The #XmasGiftChallenge at Fforestach Retail Parc

In an attempt at being a sensible adult, I wasn’t planning on going crazy with Christmas shopping this year. 2017 is set to be a busy and pricey year for me so I don’t particularly want to start the New Year feeling the pinch after the festive season.


So, when the team at Fforestfach Retail Parc told me about the #XmasGiftChallenge, I decided to get involved. The challenge was to find the perfect present for five of the people on my Christmas list at Fforestfach Retail Parc. I had up to 4 hours and a budget of £200 to spend the gifts for five people.

I chose to buy for my mum, dad, stepfather, boyfriend and myself because let’s be honest, who can resist picking a little treat for themselves? I would have chosen a friend but we all stopped buying for each other years ago, which makes things less stressful.

#XmasGiftChallenge at Fforestfach Retail Parc

Fforestfach Retail Parc has a fantastic mix of stores covering fashion, beauty, home, food and drink. With River Island, H&M, M&S, Next and more, it’s an ideal destination to get something for everyone on your gift list. It’s also convenient to get to and there’s 4 hours free parking on site.

Time to shop

First, I headed to Marks and Spencer with my mum in mind. I decided to buy her another watch to wear on an everyday basis. She has an expensive watch but only wears it on special occasions so I thought a cheaper (but still stylish) watch for £37.50 would be ideal.

#XmasGiftChallenge at Fforestfach Retail Parc
Posing next to a tree in M&S, what else!

Then, onto my dad. I moved onto to Next and chose a smart navy jumper for him because I knew he would wear it a lot whether it was to work or on the weekends. It was only £30 too which I though was very reasonable.

After that, I went to Boots to buy my stepdad a gift. My stepdad works seven days a week so he isn’t really bothered about new clothes or accessories. However, he appreciates an aftershave and I thought his favourite Aramis scent (£46 for 60ml) would go down well.

#XmasGiftChallenge at Fforestfach Retail Parc
When shopping in Boots…

Coffee Pitstop

Then, it was time for a much-needed Costa Coffee break. I needed a pick-me-up so I had a gingerbread latte which really got me in the Christmas spirit. I also treated my chief bag-carrier Phil to a hot chocolate and a slice of chocolate shimmer cake – the glutton!

#XmasGiftChallenge at Fforestfach Retail Parc
That gingerbread latte was calling me!

Following the coffee break, I went to River Island to choose a present for Phil. I chose a checked shirt (£25) and a black denim jacket (£55) with a sheepskin collar because I knew he would wear them all year round. Plus, £80 for a shirt AND a jacket is an absolute bargain.

#XmasGiftChallenge at Fforestfach Retail Parc

Last but not least, I bought a hat for myself from New Look. I’ve got loads of hats but in my opinion, you can never have too many and this one was only £5.99 so it was hardly breaking the bank or my budget.

#XmasGiftChallenge at Fforestfach Retail Parc

#XmasGiftChallenge at Fforestfach Retail Parc

The result

Overall, I spent three hours shopping and a grand total of £199.49 for my #XmasGiftChallenge. Not bad at all! I could definitely get used to this whole budgeting thing, it’s rather fun!

If you’ve been inspired to get your gift list sorted then Fforestfach Retail Parc is giving you the chance to Win a £200 Xmas shopping spree over on its Facebook page. Good luck everyone!

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