It’s less than a month until Christmas but don’t panic: we’ve got plenty of suggestions here to take the stress out of Christmas shopping.
If you’re struggling to think of something to put on your own list to Santa, or pondering over what to get for that loved one this festive season, the Gay Times Christmas Gift Guide is packed with ideas from affordable stocking fillers, to luxury gifts to suit all price ranges.
THE STOCKING FILLER
It’s time to get rid of the epilators, tweezers, wax strips, and depilatory creams from your bathroom cupboard and replace it with this grooming essential. The Hollywood Browzer is a versatile tool that can shape your eyebrows, tidy up those sideburns, rid you of unwanted hair on your hands and fingers, do away with those stray hairs, and even get that bikini line in order. It can do all of this – and much more – without you having to apply any cream to your skin, with hair coming away with virtually no pain or irritation.
HARRY’S TRUMAN SET
After supporting LGBTQ causes with their special Pride-themed razor earlier this year, Harry’s have a selection of grooming boxsets for the modern man in your life this Christmas. The Truman Set includes one of their trademark razors in a selection of stylish colours (orange is our fave), along with their foaming shave gel and a travel cover to protect your blades on the go. Of course, Harry’s razors come with five German blades attached to a flex hinge for an impressively close shave.
CASETiFY – NEON SAND LIQUID CASE
As our smartphones get packed with more and more bright and brilliant features, it’s only natural that the cases we protect them with will too. One of the more vibrant designs to have caught our eye this year comes from CASETiFY and their Neon Sand Liquid case range. Fully customisable with choice of inscription, colour combinations, and even font type, the swirling design will add a whole lot more flair to that shiny new handset you’ll be unwrapping around the tree this Christmas.
WHAX SCENTED CANDLE
Are you even relaxing properly over Christmas if you don’t have a luxury candle burning in the room? This year we’re looking to the range developed by family-run company Whax. Based in Herefordshire, their team of artisan chandlers have created a collection of candles with a wide variation of natural scents – from citrus and golden incense to sea salt and wood sage, right through to special seasonal options like spiced pomegranate.
GIFTS FOR THE #GAYMER
No you haven’t travelled back in time to the 90s, the PlayStation Classic really is set to be one of the most sought-after gifts this Christmas. The original iteration of Sony’s iconic console has been repackaged in smaller form and loaded with 20 games from back in the day. From Final Fantasy VII to Tekken 3, get ready to be hooked on some of the PS1’s most beloved games once again now this mini piece of joy is unleashed upon the world 24 years to the original PlayStation was released in Japan back on 3 December, 1994.
POKEMON LET’S GO PIKACHU/POKEMON LET’S GO EEVEE
Get ready to head back to Kanto in Pokémon’s first adventure on the Nintendo Switch. Pokémon Yellow has been given an HD facelift with Let’s Go, Pikachu! And Let’s Go, Eevee! editions, introducing the classic 90s instalment to a whole new generation of fans. There’s a new battle system and a new way to catch the original 151 critters which falls more in line with the phenomenon that is the Pokémon Go smartphone game. With a few new monsters to collect, and the ability to customise your characters, this familiar story will have you rediscovering what made you fall in love with the franchise 20 years ago all over again.
MARVEL’S SPIDER-MAN ON PLAYSTATION 4
If you’ve not yet experienced the epic-ness that is Marvel’s Spider-Man on PlayStation 4, take the time off over Christmas to grab your web-slinger and get on board. This new console-based universe created by Insomniac propels you straight into the action, taking on the brute force of classic villain Wilson Fisk. With the whole of New York City to explore, plenty of cameos from Marvel characters, and truly engrossing storyline, and plenty of side missions, it’s no wonder Peter Parker’s latest adventure has been hailed as one of the best games of the year.
If you’re looking for a little bit of multi-player madness this Christmas Day, then gather the family around the PlayStation 4 for a ‘board game’ like no other. Chimparty uses the console’s PlayLink feature – where players can use their smartphone devices as controllers – where up to four people can battle it out across 18 mini-games and 90 (!!) levels. If you’re trying to get your cheeky critter to fart their way into a hoop, steal a golden pineapple, or team up with another player for a volleyball, there’s plenty here to get everyone in the friendly competitive spirit this Christmas. Give that Monopoly board a rest for a year, yeah?
GIFTS FOR THE HOME
GOOGLE HOME HUB
Saying ‘Hey Google’ to your Google Home Hub will now do more than it ever has done before. That’s because the latest iteration of the tech giant’s assistant now comes with a 7” touchscreen, opening up the world of YouTube with the command of your voice. That means the Home Hub can now display endless tutorials – from cooking recipes to DIY repairs – as well as millions of music videos. With six people able to connect to a single account at a time, it means the Home Hub is at the whim of the whole house. Oh, and on Christmas Day when you’ve set it all up – within a few easy steps no less – the simple voice command of ‘OK Google… let’s play trivia’ will have the whole family hooked with endless hours of fun.
SMEG DRIP FILTER COFFEE MACHINE
As the mornings get colder you’re going to need even more reason to leave the warmth of your snuggly bed and avoid hitting the snooze button for a fourteenth time. For us, it’s the smell and taste of freshly brewed coffee that kick starts our day, and now iconic brand Smeg have released their own version of the drip filter coffee machine. It comes with their trademark sleek design and bright colours, giving you something truly beautiful for your sleepy eyes to be welcomed by first thing in the morning. Oh and with a 10-cup carafe, there will be plenty of caffeine to get you out the door and on your way.
If you’re looking for a smart speaker to blast out all of those festive anthems we love so much, look no further than the one with the biggest brain. Apple’s HomePod comes equipped with their A8 chip, powering Siri to give you access to Apple Music’s library of 50 million songs, as well as delivering some seriously advanced signal processing. It helps the Apple-designed tech perform at optimum level, maximising the bass and minimising distortion for crystal clear sound. As you ramp up the volume on All I Want For Christmas Is You, it’ll sound like Mariah is jingling her sleigh bells right in front of you.
YOU’RE FREE TO CLOSE YOUR EYES ARTWORK
Gay Times have teamed up with home furniture brand dwell to showcase three LGBTQ artists aimed at supporting the community, with a donation from each sale going to the Albert Kennedy Trust. Here we have an incredible piece by Achraf Amiri, depicting two male lovers kissing lustfully while flipping the finger to homophobia. Sensual, strong and striking, it’s an unapologetically queer piece of art that would add some artisanal flair to any home.
SONOS X HAY – SONOS ONE SPEAKER
Leading Danish design brand HAY have given the Sonos One wireless speakers a bit of a limited edition makeover. You can now get the stylish system in five brand new colours – Forest Green, Pale Yellow, Soft Pink, Light Grey, and Vibrant Red – with each shade tailored for a specific area of your home. For instance, the green hues are meant to remind you of plants or pots by the window, while yellow generally fits nicely in bathrooms and kitchens. The end result is a wireless sound system for the home that truly blends in.
TECH MUST-HAVES THIS CHRISTMAS
Following its 80th anniversary last year, Polaroid have unveiled the biggest tech overhaul on one of it’s most famous classic products. The Polaroid OneStep+ looks just like its predecessors, but its features go way beyond. It can now link up via Bluetooth to a new Polaroid app on your smartphone, allowing you complete control over aperture, shutter speed and flash intensity. Through the app you can also set up a self-timer, use your phone as a remote trigger, scan your Polaroids into digital versions ready for your Instagram feed, and even create light painting effects. It’s the perfect meeting of analogue and digital technologies. Your Christmas snaps will have never looked better.
When it comes to the iPhone XR it’s not just the lower price tag or more exciting colour options that’s a big draw, but the fact it comes with plenty of the fantastic features found in the iPhone XS. There’s an even faster Face ID that will have you authorising a payment in milliseconds (great for the Boxing Day sales), and the most powerful chip in a smartphone giving it optimum performance. That allows it to achieve Portrait Mode without a dual lens using some very clever artificial intelligence. The results are genuinely impressive, and will have those snaps of you in your finest Christmas jumper looking professional. Add the all-new Liquid Retina display and you have an iPhone that’s as incredible as it looks.
SAMSUNG 8K QLED
If you thought a 4K display was like looking out of a window, Samsung’s QLED 8K television set is like peeking through time and space itself into a world miles away from your sofa. It’s true 8K resolution boasts 33 million pixels (four times more than 4K), while it is capable of delivering the highest brightness levels of any TV to date. There’s plenty of power packed into the set (as well as some fancy AI that will upscale any image to 8K), making it a truly incredible viewing experience. It’s actually the UK’s first ever 8K TV to go on sale to the public, just in time for repeated viewings of Love, Actually this Christmas Day…
MICHAEL KORS SOFIE PAVÉ GOLD-TONE SMARTWATCH
If you’re looking for the perfect combination of elegant wrist wear with all of modern tech’s top-end features, then Michael Kors have got you covered. The Sofie Pavé Gold-Tone Smartwatch has a slim design and glistens in its gold casing, while packing Android Wear software so you can get phone, email, and message alerts, voice-activated Google assistance, and built-in fitness tracking. It’s labeled as a women’s watch, but its classic design and the very fact we’re going into 2019 means it would look good on anyone – regardless of their gender identity.
BEATS BY DRE SOLO3 HEADPHONES – MICKEY 90TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION
With a new Mary Poppins soundtrack on the horizon, you’re going to need some suitably Disneyfied headphones. Beats By Dre has teamed up with the House of Mouse for a limited edition run of Beats Solo3 headphones to celebrate Mickey’s 90th anniversary. This new design packs all of the premium tech you’d expect from Beats, with crisp sound, great Bluetooth connectivity, and effortless compatibility with iOS devices. All you need to do is ramp up the volume on that playlist of Disney classics.
NORDGREEN INFINITY WATCH
If you’re the type of person who likes minimal design but maximum impact, then Nordgreen watches are for you. Their Infinity model is Scandi sophistication done perfectly, with its clean watch face and elegant leather straps. Those straps are also interchangeable, meaning you can swap them out for navy, grey, brown and pink shades too. Designed by Jakob Wagner – who has previously collaborated with luxury brands such as Bang & Olufsen and Alessi, to name but a few – it’s a timepiece that would make a special gift this Christmas.
CIROC X MOSCHINO
When you’re stocking up the booze cabinet this festive season, make sure you have a designer tipple amongst your bottle collection. Luxury vodka Ciroc has teamed up with Moschino for a playful new collaboration, which sees the fashion house’s creative director (and recent Gay Times cover star), Jeremy Scott, work his magic over the bottle design. Give the gift of limited edition this Christmas.
PANTHERELLA MONOGRAMMED CASHMERE WADDINGTON SOCKS
If you want to give (or receive) socks with a personal tough this season, then getting them monogrammed is the solution for you. These luxury cashmere Waddington socks from Pantherella are made from the finest yarns, with the details including a custom-stitched initial or name up to six characters.
BRAUN FACESPA PRO
New year, new glow? Don’t look any further for your healthy complexion needs that Braun’s FaceSpa Pro. This three-in-one set is there world’s first epilation, cleansing and skin toning device. The facial epilator removes 4x shorter hair than wax for a smooth, clear complexion, while the sensitive facial cleansing brush has been designed for gentle cleansing. The dermatologist-tested Micro Vibration toning head for enhanced skin appearance will have that 2019 glow-up coming through in no time.
KEEP IT COSY THIS CHRISTMAS
LOU DALTON ROLL NECK – FARNOL
If you’re the type of person who wants to get into the festive spirit with your fashion choices on Christmas Day, but not so much that you’re willing to have Santa Claus on your chest, then we suggest you stick to a warm burgundy. This Raglan Roll Neck jumper from Farnol – designed by acclaimed British designer Lou Dalton – will make you look festive fancy but also bang on trend.
FINO JACKET – NICCE
When it comes to that Boxing Day walk and you’re in the mood to burn off the copious amounts of turkey, mince pies and, most importantly, Quality Street from the day before, you’re going to need to wrap up warm. This Fino Jacket from Nicce will keep you suitably toasty with its quilted fabric and long length design. In coal grey it’ll slip nicely into your current wardrobe, and the orange lining pops nicely.
LONDON SOCK COMPANY SUBSCRIPTION
Instead of getting a huge onslaught of socks in one go this Christmas – because let’s face it, half of them get lost in the wash by 20 January – why not get a subscription and have them delivered monthly for the year. The London Sock Company lets you choose the colours and designs that suit your style, as well as offering anything from one to three pairs per month to be posted through your door.