Awkward Family Gifts - Give the gift of indie mags!

Picture the scene. It’s Christmas Day and after last year’s restrictions, the entire extended family complete with painfully shy teenage boyfriends, boisterous cousins and aged parents are all crammed around the Christmas tree. Strong Words mag said it best when they called Xmas ‘the annual gift-giving crisis!’. Well, this year why not forego the usual bottles of plonk and give the gift of magazines?

We’ve got something for everyone in your marvellous, mismatch menagerie of relatives. For some inspiration, here’s a selection of gifts we’ll be giving….


For Uncle Bob (who hates his job)...

 Uncle Bob has been dreaming about starting his own business forever, so for him, we’re wrapping up the Courier mag’s first book. It’s a beautiful 2 inch-thick hardback book absolutely chock a block with inspiring stories of people who’ve set up their own businesses. ‘A manifesto for life and work,’ it covers everything retail, fashion, media, food & drink and more and we think it’ll give Bob the kick to do what he loves (and stop complaining every Christmas). Courier: Work Better. Live Smarter. Be Happier. £35


For our Anglophile Auntie Lori...

Auntie Lori moved to the States 20 years ago and LOVES the Royals, afternoon tea and Pride & Prejudice, so we’ve chosen The Modern Jetsetter  for her. A love letter to traditional English heritage from HRH Prince Phillip to Mount St Printers to modern aristocrats, Modern Jetsetter is complimented by stunning photography of sweeping stately home driveways, drawing rooms and all manner of heritage delights. Large format and glossy. The Modern Jetsetter £20.


For Uncle David (who we share awkward conversation around the eggnog with)...

Uncle David always receives the ‘nice’ bottle of wine on offer in the supermarket. He's been in the family a few years now, and we only ever see him at Christmas or the occasional wedding, but we’re starting to hand over the tall snowflake patterned gift bag with a sheepish grin. So we’re mixing it up this year! Uncle D knows his Pinot from his Pet Nat (and has an opinion on both), so it’s Noble Rot for him.  It's the mag from the eponymous Soho bar and restaurant, with a great ‘blend’ of serious wine writing and enjoyable pieces on etiquette, great restaurants and more. Noble Rot £10

If your Uncle David imbibes all manner of spirits, you could try Tonic. This is a beautiful larger-format mag combining travel and drinking culture and each issue explores libations from around the world. Great photography, whether that’s a shot of a medieval church-cum-brewery, or purple grapes being crushed by hand, it’s a great read and will give your Uncle David lots of did-you-know information at the next family gathering. Tonic £15


For Great Aunt Rose and Great-Uncle Jim.

Auntie Rosie and Uncle Jim are lovers of historic Britain and for them, it’s got to be The British Isles in Colour. It’s a series of books of Photocrom photography. ‘What’s that?’ I hear you cry. Well, Photocrom was a technique of colourising black and white negatives from 1890-1910 and was used to mass-produce scenic postcards of the time. This means that Rosie and Jim’s grandparents may well have been sent a postcard from Brighton beach, or Skipton Castle with one of these VERY images on the front!

Rosie and Jim are from Kent so we’re sending them the Southern England book, but there’s also Central England, Northern England and the South West to choose from. (We’re also going to pop in a copy of The Nightingale in English Poetry, just because). The British Isles in Colour series. £16.99.


For cousin Jerome (who starts every sentence with “When I was in Japan…”)

Cousin J LOVES everything about Japan. We once made the mistake of buying him some festive sake, but it turns out, if you don’t know anything about sake, this can be a very disappointing gifting experience for all involved. Luckily, there’s a much better option in print.

This year, we’re sorted with Storied mag. It’s a new quarterly all about Japan. Firstly, it’s visually beautiful. Incredibly elegant with beautiful photography and delicate fonts, but more importantly each issue is a collection of hidden places, traditions, heritage crafts, architecture and everyday life that take you to the heart of Japan. In other words, it’s the complete opposite of the bottle of sake we bought on Amazon. We’re going for the Islands issue but you can browse the others here.  Storied. £15


For cousin Sam, the uni student

Sam is in their second year at uni, and loves to share what they’re learning when they (very rarely) come home for a visit. Sam’s mind is expanding with every lecture, neurons firing off in every direction (oh, those were the days). Sam will LOVE New Philosopher magazine. Each issue takes a different aspect of our lives and pontificates, ponders, analyzes and attempts to understand it, blending modern day writers like DBC Pierre and Nigel Warburton and thinkers of old like Nikola Tesla and Albert Einstein, along with photos, graphics and quotes designed for curious minds, just like Sam’s. He’s studying Politics so we’re going with issue 21: Power, but there are lots to choose from on the shop. New Philosopher £9.95


For our impossibly stylish sister (who’s impossible to buy for)…

Shopping for our sister Zoe always brings us out in a slight sweat. She’s creative, intelligent and manages to look stylish in her pyjamas, so a quick trip to Marks just won’t cut it. However, we are all set this year. Hurray. She buys the glossies from time to time, but I know that she’s never tried The Gentlewoman or Konfekt. Two powerhouse magazines with exceptional design, incredible fashion and above all fantastic, long-form journalism, intelligent essays and interviews with inspiring and creative people from artists to writers to politicians. We’re wrapping them both up in brown paper and string and ticking her off the list. Gentlewoman £8. Konfekt £15.


For the best cook in the world…Mum

Mum always gets a cookbook from someone in the family and don’t get me wrong, she loves getting them and displays them proudly on the shelf, but there are only so many days in the year and she has enough recipes to last a hundred lifetimes. Solution? Eaten Magazine. It’s a food history mag and it’s perfect for those who take joy in the communal nature of food and the origins of what people eat and why. This year, we’re going for the rather festive Party issue which explores the surrealist dinner parties of Salvador Dali, the 70s cult classic Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake Book, (which brings back some great childhood memories), and the early history of the pizza. Full of charming, fascinating and sometimes bizarre recipes, photos and accounts, it’s a twist on a classic Xmas gift that we’re very excited to stick under the tree. Eaten £15


So that’s our Christmas sorted. I hope this has provided a little gift inspiration.

We think there’s something for everyone on the shop but if you’re not sure, just ask us! We love to hear from you. You can email us at or message us on Instagram @picsandinkmags.

If you’re sending a mag to someone you can’t be with at Christmas, remember you can include a message with your order and we’ll hand write a gift card for you.

Thanks for reading and Merry Xmas.

Our Xmas Gift List!

 Courier Book  The Modern Jetsetter  Noble Rot magazine  Tonic Magazine  The British Isles in Colour  Storied Magazine New Philosopher Magazine  The Gentlewoman magazine  Konfekt Mag   Eaten Magazine


Leave a comment (all fields required)