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Ideas for friend

(24 Posts)
Zaphodsotherhead Tue 31-Oct-17 08:55:24

She's recently widowed, has SN son in his early 20's so doesn't get much gifty stuff and I want her to have a fabulous day. She is into walking, winter, and all things snowy. Budget of about £50. Help me, mumsnet massive, she's been my good friend for over 20 years and I'm at a loss, but want this Christmas to be extra nice for her!

semideponent Tue 31-Oct-17 09:01:45

Is she much a reader? Something by Robert Macfarlane might be good. He writes about walking and landscapes. The Old Ways or Mountains of the Mind....

I'd love a super soft cashmere woolly hat. Boden and Pure Collection have some for around £45.

Zaphodsotherhead Tue 31-Oct-17 09:30:11

Ooh, yes, semi she's a huge reader - and that kind of thing might be right up her street!
Cashmere perhaps not so much, up here the weather is a bit wild for wearing 'nice' walking gear..although a cashmere underlayer might work! Thank you!

Lovemusic33 Tue 31-Oct-17 10:50:36

She sounds similar to me ( I like walking, I have a disabled child and no dh). I'm always happy to receive nice toiletries such as lush bath bombs,body soak and nice body lotions. I would also be happy with a book containing information about local or coastal walking paths as I'm always looking for new places to work walk, a nice warm scarf and gloves or even walking socks.

Zaphodsotherhead Tue 31-Oct-17 14:35:04

Walking socks would be good, lovemusic. She has pretty much all the walking books and equipment (her son is ASD and one of his obsessions is walking, so they go a LOT and he plans the walks). I saw her today and implanted the idea of the Robert McFarlane books that semi mentioned...

"The Worst Journey in the World" is an amazing book about a branch off of Scott's Pole expedition - there is a lot of snow and ice in it!

There's also a novel called "The Snow Child" which I know lots of people have enjoyed, although I haven't read it.

Macfarlane's "Mountains of the Mind" is excellent.

"I May be some Time: Ice and the English Imagination" by Francis Spufford worth a look too.

A pile of books, some posh hot chocolate and some of those snowball Tunnocks, maybe a little flask to take on walks, all in a box together?

Zaphodsotherhead Tue 31-Oct-17 15:37:05

Thank you for the suggestions Remus - I have to tread carefully with books, she's such a voracious reader that, unless it's a new release, chances are she's already read it, but I will investigate your suggestions because I know she has a lot of interest in the polar explorations.

She's got a flask though. She has all the walking equipment, but anything that wears out/needs updating (like socks!) are good.

I can give you more polar recs if needed. Can try to go for more niche ones too!

tentative3 Tue 31-Oct-17 16:03:19

If she has most walking stuff and book buying is hard are you looking more at luxuries? Like the posh hot choc mentioned up thread, some fancy bath stuff for a post walk soak, cashmere socks for tired feet? Or does that all seem too generic?

Tough one.

Celtic & co sheepskin slippers? If you could find a discount code they might roughly be around budget. I adore mine.

Zaphodsotherhead Tue 31-Oct-17 16:06:57

Books about life above the Arctic circle type things would be up her street, Remus if you can think of any!

tentative I hesitate to buy her 'luxuries' because she's a down to earth type who probably wouldn't really enjoy them, although I know she likes Belgian chocolates, so will give her a few of those - but sheepskin slippers might be worth a look, thank you! (She doesn't really 'do' soaking in the bath etc. Her son needs quite a lot of care so she doesn't get much alone time.)

misscheery Tue 31-Oct-17 16:41:46

OP, you are an amazing friend!

I would buy her something lovely but useful at the same time (ie books, something for the house that maybe could make her life easier with caring for her son, pair of gloves + hat, electric blanket, chocolate, slippers, cozy bath robe)

wineflowers

misscheery Tue 31-Oct-17 16:43:12

Also, I would get her a lovely scented candle & those treatment socks for lovely nights or maybe a body lotion if you said she doesn’t really like/have time for baths

Zaphodsotherhead Tue 31-Oct-17 16:46:28

Thank you misscheery. She's had a rough year and she doesn't get many gifts, so I'd just like to try to make up the deficit! And I think a really lovely scented candle would be great.

misscheery Tue 31-Oct-17 17:07:13

@Zaphodsotherhead you are very welcome. Hope I’ve been useful. I would probably buy a big one from yankee (or a set) but perhaps not a Christmas themed one as she can use it after as wellsmile please do let us know. So nice having amazing friends who go the extra mile for you

Zaphodsotherhead Tue 31-Oct-17 17:33:20

She loves Christmas so much that she'll use a Christmas scented one all year round! Yankee Candle Christmas set is a fabulous idea,

I'm more an Antarctic gal myself, so maybe can't help with book recs. This about Birdie Bowers is excellent, and I doubt many people will have come across it.

This is also excellent, and quite niche!

Also, maybe a crazy idea, but might she appreciate something like this either a (more expensive) first edition, or just a lovely old copy?

INeedToEat Tue 31-Oct-17 17:43:10

A few of my friends and I exchange Christmas gifts as we are all single parents and don't really get much from other people. We go fun stocking style with wrapped gifts in a bag with a Xmas cracker for decoration rather than one big gift. It certainly takes me back to being a kid.

We do stuff like;

Small bottle of
chocolate or sweets
Perfume
A book
Slippers
Xmas socks
Note paper / pen
Body lotion
Small cooking equipment (like the gadget that turns veg into ribbons).
Underwear
DVD
Candle (Groupon is great for Yankee candles)
Funky gadgets (like a bendy stick that holds your mobile so no hands needed).
Scarf and gloves

rainbowduck Tue 31-Oct-17 17:52:24

Your friend sounds a bit like me, and what I want is the gift of time. I would absolutely love a friend to offer a voucher of a night in, they provide dinner, drinks and a movie. Or to meet me for Sunday lunch.
Or a voucher for a nice walk (son included) with a stop off somewhere.

Or a trip to the hair dressers to get my hair cut.

I don't have time for treatments (people have sent me vouchers over the years and I often end up passing them on). I don't like smelly stuff and I am not girlie. I hate clutter. I have a couple of hats and scarves, and you only need so many.

you sound like a truly thoughtful friend. She is lucky to have you.

Zaphodsotherhead Tue 31-Oct-17 18:13:52

Remus - thank you so much for these! Going to look into them all (got the feeling she might have the Shackleton one, she's quite transfixed by him)! Love the vintage Scott one, that could be a goer.
Needtoeat, she's very old-fashioned, no mobile, doesn't wear perfume, only sensible underwear, but a whole host of smaller presents sounds lovely (she does me a Christmas stocking, so I could reciprocate).
Rainbow - her son is ASD, but can be left alone now and again, so she does have time to go out alone (she and I go dogwalking). He won't go to places, so we can't take him out with us. However, I think a meal/voucher is a good idea, we might do that for her birthday (which is just after Christmas and a whole new ballgame).

KC225 Wed 01-Nov-17 05:56:41

Check on amazon for hand warmers - so many different kinds. What about a book of local walks

Zaphodsotherhead Wed 01-Nov-17 09:29:37

KC225 she has all the local walk books, as I said, her son is obsessed with walking and he plots all the routes. But a couple of fun hand warmers are a great idea to pop in. Might try to find some really Christmassy ones...

Zaphodsotherhead Wed 01-Nov-17 14:33:49

For anyone interested...I just took delivery this morning of Robert McFarlane/Jackie Martin's 'The Lost Words'. It's much bigger than I expected and utterly beautiful, so I think she will love that one!

dontquotemeondailymail Wed 01-Nov-17 14:44:58

What about national trust vouchers? You could get vouchers of around £35/£40, and then also give something tangible as well, like toiletries or chocolates etc.

Zaphodsotherhead Wed 01-Nov-17 23:12:49

No NT properties around here, and she will only drive locally, dontquote, but good thinking...

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