This month we’re so glad to be working with Give As You Live – it’s a site which works much like many of the cashback sites we all use; the key difference being that instead of pocketing the small amounts of money from each item you purchase, every time you shop through Give as you Live a percentage of the purchase value is donated to the charity of your choice (or if you have no preference, it automatically goes to Give as you Live’s charity of the month). There’s no extra cost, you don’t pay higher prices; the donation Give as you Live makes on your behalf is paid for out of the commission they receive on the sale.
You can shop for products from thousands of leading online retailers; Give as you Live has more than 4,100 of the world’s biggest retailers such as ASOS and John Lewis handily filed in one place; simply select the store you’d like to shop with, follow the link and you’ll be directed off to the retailers site to shop as normal (and don’t forget to check out the exclusive offers available under the voucher codes tab too, making sure you get the best deal on your purchase!).
It’s actually just a really nice feeling, knowing that a percentage of every purchase I make will be donated to charity. I’ve used cashback sites for years; let’s face it, you’re never going to get rich that way! But if we all gave those regular small amounts to charity, what a massive difference we could make…
**The Give as you Live Christmas page is now live! Go, Shop!*
Every year I look and write about a wide variety of items in the build up to Christmas. Obviously there’s the gift guides, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. I know that a successful Christmas relies on more than just providing the right gift under the tree. Christmas is a whole experience – and it takes a lot of planning and organising to make it run so ‘effortlessly’.
Over the years we’ve built up a big reserve of those pre-Christmas product spots for you (you can actually see the best of them at a glance over on Pinterest here ), and here’s a quick round up of our current pick of favourites for this year. If you’re in need of some inspiration for those little extras, you’re in the right place…
1 – Gorgeously simple and yet oh-so-seasonal, I love this Jolly Robin Giftwrap by Allihopa. 5 sheets for £6.50 on Not On The High Street
2 – Reindeer red! Decorated with stamped white stag design on a red background, this kraft wrapping paper is ideal for a simple and cheerful nordic look under the tree this Christmas. The 3m roll wrapping paper is £3.75 on Paperchase
3 – Recycled Brown Christmas Wrapping Paper from Sophie Victoria Joy, in a whole range of gorgeous vintage designs. £2.20 a sheet over on Not On The High Street
4 – Love this neat and stylish advent village from East Of India; count down the days with this set of 24 wooden houses, each with a removable roof and space for a small gift. They don’t need to stay on the shelves, you can always arrange them on your mantel or bookcase. I love that they’ll become part of the family Christmas tradition, and come out year after year. £52 from John Lewis.
5 – Our perennial favourite from Maileg, the Nisse Pixie, whose dungarees are covered in secret numbered pockets to hide the days treats. You may need to hunt down your favourite version – this one’s £77 on Amazon
6 – You simply can’t go wrong with Playmobil – the pieces each day have play value, and they gradually build into a set that will be loved all through the holidays (and beyond!). There are lots of advent sets, but I particularly love this traditional Playmobil Santa’s Workshop one – £20 on Amazon
7 – Fabulous little zinc houses, ready for a tealight (though they’re pretty cute even when they’re not lit. Complete with the metal hooks to hang them, or simply place on a bookshelf or window sill for some simple Scandi style. £13 for the pair on Lights4Fun
8 – There’s a really elegant spirit of Christmas in this glossy palladium plated bell ornament that hangs from a slender ribbon. It won me with the deliberate crack on the side which adds an oddly ageless look. Found on Saks Fifth Avenue for £35
9 – This pretty garland will light up any corner this Christmas – wind it across your mantel, or use it as your Christmas Dinner centrepiece. The clear crystal beads are lit by 27 white LED lights which are battery powered, so you’re not limited to a lug socket, nor encumbered by ugly wires. £24 on Not On The High Street
A Few little Oddments I Couldn’t Resist Showing you…
10 – An adorable hand-finished sterling silver Christmas pendant charm by PANDORA – if you have the bracelet, you’ll want this under the tree. if you don’t have the bracelet, best ask for one of those too… just love this Christmas ornament with those fabulous red enamel reindeers, a shiny bow and snowflakes on the bead. £40 from PANDORA
11 – If your Father Christmas brings all the presents, then you may need more than just a stocking. Which is where the “Ampleforth” personalised Christmas sack comes into its own! Loads of space, and so simply vintage in its look that it just can’t possibly appear greedy if there are presents all the way to the top… £22 on Not On The High Street
12 – I know, I wouldn’t normally pick up a vase as a Christmas ‘thing’. But there’s just something about this slim glass vase with that evocative design by Barb Tourtillotte. The atmospheric winter woodland scene includes reindeer and robins amongst a frosty forest of trees. Internal white LEDs shine through the glass- this vase is pretty in any light, but it’ll look stunning in a darkened room over the winter. £27 on Very
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