• Charlie Collis

The Ultimate Handmade Christmas Gift Guide

Updated: Nov 9, 2021

Many people (myself included) are stopping to think about the bigger picture this Christmas. With the rise of the zero waste, reusable, refillable movement, it's time to apply those same values to Christmas. Take a minute to consider the environmental impact of your usual gift purchases, where they come from and who will benefit most from your custom this Christmas. Will your loved ones really appreciate generic plastic gifts from a supermarket? Perhaps they would prefer a long lasting, personalised or one-of-a-kind present? 

2021 has been one of the hardest hitting years for small businesses across the UK and Ireland, with disruption to deliveries and suppliers causing havoc in the wake of the pandemic and Brexit. Now more than ever, independent retailers need our support to remain open and thriving. And they make some pretty fantastic gift-able goodies!

Shop Independent

A great place to start your search online for unique gifts is UK Gift Hour. Use the UK Gift Hour Giftfinder to browse categories and materials such as wood, textiles and glass to source the perfect present for a special someone, all year round. Or, find fresh new products from independent makers every weekend on Twitter with the hashtags #UKGiftHour and #UKGiftAM.

#UKGiftAM hand tied present wrapped in brown paper gold bow
#UKGiftAM Christmas Gift Ideas

My Helpful Hints Small Business Directory is another Twitter based community, brimming with talented artists, makers, jewellers and designers. Follow the #MHHSBD hashtag to keep up with hundreds of handmade products, sales and new releases. The Merryn Christmas Gift Guide is another wonderful online directory filled with over 1,200 fantastic handcrafted, artisan goodies from independent British businesses. It's well worth a browse as the nights draw in, cosied up on the sofa with a mug of hot chocolate, gently easing you into the festive season.

Less is More If I have something super specific already in mind, my immediate go to is Etsy. It's choc full of talented artists, illustrators, creators, makers and designers that can make your visions become a reality. From furniture to fabric, there's a whole raft of potential and many Etsy sellers consider their environmental impact throughout their process.

Popular gifts for Christmas Gin Advent calendars
Etsy.com Christmas Shop Gift Ideas

A lot of makers on Etsy also offer ready made products that can ship next day. If you're shopping later in the year, just filter shipping to show UK based sellers only to minimise the chance of any accidental delivery delays.

Shop Local

Perhaps you know somebody that can knit a scarf for your mum? Ask them! Bespoke gifts can take longer to make, but that’s the beauty of shopping early and shopping independent. 

You can explore all options! In the run up to the festive season, you might also find that the shops in your local community start to bring in their seasonal ranges. Even if you haven't visited in a while, make time to pop to your local precinct, high street, village or square. A quick scout around can give you ideas for nearer the time, a future birthday or result in some early Christmas wins!

Left it all last minute?

If life has got in the way, don't worry! We get it. We've all done it too. Every single small business owner I know will go out on a limb to provide an outstanding service to their customers, so it’s always worth asking what they have available. Whether it's your local florist, a favourite Etsy seller, or your best friend's aunt. Get in touch and see if they can work their magic. You just might find that gift that makes your (and their!) Christmas sing! ❤️🎄

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