Christmas Gifts

The History Of The Christmas Tree

13 Sep , 2010  

Our 7th Christmas article for unusual Christmas gifts is going all the way back to the tradition of Christmas Trees today. It is very easy to get caught up in the buying frenzy of presents at Christmas and whether you are religious or not, it’s still interesting to know why we actually celebrate these traditions.

The Christmas Tree:  do you insist on a real tree every year or do you drag your artificial one out of the attic eachyear? We’ve always gone for an artificial one, just because we’ve had small babes crawling and I didn’t want them to get needles in their knees. But whatever you go for I think most of us agree that it just doesn’t feel like Christmas unless you have a tree.

There are a lot of different stories out there on the history of the Christmas Tree but I have found a couple of reliable sources that agree on the following history.  The Christmas Tree originally symbolised many meanings on the movement of angels and the star that pointed to the end of the journey, guiding to a place of peace. (Nice huh!?!)

But during Advent in the 11th century a tree decorated with red apples apparently symbolised the Tree of Paradise. Later by the 15th century believers actually started to put up trees in their own houses on December 25th which was the feast day of Adam and Eve.

The first ever ‘Christmas Tree’ was apparently seen in Paris (wouldn’t it just??) after Princess Hélène de Mecklembourg married the Duke of Orleans in 1521.  Germany, France and Austria soon followed suit and started decorating Christmas Trees too.

Then in 1841 a Christmas Tree was erected for the first time at Windsor Castle by Prince Albert for Queen Victoria.  The custom was adopted by the more fortunate and later on working class people were putting up trees in their homes, too.  They decorated them with garlands, sweets and paper flowers.

Much to the joy of the local fire station people used to put candles on the trees (before the time of electricity). Most ornaments were handmade such as paper chains, popcorn on thread, peanuts on string and decorated walnuts to name but a few.  Later came commercially produced ornaments and some of the Victorian ornaments were quite beautiful and one’s tree became somewhat of a status symbol in society.

Later we had the wonderful invention of electricity and tree lights were used to illuminate the tree, leading us right up to today where we have a vast choice of optical delights for lighting up one’s festive bush right down to fibre optic trees!

Peculiar to think that just 100 years ago people were putting candles on trees and now you walk into B&Q and there is a whole aisle dedicated to Christmas lights alone!

I hope you enjoyed our little wander down Christmas Tree land, why not have  a little wander down our own  unusual Christmas gifts and decorations aisle and see what takes your fancy?

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Christmas Gifts

Unusual Christmas Gifts – Avoiding Getting Into Debt – Idea 3

15 Aug , 2010  

Our 3rd idea for buying unusual Christmas gifts and avoiding debt by buying them throughout the year is…… baby’s first Christmas.  Maybe it is your baby boy or baby girl’s first Christmas and you want to make it one to remember?  Or possibly it is your grandson or granddaughter’s 1st Christmas and you just can’t seem to help yourself every time you walk past something soft and fluffy? STOP!  Wait until you have seen all the special treats we have been busy sourcing for all you lovely people!

Regardless of whether it’s your nephew’s, niece’s, god daughter’s, daughter’s, son’s, grandson’s, granddaughter’s or friends child’s 1st Christmas, our favourites from our gifts collection are bound to have you cooing and oohing and aahing, the word I am looking for here is…CUTE!

Let’s start with gifts for the nursery, for the girls we have a super cute pink gingham resin light switch with a pink gingham teddy. It’s the perfect finishing touch to any little girl’s nursery. 

Baby Girl Pink Nursery Light Switch

Baby Girl Pink Nursery Light Switch

And for the boys it comes in blue. We also have vintage style teddy bear light switches and a mixture of vintage and gingham teddy bear s. They are all £24.99 and we can’t believe that anyone wouldn’t be thrilled to receive one of these, a really different present.

A keepsake for baby girls, we have a lovely Cherished Teddies ‘Baby Dear’ mini figurine. It depicts a lovely little baby bear in a nappy with a dummy and toys looking rather sweet and naïve. It’s only £8.99 and you might start a trend if the little girl really takes to it. She may just end up collecting a whole set of teddy figurines in the years to come!

A keepsake for baby boys, a lovely boy’s cherish keepsake photo frame by My Soul’s Window. Unusual and hand painted in a vivid blue with a few heartfelt words by the talented artist Maggie Lindley. Only £11.99 for this piece of art!

And what a hoot! Our mysterio prediction t shirts for both boys and girls….find out what future awaits when the t-shirt is opened…maybe she will be an air hostess or maybe he will grow up to be property tycoon or a milkman? £10.99 and dispatched in a day.

Mysterio Predicts Baby Boy Tshirt

Mysterio Predicts New Baby Boy Tshirt

If you can’t make it over to France this year to do some Christmas shopping, let us bring  France to you in the form of Mon Bebe Baby Perfume.  Walk into any department store on the continent and you will find a wide choice of perfumes for babies, they are a bit harder to source in the UK. We like this one because it combines vanilla and camomile which has a calming effect on babies.

Mon Bebe Scented Baby Water

Mon Bebe Scented Baby Water

Finally my personal favourite is our personalised baby breakfast gift set. A gorgeous set consisting of plate, bowl and cup with a cheeky baby’s face caricature.

Or decide for yourself and have a look at all of our wonderful and unique  new baby gifts.

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Christmas Gifts

Why You Should Shop Like A Pro And Avoid Debt With Unique Christmas Gifts

19 Jul , 2010  

With a new government  now in power we have all been made aware of some radical financial belt tightening that is in store for us all. With this in mind we are creating a very special series of regular articles on gifts that would make ideal and affordable unique Christmas gifts. Why, you may ask? Because with the current economic climate we don’t want our customers to find they have heavy credit card bills come January. Putting on my serious financial geek hat; there are a few things that we as ethical retailers should think about, and one is the way in which we want our customers to spend their money with us. I for one would be very upset if I had known that one of our customers at  Boutique To You were so tempted by our products that they actually put themselves in debt to pay for it. We sell affordable and beautiful gifts and we spend a lot of time sourcing affordable gifts for the very reason that they are ‘affordable’ !

It’s a simple but true statement “don’t spend what you haven’t got”. With house prices at an all time low, fixed mortgages coming to an end, 20% deposits required to get a new mortgage and the new VAT rate of 20% coming in, it could feel like your wallet is being attacked from all angles. We say “NO” we will not be defeated or feel like we can’t enjoy life to the full or feel like we have to become penny pinching misers…No, No, No. However there is a very simple way to cut back on your spending and still enjoy big occasions such as Christmas. All without the need to apologise for being skint this year. You could even save money to pay off your mortgage or save  for whatever reason you need your money to work harder for you.

The answer is a big fat boring ‘moderation’ cut back on things like the skinny latte’s from Costa, maybe put off buying a new Dyson if the old one really is not that bad…don’t be seduced by yet another pair of shoes when you already have at least 20 pairs that you have never worn. Instead be thinking of others all throughout the year, not just Christmas. Always be on the lookout for something one of your family members might like. Instead of saying “oh xxx would really like that” – if it is good value for money and glorious in its loveliness, buy it for them if you can afford it that month. Put it in the wardrobe and by the time December comes round you should have most of your presents sorted, leaving you not only ready to enjoy the season but there will be no nasty surprises come January. Always a much better start to any new year!

A great gift giver not only gives wonderful gifts, they enjoy giving them, too. If you spread the payments over the year you might even have enough money left over at Christmas to treat yourself to some gifts, too! Plus, why rush round buying things in a mad dash, get organised this year, make people happy and don’t worry about the cost. Grab yourself some bargains all year round….

Then, if you are in a more cash rich position in January you can take advantage of the  sales to buy Christmas presents for next year, too. I used to think the people who did this were mad, now I think they are financial wizards!

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New Mum Gifts

Unusual Gift Ideas For Baby’s First Christmas Gifts

3 Nov , 2009  

Baby's First Christmas Gifts

Baby's First Christmas Gifts

So just what do you buy for a baby’s first Christmas? You can choose something purely Christmas related or maybe something useful for the rest of the year to come.

Thinking of ideas for  Christmas gifts for babies can be tough. If they are born earlier on in the year maybe not so hard but what about if they are only newborns right before Christmas? Often parents and family say whatever the age they won’t give too many gifts to baby but c’mon be serious! It is after all  baby’s first ever Christmas and they’ve got to be spoilt .. right?

Maybe baby won’t need clothes. Not unless you want to buy them something seriously cute for their Christmas family photo opportunity. You can dress them up as baby Santas and Rudolphs till your hearts content.If you aren’t into the dressing baby up thing then maybe  just a Christmas bib is enough.

You can set a family heirloom tradition by getting baby their very own first Christmas bauble to decorate the tree. This trend can start even before baby is born but I like the idea of a personalised bauble with baby’s name on. There are more and more to choose from – china, glass, wooden .. you name it there will be a first Christmas bauble or decoration to suit all tastes and budgets. Often families buy a new Christmas decoration or bauble every year from birth – something to really build on family mementos and heirloom keepsakes for the next generation.

Another baby gift that won’t go amiss is their very own Christmas stocking or present sack. These, too are really special if personalised  with  baby’s name and birth year . They will be brought out year after year and something kids of all ages really look forward to is hanging up their own Christmas stocking ready for santa’s visit. My own children’s stockings were bought for their first Christmas and they get so excited even after quite a few Christmasses  when it’s time to bring them out. A little family ritual which I am expecting will last long into adulthood, somehow!

So what about if this list has already been exhausted by close family members – what else can you give to the new baby to celebrate their First Christmas? A nativity scene keepsake is always a popular choice. Again there are lots to choose from but  I particularly like the soft play versions. Giving this type means that as baby grows into toddler and pre school age they can play with the nativity figures and really get involved with the true meaning of Christmas and its story.

There are lots more ideas in helping you choose baby’s First Christmas gifts that don’t necessarily have to have a Christmas theme but will be appreciated. You can choose things such as a Disney ornament to start off what will no doubt be a life long obsession with all things Disney! Or a keepsake box, a personalised picture or even a photo frame to hold  baby’s First Christmas photo.

Please visit the main site for all our unusual Christmas gifts.

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Christmas Gifts,Personalised Gifts,Personalized Gifts

Christmas Gifts – Are You Buying Yet?

4 Sep , 2009  

It would seem that the general concensus is yes to this question! After many years of people complaining about high street stores selling Christmas cards in August it would seem that they don’t mind buying Christmas gifts early off the internet.

If our own sales are anything to go by .. we have been selling personalised Christmas baubles and Christmas stockings since August! Personally,  I think it may be more to do with the fact that due to money being tight in 2009 maybe people are spreading the enormous cost of their Christmas shopping.

I would always suggest that if you know what you want then buy it early especially if it is  personalised Christmas gifts you are looking for. A recent article in a trade magazine stated that suppliers are buying less in so in turn will have less to offer retailers so it might be wise as a consumer to buy something now if you like it and can afford it.

Check out some of our Personalised Christmas Gifts that are already in store – all with free UK delivery to lighten the load!

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Fathers Day Gifts,Jewellery,Mens Gifts,Mother's Day Gifts,New Dad Gifts,New Mum Gifts,Personalised Gifts,Personalised Jewellery,Presents for Men,Unusual Gifts,Unusual Presents

Unusual Gift Made From Baby’s First Hand Print Or Foot Print

3 Sep , 2009  

Boutique To You were one of the first online shops to sell fingerprint jewellery in the UK and now they have another first! They can actually turn a baby’s tiny handprint or footprint into a piece of keepsake jewellery not just their fingerprint!

handprint_necklaceChoose and purchase  your pendant (or cufflinks for the dads) and they send you a special kit to take the print. Once returned they work their special magic to transfer the  baby print into the silver metal clay they use to cast their jewellery. Once made the jewellery is sent for hallmarking at the Assay Office and voila the cutest little keepsake you could ever hope to treasure that you can wear every day .. forever! I used to love the fingerprints in silver but I think the thought of an adorable little hand or foot print just does it that bit more for me!

Prices start at £75.00 for a pendant and up to £140.00 for a pair of double cufflinks all with free delivery. An unusual Christmas gift – guys .. take note here!

Even if your kids are no longer babies the technology still works whatever size so it’s never too late!

Come and see these unusual gifts and more all with free UK delivery at the main site

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Christmas Gifts

How To Survive The Credit Crunch When Buying Christmas Gifts

27 Jul , 2009  

Don´t let the  credit crunch spoil your Christmas shopping this year. Buying your  Christmas gifts can put a stretch on your purse strings at the best of times but in a year when household bills have rocketed and credit is almost unavailable for many  it pays to start spreading the cost of Christmas gift shopping early. Some people might gasp in horror and nearly faint flat at the thought of starting buying their Christmas presents in July and August but I do feel that this is one year when it will pay dividends to be prudent with your gift lists and your Christmas shopping budget.

So, first of all set your self a budget. Decide who you want to buy a Christmas gift for. Next,  sort your list into categories of who you really want and need to buy for. Maybe the credit crunch might do us all a favour and reduce our pointless gift exchanging that is so unnecessary in many cases. I know I would rather have a big family get together and spend time with my extended family rather than give and receive gifts that nobody really wants. That way we can also do our bit for the planet, too – less to throw out and recycle in the new year means less wastefulness!

Next, categorize the people you do really want and need to buy for:  children, parents, siblings, friends, teachers. The people that are the easiest to buy for I buy first and then they can be ticked off the list . Buying for the people in this section of your list is made even easier if you buy them personalised Christmas gifts. Buying these gifts early really is a coup. This type of gift usually has fairly lengthy lead times so it does really pay  to avoid the October and November stampedes which can sometimes lead to disppointment. Buying personalised Christmas stockings, Santa sacks and personalised Christmas baubles  early will save a bit of stress later on, believe me.

Next, make the most of  shopping at your favourite websites.The internet has revolutionised shopping for all the important purchases in life but especially at Christmas time. Mostly, it saves a great deal of time and means that you can find something unusual and different that maybe you couldn’t find in your local shops.It also makes it easier to compare prices and is frequently cheaper than buying on the High Street. Also, look out for sites that offer free delivery as often delivery charges are hidden and generally make the cost of buying small Christmas keepsakes quite expensive. There is nothing I love more than shopping with a favourite web retailer where their shipping charges aren´t hidden, where you can shop without creating an account and best of all if the postage costs are minimal or even  free! This has never been so important as in 2009 where every saving will count even though we all still want to give lovely, unique presents. The next best thing is if you can find a code on a voucher codes website that will qualify you for free delivery or even a discount on your whole shopping bag if you spend over a certain amount.

So, if you do start early there will be no need to overstretch yourself and end the year that has been economically  tough for a lot of people on an even sourer note.Despite our best efforts though, many of us will still overstretch ourselves this Christmas. If this might be you against all advice then it might be wise to apply for a credit card with a zero per cent introductory rate on spending. This will mean that if you cannot repay your bill in full, borrowing will still be cheaper than if you used a bank overdraft or normal card.

Hopefully shopping for Christmas gifts in the summer might not be such a bad idea. After all, it is the most important time of the whole twelve months of the calendar for many of us and credit crunch or not we will  still want to exchange gifts with our nearest and dearest!

Boutique To You will have an extensive range of unusual Christmas gift ideas but some of them are already available and they all have free UK delivery!

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