If in doubt, something personalised.
My dad wants a 30-pin adapter for Christmas. Sigh. It was drill bits last year. But as a massive Cadbury fan, I quite want to get him a massive personalised bar of Dairy Milk. You can do this two ways: through the Joyville chocolate site, where you can add photos from Facebook and silly moustaches etc (from £5.25 for a 200g bar plus £3.95 postage), or at the slightly more straightforward Cadbury Gifts Direct, where a personalised 1kg bar of Dairy Milk will set you back 12.50.
This lovely favourite books print is from London-based Garrard Prints on Etsy, and costs £18.95 unframed. If that's a bit dear, do what my ridiculously capable friend Jess did - get Word out, use lots of different fonts, and make your own favourite things print. Then get a bargainous custom frame to top it off. Done.
Two years on, my NES iPhone case is still going strong. It's £28.95 from For Her From You (I wrote myself a nice note, because I'm worth it) and they do a squillion other sorts of cases. The downside is they only cater for 3G to 4S models, so if you've got a swanksome 5 upwards, you'll need to go and visit the moon, or wherever makes them these days.
Also completely excellent from For Her From You is their range of personalised classic books. From Pride and Prejudice to Wuthering Heights, you can either put in the names beforehand, or choose a gift box for the recipient to design their own - handy if you're a bit worried about who to choose as Wickham. This gorgeous version of Alice in Wonderland is £23.95.
MORE BOOKS. I absolutely love personalised Christmas books. I had a beautiful one when I was small, and I thought it was witchcraft. I was so thrilled to think that Father Christmas knew where I lived, even if my brother had his name in it too *curls lip combatively*
I got this Santa book from WOW for a friend as a Secret Santa present last year. At £9.99 it was just inside the £10 budget, and it made me giggle enormously writing in the name, location and age (cough, 33) of the recipient, as well as the names of our group. Totally silly and childish, and brilliant.
If you know a caffeine fiend, Beanberry sells really scrumptious organic coffee, and labels each batch with the roasting date and the name of the recipient, which makes it a bit more fun that picking up some Nespresso capsules at the Co-Op. If you buy coffee as a present before the 18th, the label will read "With best Christmas wishes from... , roasted for ..." with the relevant names added in. They even do decaf.
For the absolute LAST WORD in personalised gifts though, let them make their own gin at the Ginstitute on Portobello Road. It's bloody spendy - £100 - so club together with siblings or whatever. I bought it, and went along with a friend last week who'd got a voucher as a leaving present.
We kicked off with a G&T, a gin collins, and another G&T while the owner, Jake, brilliantly ran through the history of gin for an hour - there was once a gin called Bob. Then we went upstairs and blended our own gins, before wobbling off with that and a bottle of Portobello Road gin via a Negroni in the bar. I named mine Hasidic Juniper, in honour of Hanukkah. Love it.
If you'd just rather have a nice bottle, then Prestige Drinks will engrave three or four lines of text on the bottle of your choice for £8.50 - gin, Champagne, whisky, Sipsmith, Chase, you name it. You can even do it on Jagermeister, which should suit those brave types inclined towards Jagerbombs.
Whatever you end up getting, happy Christmas! *says this in every post until it's actually Christmas*