Sunday, 9 December 2012

Christmas gift guide, part 2

Today's post is by way of a supplement to the supplement, if you like. When I was compiling the Christmas gift guide a couple of weeks ago I was still waiting for certain online orders to complete. Now they have, it's time for me to tell you about...


The multi-talented people at online retailer Zalando are currently offering everyone a chance to create a Christmas song to compete with their own take on 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas' (which you can see here). Furthermore you can win a £250 Zalando voucher simply for sharing your best Christmas present ever, something which could certainly come in handy at this time of year. 


Idealo did get a mention in the last post. But it is worth mentioning again that their research suggests that we're approaching the optimum time to buy presents online. Their analysis of price-trends (and that's what they do - compare the price of products across a range of different sites to find the cheapest) last year suggested that it was up to 24% cheaper to buy online through Idealo in the week before Christmas than earlier in the month. 


A not dissimilar online buying service is now being offered by Flubit. In this case, you find the cheapest you can online, enter the details, and see if they can beat it. And they usually do. I tested them with a price I was convinced they couldn't even match but they not only matched it but smashed it. But hurry! The offers they create don't last forever: you have to act fast. 

Stocking fillers, Santa and more...

Many people, of course, like to buy presents that do some good for those less fortunate. Making an ideal stocking filler, The Royal British Legion have just launched a 'colour me in' Nativity Scene priced at £9.99 and available from the It comes with 12 card figures, 1 card scene, 12 colouring pencils and 12 stands. And the money raised through the sale of the product goes to help forces families.

Of course, the kids might not be getting anything at all if they don't behave themselves. I must admit the mechanism whereby Santa kept a tally of our offspring's good (or bad) deeds has always been something of a mystery. I had no idea that the whole thing involved 'magic jars' until news of the Magic Jar App appeared in my inbox. 

It's developer Steve Jones has this to say: 'Last Christmas I wanted to create something magical for my own two children, and came up with the idea that they had a secret magic jar which would fill up when they were well-behaved. So I quickly built an iPhone app to let them see their magic and how well they were doing. The phrase “daddy, can we check our magic” was the soundtrack to the holidays! My partner Lee Ellis and I decided to make it into a proper app this year for others to enjoy, and we get such a kick out of seeing parents and kids playing with it, making it part of their own Christmas story.'

Once the kids are in credit, they might have the courage to go online and find out what Santa's up to at the North Pole - all without leaving the comfort of your knee or armchair. Because - thanks to an outfit called Portable North Pole - you can access video, an interactive advent calendar or even take phone calls from Santa either on your PC or (via the app) on a mobile device. What's more, much of it is free. But if you want to buy some of the premium features you can get now get a ten per cent discount using this unique voucher code: 


Another app launched this week is My Very First! Songs. Containing over 90 nursery rhymes with video, it's aimed at children of all ages - and is completely free. You can download it here 

Finally, if you're doing any travelling over the festive period (and who isn't?) then you might want to consider asking Santa for one of these:

It's not strictly for you, of course, but will certainly make for a pleasant journey. And it's available from The at just £19.99 (currently down from £24.99) who also do a nice line in phone cases too.

All that remains is to find out how good you've been...

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