Every year, around this time mum asks me what I want for Christmas, the usual reply is “I don’t know, what do you want?”. We’re both the kind of people who buy what we want when we need it making the giving of the gift a challenge.
In the past, I have resorted to tickets to shows or days out. But with last year’s gift still sat on the shelf waiting for restrictions to ease, it’s time to think outside the box.
Businesses of all shapes and sizes have had a tough year this year. And let’s be honest, one of the joys of Christmas comes from the gift of giving. So I’ve compiled a list of festive gifts and treats that gives back to the small business owners / entrepreneurs up and down the country.
What’s not included here, but also a great idea is gift vouchers for their favourite salon / pub / beautician. You can then complement them on their fresh do and give a business a boost this year.
These are loosely broken down into categories that should help you identify your recipient, but feel free to share ideas in the comments too.
For the art appreciator
There are plenty of artists out there and Etsy is usually a great place to start, but with a huge selection of options, it can be a minefield finding the right art. I’ve posted some of my favourites here which should help you find something for the modern man or woman.
For the simple, yet elegant style, why not check out Rachel Winter’s line art. For those that are wanting to bring a feel of street art into their homes, I’d recommend having a gander of Rock Salt Prints.
Or maybe they’re after some crisp colours and strong animal work, then check out here for Sarah’s Sketches studio.
Here we reach the place where art meets homely touches with prints, but also fabric and cushions. Some great animal artistry from Lucy Rose Cartwright.
For those wanting the homely touches
We’ve all spent more time at home this year and probably taken on some failed DIY projects along the way too.
For your friend who needs a little touch up on the soft furnishing, have a little peek at Sewn By B.
Home Bird House has a huge selection of items that could be perfect in any home, including animal prints. But for those that like a more rustic feel, the ironmongery section could be perfect. And the wall mounted bottle open caters to a whole new crowd!
And sometimes, in these chilly winter evenings, all we really want is a nice snuggly blanket. If that’s the case, have a browse at Yorkshire Blankets!
And no home is complete with some perfect scents. I’m treating you with two different options for some wax melts! First up we have Sail Away Aromas, who only set up shop in Autumn, so you can tell your friends they’re an early mover. But also have a look at LittleRedfernCompany with their snow fairy melts being one of their best sellers, it’s sure to make a great stocking filler.
For the book lovers
In an effort to keep the local feel to this post, I want to start by highlighting Bookshop. The online store that helps you to support local businesses. You might be thinking of purchasing a book recently reviewed by me or you know there is one they would love, so check it out and give back.
However, if you’re less sure what book they want, but know they’re open to most things, why not check out A Box of Stories who send you a box of books – you can select what type of audience but the rest is a mystery! I used them and discovered The Woman at 72 Derry Lane so some real gems can be found.
But maybe your recipient loves getting post, so a subscription might be better. A Box of Stories does that too. But for those who want to support more women authors, have a gander at Books That Matter. Their subscription service also includes three gifts from some women creatives offering a little treat more than books.
For the Foody
This is where the tastebuds start to get excited!
First up, the gift for the man or woman in your life who loves sauce. But they’re also keen to try something a little different. Check out MustChup which offers sauces which bring ketchup and mustard together! They come in a range of spice levels too – so ideal for those that can handle the heat.
I’ll be honest, I’ve only included libbybakeslondon as her instagram offers a real feast for the eyes. Less of a gift for Christmas and more of a cake for an occasion, but I think this gives there reason to have a celebration every day!
Is any Christmas wishlist complete without some booze? If Vodka is the drink of choice, get into the festive spirit with Heroes drink company. It’s a non-for-profit drinks company founded by a veteran, which is something I’m sure we can all raise a glass too.
And finally, the perfect choice to satisfy any sweet tooth. I’m in love with The Fudge Kitchen’s hot fudges – like hot chocolate but more indulgent. In normal times, you can see the fudge being made in-store and try samples which make any shopping trip better.
For the do-ers
For many, lockdown has seen people pick up their paintbrushes or put on their apron for the first time. These are some gifts for those that want to continue this creative release into 2021.
Cotton Clara brings you your next project, whether cross stitch or embroidery, there’s a challenge here. One of the bestsellers is even COVID-19 inspired – what more could you want!
If you want your creative release to have a more edible ending The Busy Baking Company is for you. Take the stress out of baking with their baking mixes. Gluten-free bakes available too.
I’ll admit, I don’t buy many presents for children so have labelled this for families to give me a little get out of jail free card!
For those that have been cooped up at home for too long now, why not offer a rural escape? Humblebee farm offers a rural escape for some glamping. And for those who need a little more comfort, luxury cottages are available too. With gift vouchers an option, whatever 2021 has in store a rural retreat may still be possible.
Sticking with the slightly more country feel for the family – check out these adorable placemats from Sophie Botsford. Although, it’s too late to get these personalised in time for Christmas, the alphabet options are great for younger members of the family.
For the fashionista
Next up, gifts for the fashionable friends. It can be a bit of a risk buying clothing as a gift, so try and find out their size before you offend!
One area where size is less of an issue is hats. Stanford Hats offers a huge range of men’s and women’s hats – including a peaky blinders edit.
We’ve all got that one friend who has something unique and their secret might be Sissoo – a limited hand made collection is sure to offer up something special for Christmas day.
But is any outfit truly complete without accessories? Buzz Jolie, is another brand launched this year, which offers affordable and timeless pieces. From necklaces to bracelets and rings, they have your jewellery needs covered.
Let’s be honest, no Christmas write up is complete without socks. Sally Day stationary has a wonderful selection of socks with birds on amongst other items where the country theme continues.
For my final fashion option, I’ve gone down the men’s fashion route. ENSO clothing offer ethical streetwear and sustainable swimwear. They also place a strong focus on ethical supply chains which is another tick.
For the environmentally conscious
The focus on the planet might have been slightly dropped this year as we fight the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean our presents need to.
First up we have The Little Bee Hut which will sort you out whether you want a new lip balm, beard cream or an alternative to cling film.
But being ethical doesn’t need to stop there, The Beauty Crop, is an ethical option for you make-up lovers. They’re now being shopped at Superdrug so going up in the world, but definitely one to check out.
Some of the best eco options are those that cater to the upcyclers in us. One Drunk Viking does that perfectly. Old bottles are transformed into solutions that will light up your lives – so it’s well worth checking out.
I hope this rather long list has given you some inspiration for Christmas gifts this year. But it’s important to remember, Christmas isn’t just about the presents under the tree.