The recent Marks & Spencer television advertisement is probably one of the better commercials released this year.In the on-screen advert, unknown to Mr Clause, Mrs Clause travels by helicopter to procure a pair of red trainers for little Jake. This is just so he can lovingly surprise his elder sister Anna, come Christmas morning.
This video touches almost everyone who watches it because it shines a spotlight on a different Christmas icon than one the world is used to. Plus, the dazzling red trainers are just a really cool gift for a 12 year old.
If it’s zany, quirky or cool gifts you are looking out for to fill those stockings in time for 25 December, your prayers to Mr and Mrs Clause, have just been answered.
With only a week left to go to complete that Christmas shopping gift list, note that while the following gifts easy on the eye, they are also easy on your wallet!
Bricks at Home is the world’s first LEGO inspired designed store, and until 11 January 2017, Cardiff folk will have a chance to visit their pop up shop in the Morgan Arcade.
‘Coffee Chain’ travel mugs, LEGO clocks and LEGO storage bricks are some of the fascinating and playful gifts on offer in the store.
Coffee Chain Travel Mugs for just £8
LEGO clock £25
Branded pouches starting from £4.50
Andrew Morris, of Bricks at Home says, “These gifts are good because they are colourful, reasonably priced and everybody has a fun connection to Lego.”
Hey snowman, look at my lips, says Robin
Christmas games anyone?
Best sellers since 1930
Scribbler is a busy little greeting card store, also located in the Morgan Arcade. Renowned for edgy, and humorous greeting cards, they have added a range of upbeat gifts to their repertoire this month.
Much loved Enid Blyton and Lady Bird short story books, Christmas games in a tin, and snow man and robin lip balms all retail for under £10 and their compact size makes renders them the ideal stocking filler.
If it’s foodie gifts you are after, mangia bene, Wally’s deli will come to the rescue with all good things Italian.Smoked cheeses, Panettone, chocolate and biscuit tins will no doubt make gifting or house visits a breeze since these goodies are already beautifully designed and pre-packaged. Just pop them in a bag and off you go! No further bows or gift wrapping is necessary.
Traditional sweet bread
Amaretti biscuit tins
Smoked cheese, festively packed
Panettone, which literally translates to ‘big bread’, is a sweet bread loaf laced with raisins and candied fruits. It is of Milanese origin and traditionally enjoyed after meals, during the festive season. The Panettone at Wally’s is available in various sizes, with the smallest weighing 100 grams and merely costing £2.95.
Trysori, a pop up shop in the Royal Arcade is famed for clutch bags and jewellery. Until Christmas eve, they will also sell Welsh made fabric and knitted toys from Ellie Sew. These charming soft toys are made by hand, crafted with love and the furthest from a commercial doll you will find elsewhere on the market.
Elina Zvereva from Cardiff, the name behind the Ellie Sew brand, reveals: “Sewing and making dolls, toys, and stuffed animals is my greatest passion. Every doll and toy is special and I’m able to share the warmth of my hands and heart with you when you take them home.”
Ann George from Port Talbot who has caught a glimpse of Ellie’s creations online adds, “I really like these knitted toys.”
“Christmas is a magnificent time of the year and I hope my toys could bring happiness to many kids as well as adults. If you’re tired of mass produced gifts, please visit the Trysori Christmas pop up shop to find heirloom gifts for your friends and family,” requests Elina.
Ellie Sew’s handmade dolls
Ellie Sew’s handmade dolls
With the weather being as cold as it is, how about some cozy booties to keep your feet warm? At Sara Halewood cute and quirky moshulu slip on’s are just the love your feet will crave this season.
Cozy and comfy from £35 upwards
Jackie, who has been with Sara Halewood for almost 5 years, explains the concept of gift shopping in the arcades: “What I like about the arcades is that they are unique, independent shops. It’s a very special place to come and shop for people.
“I think they should be looked after very well and promoted more than the larger shops, which are okay but quite normal.”
Jackie, is passionate about customer service and adds, “In the independent shops you will be well looked after.
“We have novel things to offer and share a special relationship with the customers which we have developed over the years. They have become friends as well as customers.”
Mrs Clause might think so too, Jackie.