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Cracking presents for tough Christmas nuts

We all have them: people who are nearly impossible to buy Christmas presents for. You know who the tough ones on your list are: the teenage niece, the dad who doesn’t do Christmas, the friend who’s got everything. And then there’s the dreaded Secret Santa…  But never fear, this year Inveraray Jail’s shop manager Marion McKinlay is determined to help and she’s ordered in a whole range of great Christmas gifts for these hard-to-buy-for people.

Teenage girls are top of the tricky list. They know what’s hot and what’s not. We reckon you’ll find a few gems in the shop that will make even the sulkiest adolescent crack a smile on Christmas morning. Marion’s top tip for a triumphant teen present is the totally on-trend chunky knitted bobble hats that come in loads of great colours. Give one of these to an under 16 and there’s a good chance the response will be: “Cool!”

Knitted  booble hat

This chunky knitted bobble hat is just the thing for trendy teens.

Another great option is something from the eclectic Santoro Gorjuss range of accessories, which includes bags, storage tins, pens, lip balm, badges and more – everything that a teenage girl loves. Marion stocked the brand for the first time this year and it’s gone down a storm. The media and phone sleeves make great little Christmas gifts, while the ‘On Top Of The World’ bag (£85) would make a special present for a teenager who likes to travel.

The Symbology range of silver jewellery is another favourite. The lovely bracelets and necklaces come with little sayings to mark special moments and relationships, including one for daughters and one for best friends. Or how about giving a super stylish scarf? They come in a range of patterns including birds, owls and spots and all cost a very reasonable £7.50. Marion’s noticed that teenage girls have been snapping up the tartan-patterned ones. They seem to love the cute fabric owl bags (£9.99) by Pretty Perfect Presents too.

Santoro bag and symbology necklace

Teenage girls will love the Santoro range of accessories and Symbology jewellery.

Like a lot of women, Marion has always found her husband a tough nut to crack when it comes to Christmas presents. So this year she was determined to stock the shop with great gifts for guys.  Forget boring socks! Marion has sourced a whole host of unique options. The Dapper Chap range will keep your man smart and tidy. The retro-style travel bag (£8.99) with a ‘Looking Sharp’ slogan is perfect for chaps who like to exude old-English style, while the ‘Made to Measure’ 3-metre tape is a fun gift for a fashionable fella and costs just £3.99. The Scottish Fine Soap Classic Male range, meanwhile, will keep him smelling sweet. Marion reckons that the travel bag is a great buy at £19.95. It’s made from super-soft leather and contains a mini exfoliating body wash, facial wash, shampoo and after shave – perfect for a trip away.

The perfect gift for a dapper chap.

The ideal present for a dapper chap.

If the man in your life is more interested in gadgets than grooming, Marion has it covered. For something totally individual, an Inveraray Jail memory key (£8.99) should do the trick. It’s a USB stick and a key ring, and only available to buy from one place in the world! If your brother likes a beer, then he’ll love to unwrap a ‘Classic Guitar’ or ‘Robot’ bottle opener on Christmas morning. If single malt is more his thing, then Marion recommends the ‘Bottoms Up’ 5oz stainless steel hip flask.

Robot bottle opener

An great gift for the bloke who loves beer.

Finding a decent Secret Santa gift for a colleague can be seriously challenging. If you’re struggling this year, the shop is full of fun little gifts.  The very festive wine bottle stoppers with slogans including ‘Be Merry’, ‘Well Red’ and ‘All for Me’ are just £3.99 and are ideal for those who like a tipple, as are the spotty fabric wine bottle bags. Still stuck? How about an ‘Escaped from Inveraray Jail’ rubber duck at £4.99 or some huge Inveraray Jail chocolate coins?

Range of wine stoppers

These wine stoppers make fantastic little Secret Santa gifts.

As well as cracking the tough Christmas-pressie nuts, Marion’s been busy ordering in new toys, games and books for kids. She’s also introduced some fabulously festive items, such as The Scottish Fine Soap Christmas Bauble Soaps. They’re very seasonally scented with cinnamon and spiced apple. Her favourite find for Christmas? Marion loves the silver gift tokens that come with promises including ‘one car clean’, ‘one hour of kisses’ and ‘breakfast in bed’. She’s planning to give her best friend a ‘one night out’ token and then take her out for a night on the tiles.

For more great Christmas ideas, why not pop into the Inveraray Jail shop for a browse? You could make a day of it and visit the other shops in Inveraray. In between shopping, make sure you find the time to take a tour of Inveraray Jail. We’re open every day from 10am to last admission at 4pm until March.


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Inveraray Jail, Argyll, Scotland, PA32 8TX