It’s that time again, dear readers, so wrap yourself in a soft blanket, fill up your cup with a mulled beverage and feast your eyes on our favourite Christmas picks from designer/makers, independents and creative businesses. From gifts to accessories and little bits just for you, we’ve selected a line-up of special pieces from a wonderful swell of handmade and unique products. So, without further ado, here’s December’s festive wish list in all its glory.
1. Our dear friends at Collett + Holder have a tremendous gift offering on their design-led site this season, with bits and pieces that are sure to make ideal stocking fillers for your creative friends and family. Every item on the C+H site is hand-picked by the shop’s founders for its unique brand story and beautiful aesthetic. We love these Jasmine and Orange Bath Salts by Terrible Twins. Everything in this special home spa range is handmade in Sweden from natural and organic ingredients and comes in a lovely amber glass bottle with a matching stopper. Ideal as a small but luxurious gift for someone you care for, or for yourself for those relaxing winter nights in. Use code YGTALKS20 for a special 20% off your Christmas gift shop at Collett + Holder.
2. This little guy may be from a high street store you’ll surely recognise but was too cute not to include in our festive round-up. Ralph the Rat by Oliver Bonas is a special little friend. Rats get a bad rap but this little guy is a sweetie. We love Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker for all the wonderful memories it brings back at this time of year, and the Rat King is by far our favourite character in the Christmas classic. So, Ralph is our royal pick this year. Don’t you just love those red leggings?
3. We love a beautiful festive wreath, whether hanging on the front door or as part of a gallery wall, a circlet of greenery always conjures a festive feeling. Now, you could head to the shops to buy a pre-made wreath, or you could try your hand at fashioning one for yourself; under expert supervision of course. Super-cool florists Grace & Thorn are hosting Christmas wreath workshops awash with prosecco in their Hackney Road studio and we suggest booking now before they all fill up. You’ll receive everything you need to craft a unique wreath, plus some invaluable tutelage from the pros. Whether you take yours straight home to adorn your door or give it as a gift, you might just find you have a knack for turning unwieldy branches into beautiful works of art.
4. It is of course, the season to invest in things that sparkle and bake delicious things so what better way to embrace the two acts than with a set of festive cookie cutters from Nook? These copper-toned babies are available in star, fir tree or snowflake shapes so take your pick. Nook, an independent homeware and accessories shop is based in Stoke Newington and offers a glorious range of considered gifts all year round. A great go-to for anybody that’s hard to buy for, you’re sure to find something exceptional on their shelves or in their online store. Think functional, well-made pieces for a life well-lived.
5. Everybody loves that first cup of Christmas morning tea. Whether to wash away bleary eyes after a raucous Christmas Eve or to perfect a breakfast comprised of festive fare, a hot drink is a must-have and a makes for a lovely gift too. Nauteas are a solo-run gourmet beverage company putting a unique twist on classic British tea. Their Christmas Gift Box contains three unique pouches of tea bags inspired by the spices of india, fragrant French herbs and the sweet and natural green tea of China with the added tropical flavours of a beach holiday. A great taster set for anybody who loves their tea and something a little different, the box comes complete with ribbon and tissue paper, making it a treat to open up and sample straight away.
6. This year, we’re buying our Christmas cards from Lola Hoad, designer, maker and the creator of the famed Shop Independent this Christmas image that launched a thousand shop small campaigns. Lola’s hand-lettered cards are minimalist and beautiful and can be found in her shop LH Design, along with plenty of other beautiful bits and pieces. Printed in East Sussex, 50% of all profits from Lola’s cards will be donated to British Red Cross to help their Syria Crisis Appeal. If like us you always opt for a mix of charity cards and handmade designs, these packs of six are really the perfect option.
7. If you love your sweeties but aren’t so hot on the overwhelming dairy and sugar fest that is the Christmas season, we have just the goodies for you. Well + Happy are a gluten and dairy-free chocolate company who believe in filling their snacks with good things. They claim to be ‘guilt-free’ but if it’s not guilt but your allergies, morals or just your personal tastes that steer you towards more natural treat, these beautiful bars of cocoa are for you. We love the Midnight Bar with its sprinkling of flower petals and lovely minimalist packaging. Great for stocking fillers, table gifts, little thank yous and Secret Santas, you can’t argue with these babies.
8. What’s Christmas dinner without a cracker? We love them but we’ll be honest, we’re a little tired of all the tat that we’re left with after the thrill of the snap. Hold on to something you might actually like after your paper crown has seen its final hours with these brilliant handmade crackers by Nancy and Betty. Available in a sprout or snowflake print, these sets of six are filled with gold and silver hats, obligatory hats and sweet gifts such as egg cups and honey drizzlers. Fatter than your average cracker and finished with contrasting silky ribbon, it’s likely you won’t won’t to destroy these beauties, but hey, there’s little fun to be had in just looking at them.
Words: Emily Beeson | @younggoldteeth