their Costa Rican, apple-cider and nutmeg coffee blend makes a cup that smells like Christmas morning, and – if you drink enough – makes you as hyper as a Santa-expectant child.
FOR THE BAR CART
Copper-plated growler, from £126 ($169)
If your friend has their own microbrewery set up (around four-to-five pints’ worth, to be exact); give them a handsome growler to decant their sudsy spoils into. Growler Werks’ beautiful copper-plated keg will make their house look like a scale-model tap room – the dream…
Our/London vodka, from £21 ($29)
Under Hackney Downs railway station you’ll find a micro-distillery where some very stylish wheat-based vodka is crafted. Its 350ml-holding, retro milk-bottle packaging will add cool cachet to your bar and fit snugly in your suitcase. You can buy mix-at-home infusions of tea, oak, juniper and lemon, too.
Rock Rose gin, from £34 ($46)
We’re a sucker for some pretty packaging and a stonking gin: Rock Rose smashes both, with an old-school, flowery, wax-sealed bottle housing gluggable contents.
Benromach 15-years-old whisky, £52 ($70)
With sweet, rich notes of plum and fruitcake, this bourbon- and sherry-cask-aged whisky is the one to swill after sinking into a post-Christmas-dinner food coma. It hails from Scotland’s famed Speyside region, and it’s smooth, suave and very sippable.
Aesop Coriander-Seed Body Cleanser, from £17 ($25)
The Aussie beauty brand’s signature cleanser comes in recipient-pleasing, TSA-irking bottles of 200ml and 500ml. Within is an invigorating blend of coriander, sea salt and peppercorns, so anyone using it will feel well seasoned and a little spicy.
Penhaligon’s eau de parfum, from £84 ($110)
Naturally, we like to douse ourselves in an evocative travel-inspired scent, and Penhaligon’s have plenty of memory-nudging parfums, such as Hammam Bouquet, which reminds us of that time a Moroccan spa therapist squirted us with a high-powered jet, then exfoliated us vigorously; or Blasted Bloom that reminds us of misty, wind-battered walks along the south coast of England.
Acqua di Parma shaving razor, £261 ($351)Hewn from wenge wood, and accented with brass, this ergonomic bit of smoothing kit will keep your face in excellent shape.
Dior Holiday Couture Collection lipstick trio, £73 ($98)
For the make-up-tutorial-watching friend who’s a right pucker-er – this collection of reds includes enough shades to ensure they’ll be stylishly scarlet, to the letter.