Archive for the ‘Gifts’ Category

Nanu Guide To Charity Christmas Gifts

Donkey and Cart

Today is the 17th December, a day bound to strike fear into the best of us, for not only is it my mum's birthday (happy birthday Mum!) but it is EXACTLY ONE WEEK UNTIL CHRISTMAS.

If you haven't quite finished all your Christmas shopping yet, or if you've been holding back waiting for the perfect gift then do not fear, I'm here to help! If you're looking for something truly unique, special and memorable, then look no further than my guide to Charity Christmas gifts. Why not treat your nearest and dearest while helping someone else at the same time? Perfect for that warm and fuzzy feeling that we're all so obsessed with come Christmas time.

N.B. Obviously I highly recommend looking around these sites for their other gift ideas, these are just my selected picks!

Under £10

Feed A Family – £7 (Oxfam)

As part of their 'Oxfam Unwrapped' initiative, for just £7 you can give a family affected by crisis food vouchers for exchange with local traders. Not only do the family get a decent meal, but you'll also be supporting local producers and contributing to the restart an economy often needs after local disasters.

Message in a Bauble – £10 (Refuge)

For a donation of any amount (although £10 is probably a good starting point, Scrooge) you can write a message to women and children escaping domestic violence. The baubles, complete with messages, will decorate Christmas trees in various refuges to bring a smile to the faces of those who need it most.

Fox Tea Towel/Cushion – £10 (RSPCA)

Get this designer tea towel for someone crafty – it also comes with a sewing guide about how to turn it into a cushion! Not only is it organic but your money will go towards feeding and caring for hurt and abandoned animals this Christmas. How much good can you do with one present?!


Deliver A Baby – £23.50 (UNICEF)

Pay for one-fiftieth of a midwifery ward and provide all the equipment required to safely deliver a baby, including medicines and sterilisation, delivery and resuscitation equipment.

Adopt A Panda – £40 (Edinburgh Zoo)

Edinburgh's most famous new residents are celebrating their anniversary this month after landing safely on 4th December 2011. £40 gets you the 'Bronze' level of adoption where you'll receive certificates, fact sheets, stickers and badges as well as the feeling of supporting the pandas and the zoo for a whole year.


Donkey and Cart – £174  (Action Aid)

Support women in remote villages in Ghana who can't carry enough produce to justify long trips to markets – these women resort to using their children for help who in turn are often injured and miss out on vital schooling. Feed a family and educate a child for £174.

Great Boodles Bangles – £220 (GREAT)

The GREAT initiative provides support and finance to women at a grassroots level in order to redress gender inequality around the world. This bangle is expensive at £220 (although a lot cheaper than it's £10,000 counterpart…) but 100% profit goes to GREAT and you'll be doing your bit to target inequality, something that will collectively have huge long-term effects.



Nanu How To: Buying for nerds, a gift guide Part 1

Knitted Star Wars - £8.64 each from Etsy Perhaps the cutest of all Star Wars toys. These handmade toys come in all sorts of variations and if there is a character you really want but isn't listed you can contact the artist to request one. Princess Leia as Boushh for me please.

Buying gifts for a nerd can be a difficult process. A friend who likes Star Wars or video games would really appreciate a gift that shows you know them and are interested in their interests. The problem is you aren’t. Well don’t fret because Nanu is here to help. Over two parts I will be exploring some of the more unique gift options out there for the pop culture obsessive in your life. Thanks to Georgina who helped me compile this list.

For the Star

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Wars Nerd

For the Animation Geek

Regular Show and Adventure Time are the biggest shows in the animation world right now. These rather brilliant shows are served by a huge array of merchandise. Unfortunately said merch isn’t widely available in the UK, the American imports on Amazon are overly expensive and not everyone lives near a Forbidden Planet.

For the Video Gamer

Next time Star Trek, Doctor Who and Comic Books. Oh and some weird alternatives, nerdy nipple tassels anyone?

Nanu How To: Secret Santa

christmas-presents (1)

Is money a little tight this Christmas? Are you running out of time to buy sackloads of presents? Do you simply have too many friends? Then a Secret Santa could just be the thing for you! I have organised and taken part in many “secret” festive gift-giving activities over the years, and have come up with this handy, step-by-step guide to carrying out a Secret Santa to rival the actual Lapland-based operation.  

  YOU WILL NEED: 4 – 40 people Any less, there’s no element of surprise; any more, it becomes a little unruly.   Pieces of paper with all your Santa-ees names on them If you can write them all on sticky labels (that still have the backing attached, of course), all the better. They can then double as the present label and there’s no risk of handwriting giving someone away.   A hat, box, bag, bowl etc from which to draw the names There are two ways to do this:

  1. Make everyone pick names at once. Getting people to gather all in the one place at the same time can be logistically tricky. However, it means that everyone is ready to go and saves you the job of chasing people up (never fun).
  2. Leave the hat/box/bag/bowl/etc somewhere where everyone has access to it with a big sign explaining the Secret Santa procedure. This is generally more convenient for everyone but the organiser, who will inevitably have to send a few “so… the secret santa…” texts. Also cannot guarantee that people won’t look at the name labels left in the hat/box/bag/bowl/etc. Risky.

I personally recommend Option 1 for groups of 10 or fewer people, and Option 2 for larger parties.  

  A budget £5 – Big Groups You might get your best pal, or you might get Tony from HR who you think you maybe once cc’d into an email. In these situations, I stick by a Jay-Z inspired motto of LOW MONEY, LOW PROBLEMS. Expectations in a £5 Secret Santa are rock bottom: joke gifts are the norm and a real present is an unexpected delight. Anything better than a Boots bath bomb will suffice. Top Tip: Never, EVER buy anyone a bath bomb.   £10 – Extended Friend Groups Breathe a sigh of relief here – you no longer have to buy all your pals presents! For the most part you should know what everyone is in to (unless someone’s relatively new boyfriend/girlfriend is unexpectedly included out of politeness. Those rules are simple: don’t buy them a bath bomb. In all seriousness, unless they are teetotal, the best option there is probably a nice bottle of wine). The budget isn’t high enough for anything outstanding/from Urban Outfitters, so it’s time to get creative and create tangential links between hobbies and your chosen presents. Top Tip: For the most part, a few smaller things looks more impressive than one big thing: add a nail varnish or a couple of pin badges to the main part of the present and it instantly seems more fulfilling.   £20+ – Close Friends/Flatmates/Family/Cult Members Bringing out the big guns with a £20+ budget suggests you really mean business. I recommend a 2-good-present-to-1-small-comedy-present ratio within your budgetary framework. This is not the

time to be generic, either – if you’re willing to spend that much on someone, you must know and like them at least a little bit. Therefore, in-jokes should take pride of place within your wrapping, and functional presents should be banned. Top Tip: Learn a (rare) lesson from Love Actually’s Mia and treat your recipient to something they want, not something they need.   An end in sight Pick a date on which to exchange your gifts, ideally no earlier than the 20th December to allow maximum purchasing time. It’s a nice excuse to have a big Christmas dinner or movie night. With any luck, everyone will be delighted with their gift(s), and you’ll have saved a pretty penny.

Happy Secret Santa-ing!