What to buy from Gap … Lauren Cochrane
The nephew A roaring glow that glows in the dark? This T-shirt goes beyond a conversation-starter to something that is almost an actual toy. It will also make you seem like the best uncle or aunt ever – even if you run the risk of finding dark corners all Christmas Day to see that bear glow.
The teenage girl A beanie is understated and everyday, which means you get brownie points from teenagers who hate anything too try-hard. Add the proper luxury cashmere and there’s the implication that you consider her a grownup. Tick and tick.
The mother-in-law The key here is something that plays it safe while staying on the right side of chic. A Breton does all of that – it has that gold standard Coco Chanel association and features on the cover of British Vogue this month, too.
The unexpected guest Useful but also a bit meta – socks for Christmas? What a cliche! These are kind of like the next step up from a cracker present. And, as such, exactly right for someone you weren’t expecting an hour before.
The uncle In our experience, uncles like anything practical – the kind of thing that would sustain them and look smart for a long walk on a winter’s day. Thesegloves fit the bill for both specifications and the moss green colour is just unusual enough in a wardrobe – we’d wager – of navy blue and charcoal grey.
What to buy from John Lewis … Imogen Fox
The nephew Slippers are key to the very DNA of the Christmas wardrobe. And these ones come with a blue tick of verification from the fashion desk.
The teenage girl Tough crowd, this one. But a bag is always useful for weekend cinema visit/sleepover/carrying their mum’s hand-me-down smartphone. This one is a bit of a classic. And it’s already on sale. Get in.
The mother-in-law Nothing says I have just the appropriate combination of fear/respect/fondness for you than cashmere. It’s the quality, but balance out the seriousness of cashmere with a softer colour that says: “I’m terrified of you but I’m sure you have a softer side too.”
The unexpected guest Looks posher than it is. Says: “We both know this is a thought-free back-up gift, but it’s got all the right interior magazine overtones.”
The uncle Nice, useful, bit arty looking in a I-suspect-you-know-your-Rothko-from-your-Mondrian kinda way.
What to buy from M&S … Morwenna Ferrier
The nephew Peppa Pig, or Picasso Pig as I call him, means very little to me but apparently everything to children so, yep, one of these and you’re golden.
The teenage girl This might look like a fat-shaming, exercise-shaming, pigeonholing gift but that’s where you’re wrong. They can use it for yoga, but they can also use it for Glastonbury, on the beach or when they’re having a sleepover.
The mother-in-law Little-known fact – every mother-in-law wants to look like Twiggy. Not only that but they like the idea of being on-trend. A poloneck, likethis, is a good start, being one of the year’s biggest looks.
The uncle Little-known fact – every uncle wants to look like David Gandy. M&S knows this, which is why it has produced a line of quite nice stuff so you can participate in ‘Gandy cosplay’. These pyjama bottoms are also quite nice for sleeping in.
The unexepected guest What to give the unexpected guest? An ice-breaker, such as this “cheese baker”. Presumably something for baking cheese in, its success lies in its niche-ness. It also looks nice, is ceramic, dishwasher and microwave safe. Plenty to talk about.
What to buy from Debenhams … Melanie Wilkinson
The nephew As a general rule, most kids hate wearing hats, but this checkedtrapper style (which I kind of wish came in adult size) might just persuade him to keep one on.
The teenage girl She’ll think this bag is quirky and cool, and you’re safe in the knowledge that she has enough room for all life’s necessities … tissues, a waterproof jacket etc.
The mother-in-law A considered homeware gift ticks all the right boxes, it’s useful and decorative, plus – who doesn’t love a chevron.
The uncle Classic grey, button-down collar and Fred Perry for that 1990s throwback feel (he’ll get it), all in a nice thick-looking utility fabric.
The unexpected guest It’s very lolz in a totally tropical way, and also practical. Worth every penny for the time people will spend passing it round and wondering how it can be a pen “and a flamingo” at the same time.
House of Fraser … Hannah Marriott
The nephew Surely no one is immune to Star Wars buzz this year? Even if the boy himself is too young to be bothered, his parents will be delighted by this.
The teenage girl From what I hear on the grapevine, the selfie is the only thing teenage girls really cared about in 2015. Why fight it? Get one of these.
The mother-in-law All the best presents are a slightly more expensive/luxurious/high-quality version of something the recipient will actually need and use. Like these.
The uncle Too many people buy sub-standard shower gels for men. A properly posh shampoo is the answer (as long as he’s not bald).