The Chic List: My gift-giving game changer

Fashion columnist and influencer Joanne Hegarty shares her advice on how to nail Christmas gifts every time. 

I have found the secret to giving – and receiving – the perfect Christmas gift. And I want to share it with you today.

It’s that time of year again – already, can you believe it?– when we have to turn ourselves into a magic fairy with a big can-do festive wand. And a smile, no matter if sometimes it’s a little forced.

Jo Hegarty
Present shopping? Already sorted! Coat by Joseph, trousers by Vince, jumper from Mango. Image: Victoria Metaxas

Don’t get me wrong, I adore Christmas but, as we all know, it can feel like a to-do list marathon. Transform our homes into wonderlands. Tick! Become domestic goddesses cooking up a storm. Tick! Organise and source fabulous festive gifts for all our loved ones. Tick! The list could take up this entire page.

But in recent years, I have discovered a simple solution to the Christmas gift conundrum. One that means none of us have to get our tinsel in a tangle scouring the shops– and guarantees everyone getting something they will cherish on Christmas morning.

No more fake exclamations of ‘Oh really you shouldn’t have.’ When inside they’re thinking ‘After years of marriage, does this person even know me at all?’

The secret to the perfect gift is the magic email; a short wish-list of what we really want – within a certain budget, of course. And here’s the crucial bit: with all the relevant online shopping links included. Simply ping it to your other half or family and job done. It may sound cold or unromantic to some, but the truth is that, as people get older, they get harder and harder to buy for. And some are just downright impossible.

When I first suggested sourcing my own gift ideas and emailing my husband the links, I could see blessed relief enveloping him. Now everyone in the family does it. And it’s been a total gamechanger.

I hate waste and it’s such a shame to blow hard-earned cash on something that nobody likes. Or something that’s nearly– but not quite – right.

The one important rule is that nobody gets to see or handle their self-chosen gifts until Christmas morning. So you still get the satisfaction of the big day.

So what type of things might be going on my wish list email this year? A set of scented marble candles from Soho Home to get me through the winter nights. A pair of cashmere socks from The White Company (I love the idea of these but would never buy them for myself). Winter Bath Oil from Susanne Kaufmann. A jewellery case from Smythson or a necklace from Alighieri. Excuse me while I head off to compile the links…

grey scarf

This will go with everything and last a lifetime. Scarf, £250, Totême,

This smells heavenly. Bath oil, £50, Susanne Kaufmann,


A candle and pretty marble vessel in one. Candle, £90, Soho Home,

YSL blackbag

Sleek and chic. Pouch, £405, Saint Laurent,

grey socks

Ideal for Christmas movie viewing. Socks, £36,

Protect your gems while travelling. Jewellery roll, £345,

Christmas gift perfection. Pendant, £180, Alighieri,

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