Here’s my version of a Christmas gift guide, it’s a little unorthodox, so hold onto your (Santa) hats.
Don’t buy stuff!
I know, it seems a mite unusual coming from a person doing her level best to encourage you to part with your pennies, but there is almost no one on your Christmas list who needs stuff. We are very lucky.
Give doors that open.
Great, you think, so if I’m not giving stuff what do I get Aunty Jen? Not to mention the kids…
But stuff goes nowhere, it just sits about until you trip over it one last time and finally send it (hopefully) to the charity shop in the hopes that the giver won’t notice its absence and ask about it. (They never do.) Why not approach gifts as a way to open a door. So that what you give isn’t as important as why or from whom, or even who or how it was made.
Tell a story.
So find your favourite book at a charity shop or independent bookseller and (this is the most important part) tuck a note into it telling the recipient where you were when you read it or why you love it or why it reminds you of them.
Or explain that you want to support local or fairtrade or organic makers and get them a voucher or a veg box or a handmade widget. But tell the story!
So you can still buy earrings and socks and novelty hot water bottle covers as long as the reason isn’t ‘It was on 3 for 2 at Chainz ‘r Uz and I was desperate.’
I know this takes more effort and it may mean that you need to practice over a few years. But halfheartedly buying stuff for the sake of it almost never makes either the giver or the receiver happy.
Where do I come in? I like to provide the most difficult service of all. I’m here for the people who don’t even need fairtrade recycled hand-crafted widgets. Your mum with all the ornaments and kitchen gadgets she’ll ever use, or your friend who just buys what he wants (when he really wants anything, which isn’t often).
To them (but mainly you) I’m offering a touchstone, a portal, a wardrobe door which gives a glimpse of a time you shared, a book they love, a place they’ve visited and all the memories, associations and thoughts that will bring a smile to their face whenever they see their piece. (Plus, it’s handmade, reclaimed and I rarely employ children!)
Now, go forth and give!
(or contact me to order your personalised piece)
Christmas commission and posting dates:
Last date to commission a piece for UK delivery by Christmas:
this Friday 29 November
Last posting dates for stock orders:
USA/Europe: Friday 13 December
UK: Friday 20 December