At Christmas I try my best to shop small…and ethical… Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE buying gifts and I’m often asked for tips on where and what to buy. So I thought it was about time I put a list together. Then I can just point them over this way!
For the younger ones…
The gift of books - A range of prices to suit all budgets
I’ve recently been introduced to Books and Pieces, a brilliant online bookstore with hand picked story books for 0-6’s. Amanda is so passionate about the books she sells and road tests every one with her three boys. There are some great deals such as 3 for £10 and 3 for £5, perfect for stocking fillers, or maybe a book advent calendar? The monthly children’s book subscription would make a really lovely Christmas Gift, three books delivered every month plus activity ideas to help bring the books to life.
Eco toys and crafts - A range of prices to suit all budgets
Myriad Natural Toys and Crafts is my go-to for environmentally friendly gifts for children, there is a lovely range of toys, art and craft materials, musical instruments and more. A family-run business who’s ethos from day one has been to offer environmentally responsible playthings that encourage creativity, imagination and meaningful play. What could be better than that?
Experiences - A range of prices to suit all budgets
Now that our nephews are nearing their teenage years, they are becoming very difficult to buy for! For the last couple of years we have bought them experience vouchers, anything from cinema or theatre vouchers to tickets to a theme park or exhibition. They receive so many material gifts from the rest of the family that they really enjoy the prospect of being able to plan and book whichever experience they have been given this year.
Us…of course! £20+
Out of the Box Gifts was built upon the love and childhood memories of opening up a stocking on Christmas morning! The excitement of not knowing what you would get but knowing it would be good, I still remember it now, much more so that than the ‘main’ gift that would be waiting under the tree. We have a range of ethical gift boxes, perfect for the one who you have no idea what to buy! From The Box of Love and Care to The Ultimate Box for Relaxation, there is something for everyone.
Retreats - Day Retreats from £60, Weekend Retreats from £250
We try to take it all on these days don’t we! We try to be the best employee, the best parent, the best partner and keep a pristine house. Every now and again some time to do NOTHING and take care of NOBODY but yourself is a definite necessity! My lovely physio friend Claire and I run Women’s Wellness Retreats ; weekends and days for self-care, giving you time to relax, restore and reflect. With wholesome food, luxury accommodation, Pilates and relaxation classes and in beautiful surroundings, you can’t go wrong here.
If it’s yoga you’re looking for, I have also been fortunate enough to attend a few of the wonderful Charlene and Christoff’s retreats with This Yoga. I could not recommend them more highly. They also have a week-long retreat in Sardinia next August and if you hurry there is an early bird discount if booked before 1st February 2020. I hope Charlene and Christoff are still running their overseas retreats when my children are older as I'd love to go to one one day.
Cosy, organic PJs - £49.90
Who doesn’t love a new pair of pyjamas at Christmas time? I love Thought Clothing; ethical, stylish and the best quality. These organic cotton pyjamas with their hand painted astrological star map design are beautifully cosy and soft, and you can even get a matching eye mask! Perfect for a relaxing night’s sleep
Cosy Scarves - £40+
I have been ogling over these stunning scarves since I started speaking with Suzanne from Royal Edge on Instagram after finding her on Pedddle. She is so incredibly talented, the scarves are all made from yarn from the sheep on her small holding in the Peak District! I have to admit that I’ve never really spent that much money on a scarf, mainly because I have a tendency to misplace things, so I had to go to and see and feel one for myself before I bought, but I can most definitely confirm that they feel even better than they look. A truly beautiful and unique gift. Suzanne’s wire art creations are stunning too, and she has some great Christmas Card designs.
Field Welly Boots – £89
I asked my husband for some input into this section, as I find the men of my family incredibly difficult to buy for. He said he couldn’t help much as he didn’t even know what he wanted himself. Helpful! Though he has asked me for some wellies for Christmas. I think he’s a little envious of the children and I when we go out in our wellies and he returns with freezing toes! so I have been researching ethical wellies recently. These Gumleaf Field boots are the firm favourite of the moment and have some fantastic reviews and are hand made from natural rubboer.
Coffee - £24 for a selection of 5
I’m not sure why this is in the men’s section as I drink coffee (a lot!) and my husband doesn’t…buy hey you could say the same about the PJ’s being in the women’s section (Thought have some great men’s pyjamas too 😊 ). EA Coffee (Ethical Addictions) always get it right, and this selection package, a selection of 5 different coffees from their range (you can choose either beans or ground coffee) would make a great gift.
Beer - £28 for 12 bottles
My dad is another who is quite tricky to buy for, I always buy him a selection of craft or unusual beers for Christmas. Toastale is not only ethical, but super tasty too. They brew all their beer with surplus fresh bread, so it’s planet-saving and palate-pleasing at he same time. And it has had the thumbs up from my dad! (Yes, we get a review of each one!)
So I hope this gives you some tips for those difficult to buy for people. I’d love to hear any tips from you too. Watch out for my eco wrapping guide coming soon.