We’re not long back from displaying our wares at the Spirit of Christmas Fair. In amongst all the lights, and the excitement at the prospect of a ‘normal’ Christmas, there was a renewed sense of thoughtfulness. Gifting was not about quantity, but about the time and thought for the recipient. Present choices were being made carefully, with a focus on things that would be useful, made-to-last, and from businesses with a mission they believed in.
I’ve picked out ten of the companies at the Spirit of Christmas Fair whose message runs strong through their business, each with a thoughtful gift I’d love to receive myself!
Christmas isn’t Christmas without gifting new socks! Not any old socks either. Swole Panda make theirs out of bamboo, one of the earth’s most sustainable natural resources. Bamboo socks are incredibly soft (even softer than cotton) and will wick moisture away from the skin, keeping sweaty toes dry and fresh!
Livvy B creates beautiful 100% cotton bedding and sleepwear in distinctive hand block prints. She believes strongly in supporting teenage mental health and has been working with young people, impacted by the recent Covid lockdowns, to produce her designs. Livvy donates 10% of her profits to MIND, the mental health charity, to support projects for teens.
Teenage girls and young women can be a little tricky to buy for but her comfy sleep shorts are the perfect gift for daughters and goddaughters. I can’t decide between the pink paisley design created by Coco (18) or the blue giraffe by Annie (15).
I’m increasingly aware of the little video snippets of family life that are stored on my phone or are floating around somewhere in the ether. They are so precious, and yet I find thinking about what to do with them completely overwhelming. That’s why I love Lemongrove Productions. This lovely husband and wife team take all those video clips and create a wonderful family movie that you can enjoy now and leave as a digital legacy for future generations. This is a truly magical Christmas gift.
Aspiga are committed to building fair and ethical partnerships with artisans and suppliers. These truly stunning hand-beaded belts are made in Kenya and help to keep a local craft alive. The vibrant coloured beads are glass, avoiding plastic waste, and each belt can take a full day to bead.
With no two belts being the same, this is a unique and beautiful present.
Who could walk past the Bombay Duck stand at Spirit of Christmas and not stop?? It was a dazzling celebration of colour and joy, filled with an abundance of lovely bits for your home. Their products are about happiness, authenticity, and meticulous detail - this is not a company for cutting corners! Bombay Duck work on the ground in India with small producers and take pride in the relationships they forge with local craftspeople.
I love the Bombay Duck collection of travel accessories - a wonderfully thoughtful gift for those with a traveller's heart, who may have found the last year challenging. I must also shout out their stripy china which makes for a perfect tea party teamed with our black and white garden cushions!
Cotton & Grey want to take us away from our phones and everyday busyness to encourage moments of well-being. These traditional pure beeswax candles burn for 20 minutes with a mildly sweet honey scent – perfect for a short break to lose yourself in the flickering flame. Just a lovely gift of relaxation and restorative time.
Nc’Nean distil organic whisky with pioneering production processes that prioritise sustainability. They use organic Scottish barley in a distillery powered by renewable energy and recycle 99.97% of their waste. Their whisky is bottled in a 100% recycled clear glass bottle - a first for Scotch whisky they think.
A Hot Toddy gift set is a wonderful Christmas present for whisky lovers and outdoor adventurers. It comes with a bottle of the Nc'Nean organic single malt and a eco-friendly hiking flask, plus all the ingredients and a recipe card to create a delicious Hot Toddy.
From their inception, Bundle Beds wanted to make everyday adventures easier - especially for families. Indeed they have created the impossible – a bed that kids want to go to sleep in! It makes holidays, camping, visits to family, even den-making in the living room, an absolute dream.
The Tot-2-Ten kids' travel bed creates a familiar sleep space for children, and keeps them cosy with an integrated waterproof sheet and clever add-on safety bumpers.
The super-soft duvet and pillow user a filler made from recycled plastic bottles. But it’s a single-minded focus on quality that ensure that, unlike a popping air bed, a Bundle Bed is a gift anyone would be proud to pass on to cousins and friends.
This is a lovely gift for children and grandkids who are fond of an adventure - or parents that just want a family holiday where the kids will sleep!
If you have a friend missing the sunshine, then I can’t recommend enough the little taste of summer delivered by Black Bee Summer Honey. Delivered with crumpets that are ready to be spread with a dreamy layer of this stuff, and given the time to snuggle up in a comfy chair to enjoy it, would be a lovely, thoughtful present.
Black Bee Honey was founded by two friends on a mission against tasteless supermarket honey. They named their company after the native British honey bee, the Black Bee or Apis Mellifera Mellifera, which is verging on extinction. Only 12.5% of honey available in British supermarkets is of British origin (that means that Sainsbury’s offer only four British varieties out of 36 options) so Black Bee Honey are bringing native, top quality honey, up the UK sustainability agenda.
The Oxford Brush Company supplies hand crafted brushes which are both functional and beautiful. With natural bristles, made using sustainable materials like coconut husks and horse hair, these are long-lasting, eco-friendly alternatives to plastic. Their facial massage brush is handcrafted and wonderful for providing gentle exfoliation. A simple, beautifully-made gift, to encourage some self-care – perfect!
I hope your gift-buying is off to a great start and that I’ve helped to tick a few people off your list with presents everyone can feel good about. Please do let me know what you are most excited about gifting this year.