Christmas gift guide: 20 ideas for under Dh1,000

Stuck for inspiration? Check out our recommendations for something a bit unexpected

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The festive season is here, a time to spread love and share cheer with friends and family. Given expenses may mount – especially if you're planning a party or wanting to eat out more than usual – here we have pulled together 20 gift ideas that will hopefully charm and delight recipients without costing the earth.

The first rule of being invited to anyone's house is never turning up empty-handed, and this season Laduree is decorating its gift boxes with a wreath, making a box of 8 or 12 macarons a perfectly delicious gift even for those you do not know well.

For friends who love to entertain, Crate & Barrel has a set of 12 small plates themed around the song 12 Days of Christmas. Quirky and charming, these are appealing enough to use all year round and might spark a spontaneous singalong to boot.

Everyone wants to make the most of winter, with sporty types especially revelling in the cooler temperatures. The dedicated runner of the family will appreciate the latest Fresh Foam 1080v13 trainers by New Balance, which have been created for better transition from landing to push off, reducing injury while putting in the miles.

Off-road cyclists, meanwhile, will already understand the importance of a decent crash helmet. Wolfi's Bike Shop are experts in all things bicycle-related, and are on hand to ensure you choose the correct helmet for every style of riding. We love the BMX/downhill bike helmet by 100% Status, for its vaguely Darth Vader vibes.

For friends who have recently moved to the UAE, a gift of festive decorations is a thoughtful present as they might not have any of their own yet. Ace offers a vast variety from only Dh9, so why not throw a few into a box and finish it with a bow to spread a bit of festive cheer?

Stikets, meanwhile, can personalise its wooden tree decorations with names, making them a lovely gift for children. Use one as a name tag on a larger gift, and watch it get wheeled out to decorate the tree year after year as a keepsake.

Most people love jewellery, and Etika sells individual white diamond stud earrings for less than Dh600, while H&M has an interesting crystal necklace with angled stones that looks more expensive than it actually is.

Homebodies will enjoy a blanket to wrap up in for cooler evening nights, and West Elm has an array to choose from. We love the Tangier throw, which feels like it was picked up in some exotic souq, while Baobob Collection scented candles will bring a heady aroma to any home, and look as good as they smell.

Lush, too, has a range of freshly made cosmetics. From body sprays and bath bombs to the best-selling Catastrophe Cosmetic face mask, the brand has gathered everything into handy gift sets.

Make-up lovers, meanwhile, will enjoy the all-in-one Nudies Matte + Glow Core All Over Face Blush Colour by NudeStix. Available in seven shades, these sticks of creamy colours with a centre of shimmer are designed to be used on lips, cheeks and eyes, and are great when you're on the go.

Elsewhere, Paul Smith has teamed up with Caran d'Ache for a limited-edition ballpoint pen that comes in a two-tone box, while Saccour Brothers has vegan leather wallets for a new twist on a wardrobe classic.

As classics go, its hard to go wrong with a coffee-table book, and Taschen's Ultimate Collectors Cars tome is both an interesting read and a decorative home accessory. Ornamental decor also comes by way of Nakkash's heavy vase in amber and black glass, which is striking enough to be left empty and will add oomph to any interior.

To lean into the best of winter, however, look to Spencer Bear from Marks & Spencer. Wearing its own jumper, the plush toy is all ready to snuggle on the sofa with, ideally with a plate of ginger biscuits from Jones the Grocer, and wrapped in a cosy blanket. It is practically what the festive season was invented for.

Updated: December 13, 2023, 10:23 AM