What if we reinvented the way we looked at the days of advent? What if, instead of opening the door of a confectionary calendar and sticking another chocolate in our mouth, we looked at ‘advent gestures’ for our female friends.
Here’s 25 suggestions for a kind-hearted advent ‘gift’ for your girlie chum.
And PS – these work just as well for a replacement Christmas present on the big day too!

Bake a Cake

Who doesn’t love a homemade cake? Know your friend is a chocolate fiend or goes crazy for your coffee and walnut? Spend a few hours producing a delicious treat she’ll love.

Babysitting Voucher

Is your pal one who always has to juggle the duties of childcare, before she can ever hope to give herself some personal time? An offer of babysitting for an evening could be just what she needs.

Finesse a CV

Got a girlfriend wanting to get back on the career ladder after a break, or seeking to take the next step up? Are you more able than her to capture her skills and talents in eloquent form? Offer to take an objective look at her CV and polish it up on her behalf.

Write a Personal Letter

When was the last time you put a ‘real pen’ to ‘real paper’? Pull out your best Basildon Bond notepad and write a personal letter to tell that female friend how valued she is.

Paint Their Nails

Pick an evening when the two of you can spend an hour or two uninterrupted, and gift her a pampering manicure. She doesn’t even have to get out of her slippers!

Share Your Magazines

Got a supply of magazines you’ve already leafed through? Would you ordinarily just ditch them? Why not re-gift in a box and remind your friend she deserves some quiet ‘me time’ to immerse herself in a few glossy titles as she lounges on the sofa or soaks in the bath.

Drop Over a Casserole

If you’re known as the foodie in your friendship group, or have a domestic instinct which beats that of your buddy, or you just know your female pal rarely has time to cook properly for herself, drop her over that steaming pot of casserole, chilli or lasagne which you know she’ll love to devour.

Do the School Run

Are you always hearing how hectic life is for your friend? If she also has parenthood duties on her daily tick-list, how about suggesting that just for once, you’ll relieve her the effort of the school run?

Pre-Pay Their Appointment

Know where your friend goes for a hair appointment or for their regular manicure? Get in there first and pay the beautician, so that next time your pal pitches up, her appointment is completely paid for.

Send a Hamper

We all love a rummage through a box of surprises, so why not order a hamper which you’ve put together via one of the retail options online – or, even better, grab from the supermarket all the goodies and treats you know she’ll specifically love.

Review Their Business

Does your friend run a business? Perhaps she has a salon, a clothes brand, a book or a restaurant? Have you been online and boosted her reviews of late? What a great way to support that important aspect of her world.

Frame a Photo

Is there a phone on your mobile which captures your friendship perfectly, or which happens to feature her and her kids? Print the picture out as an unexpected gift.

Gift Your Green Fingers

Are you more green-fingered than she is? Does she run out of time or inclination to stay on top of her gardening? Could you gift an hour of your time for some potting and planting?

Walk The Dog

Is she a dog-owner who has to squeeze in the daily requirements of pet-care? What about offering to do the dog walk for a day – or even providing free canine lodgings for a weekend?

Grab Their Coffee

Know how they have their coffee at work? Always meet them at the station for the commute in? Get ahead and pick up the coffee for the day.

Book That Ticket

Is it high time she had some time off to watch a movie, get to the theatre, or see the exhibition she always wanted to? You could be the nudge she needs to make that special event happen.

Say it in Biscuits

Baking your thing? Does she have a sweet tooth? Say it with words…in cookie format. Get yourself letter and word cutters and spell out a meaningful message – from ‘You Got This’, to ‘Have a Great Day’.

Deliver Their Tree

Know that she’ll want to get a real tree but that she’ll struggle for time this festive season? Offer to go pick up her tree and perhaps even to share in the decorating.

Take a ‘Walk n Talk’

Does she just need the chance to talk without distraction? Combine it with a dose of fresh air and go for a ‘talk n walk’ with your pal in a local park, or by the river.

Buy One, Buy One More

Are you off to the supermarket and able to add a few extra bits to your basket when you do? Stick an extra loaf of fresh bread, perhaps some cookies and some flowers into your haul, and make it a reason to call by your friend and present her with something totally unexpected.

‘That’s a Wrap’ Party

Not all of us love being surrounded by Christmas gift wrap and sticky tape. Either we’re lousy at it, or we just hate setting aside the time. Offer to share in a ‘wrap party’ with your friends. (Just make sure you’ve not got too far through the wine before the packing is done!).

Boost Their Charity

Is there a particular charity or project which you know your friend takes pleasure in supporting? Suggest that this year you’ll boost her charity of choice. It’ll mean so much more to her.

Pass on a Membership

Have you taken out a gym membership you’re not using and simply won’t? Perhaps you have membership to National Trust or something similar? If it’s possible to transfer into someone else’s name, would your friend reap more benefit than you?

Be a Car-Boot Buddy

Is it about time your friend cleansed her kids’ cupboards of unwanted toys and clothes to make space for a new Christmas haul? Perhaps the two of you could join forces for a chatty Sunday morning spent running a car boot stand together?

Offer a House Swap

Does your friend need a change of scene? We’re not saying you have to run to expensive hotel options for her, but perhaps offer that you’ll disappear for a weekend or stay at hers, while she gets a change of scene at your home? Be sure to leave a gift hamper of luxuries for her to enjoy.