Christmas gift ideas… Find something original on the French Riviera

Christmas is on our doorstep and many of us are still short of gifts, or, more specifically, inspiration. It’s not just about finding the right present for the right person but what if we’re searching for something a little different, something not in the usual stores? Do we honestly want to be wrapping the annual socks, scarves and trinkets? Here are a few ideas to escape the run-of-the-mill…

Head to the arts and crafts markets or art galleries in the area. Many galleries sell affordable small prints or original sculptures by local artists. As well as purchasing something unique there is the added bonus of supporting an undoubtedly struggling artist. Another alternative is to head to some of the museum shops to find original and often beautiful objects, from jewellery to books to silk scarves. Mass-produced, admittedly, but still beautiful. If you opt for the markets you’ll also be able to soak in the Christmas spirit and the comfort of some mulled wine. To find Christmas markets in the region taking place at the moment, see the Events guide.

Buy something local. This may not seem so original for someone living on the Riviera but if you are sending presents home then it can be perceived as quite exotic. Think Biot or Gourdon glass, jams, marmalades and sweets from the local Confiserie Florian with shops in Nice and Pont-du-Loup, something made of olive wood, scents from Grasse or Provençal tablecloths, cushions, aprons and more.

Finally, if you’re still stuck, a great idea is to hire a photographer to take some stunning and professional photographs of your kids and family, either in a studio or in your home. In a digital age where many have come to think of themselves as photographers, the results of a professional are surprising. A lovely gift to send back home to family who can’t be with us during this festive season.

Happy shopping!