Local and sustainable don’t always go hand in hand with affordability when it comes to gifting BUT we firmly believe that you actually can have your christmas cake and eat it this year. Read on for some of our favourite festive finds and on-a-budget ideas this December…
Reuse 360 aka. The Tip Shop
You might have seen me waxing lyrical about this place on instagram stories and I’m not sorry about it! 😂 It’s such a treasure trove of bric-a-brac and glassware that with a little imagination you can easily pick up the perfect stocking filler – think a unique retro mug wrapped up with their favourite fancy teabags, or a set of unusual glasses with cocktail ingredients. Or my favourite (which also answers the ‘what do I get somebody who has everything’ question) is to pick up a cheap as chips picture frame and pop in a photo of a cherished memory. Thoughtful. Thrifty. Done.
A free cup of coffee brightens anyone’s day, and coffee plus a donut? Heaven. Pair a £5 e-voucher with one of their adorable mugs (if you’re the kind of person who likes something to unwrap!) and you’re set. Throw in an invitation for a long overdue stroll and we reckon you’ve got the perfect winter-warmer gift right there.
You can’t go wrong with a book and the Oxfam Bookshop will give you the chance to find something a little more unusual (I was 1 of 3 people who each bought our friend the same book last christmas 🤦) AND know your money is going towards something other than fueling the Bezos machine. Bonus; books are very satisfying to wrap.
Ok stick with us we know sweatpant based crafts might still have some of you thinking back to lock-down BUT if you’ve got any new parents in your life I can’t recommend matching tie-dye highly enough. Grab a pack of cotton onesies from the supermarket, a couple of cotton tees and go wild with the elastic bands and a dye packet, you can find tutorials all over the internet or you can check out our own highlight here.
(ps. Depending on how many colours you use this might tip over £20 but you’re also potentially getting multiple gifts!)
Once Was Lost
If you don’t have the will or inclination to start sloshing around in a dye bath, Once Was Lost offer a much more refined shopping experience. They have plenty of gift-worthy purchases under the £20 mark including candles, stationery, ceramics, and accessories – but our favourite has to be the selection of ‘ooh I wouldn’t spend that much on myself’ chocolate bars. You can order online but treat yourself and go for a browse when they re-open 😉
Northern Dough Co
Now obviously if you’ve got the time and the skill, home baking is always going to be a winner at christmas, but even if you don’t you can still whip up these decadent half-dipped cookies with Northern Dough Co’s frozen dough (we can attest it’s delicious and far too easy to get through a pack…). Go for grown up pistachios or cover them in rainbow sprinkles – just keep an eye on the oven!
Alternatively if you’re more of a savoury fiend why not get one of their classic pizza doughs and throw in some fancier than average toppings in a lil’ pizza making hamper?!
Sticking with the edible theme Preston Market has a LOT to choose from. We’d heartily recommend a couple of cheese truckles from Pickles, maybe with some biscuits on the side, maybe with just a lunchtime snack for yourself… (bonus; they usually have great long dates so you can get them now before the December panic truly sets in!).
And finally if you’re the sort of person who picks a beer based on the can illustration alone Priest Town Brewing have enough hoppy know-how to point you in the direction of something that looks good and that your giftee will actually enjoy! 🍻
And now for a few disclaimers;
Spending less on gifts is all well and good but the quickest and easiest (and most sustainable!) way to save money this christmas is to buy fewer gifts altogether. Grab a drink with a friend instead of spending a tenner on tat for them, and get into secret santa if you’ve got a big family or lots of friends to buy for so that you’re getting one good gift instead of loads of not-so-great ones.
We also know that not everybody has the time, energy, or the capacity to make multiple trips into town or to charity shops to rummage in hopes of a hidden gem, and obviously that’s just the way things are! Don’t let us or anybody else make you feel guilty about not being able to have a perfectly sustainable festive season!
And finally there are lots of local makers, designers and small businesses who we LOVE but haven’t included here – that doesn’t for a second mean we think they’re ‘too expensive’ or unfairly priced, their prices simply reflect the time, energy and skill (plus the materials, rent, postage…) it takes to master their crafts. If you have the money to spend with them – do!