Cornwall, Lifestyle

Top Tips for Gifting Uniquely This Festive Season

It’s that time of year again – mince pies are back on supermarket shelves, fairy lights are shining from windows and trees, and Christmas songs are playing on the radio. However, as magical as Christmas can be, it can also be a stressful time of year: the official countdown now begins as soon as Halloween is over, and we become inundated with adverts taking over TV screens and social media feeds as the largest national stores fight for our attention and hard-earned money, each claiming that their latest gadget or gift set will be perfect for those you love.

As a nation, we put a lot of pressure on finding the perfect gifts, and although it is fun to trawl through in search of items, it can be difficult to know where to start given the sheer quantity of stores online and on the high street. Not to mention that after decades of buying for the same people, trying to find something different that you have never got them before can feel impossible (the same goes for the people who already have it all)! In this post, I share my top tips for finding unique gifts that I hope will inspire you in your Christmas shopping mission.

Choose independent businesses over chains

The selection of websites showcasing small businesses and independent sellers’ products is significant, but my personal favourites are Etsy and Not on the Highstreet. These platforms are a fantastic way to browse for gifts from a wide range of shops, whether you are going in with an idea or using the different categories and gift guides to find inspiration. Sites such as Etsy truly celebrate gifting uniquely by hosting small businesses and products that you could not find elsewhere. Many sellers also offer personalisation services, making your gifts even more special for the recipient.

This is a great way to support independent businesses and smash your Christmas shopping list, too (plus you may even find things to put on your own list while you’re at it!). I love the shopping experience here as you can read other customers’ reviews, view real-life pictures of products and message sellers directly with any questions, making it an easy-going and reliable way to shop.

Visit local Christmas markets

This gives you the opportunity to find unique pieces and support small businesses from your area, whilst at the same time being a great way to get in the Christmas spirit! As convenient as online shopping is, in my opinion, it will never beat wandering through a maze of stalls, taking in the décor and browsing items while perhaps eating a mince pie or sipping mulled wine. There’s always a great atmosphere at these events, making it a lovely, festive way to spend an afternoon or evening.

There are lots of Christmas markets taking place throughout Cornwall this December, so you should be able to find one that suits your schedule. Beach Retreats has a great list of upcoming Cornish markets, simply follow the link here or use the Events tab on Facebook to search by location or date.

Another option is to utilise online community groups, such as Cornwall Buys Local where local sellers advertise their products and promote local events. Kind of a two-in-one deal.

Consider gifting an experience

Experience gifts are a great option for anyone on your list. From afternoon teas and spa days to wine tastings and crafting workshops (although perhaps not at the same time!), you are bound to find something that your loved one will enjoy. I find these gifts incredibly personal and thoughtful, and I love giving them as they always take people by surprise. Many local events venues, hotels and restaurants offer gift vouchers directly, so it is worth taking some time to research places local to you to see what is available. In the South West, I have previously purchased from St Ives Harbour Hotel, Una St Ives and St Michael’s Resort. I have also used Virgin Experience Days – they have a huge selection of options covering the whole of the UK which is especially useful for those friends and family who live further afield.

Make your own hampers

Still struggling to find a gift for a particular person? Instead of looking for one larger item, why not put together a hamper with several smaller items? Whether that be a selection of miscellaneous items that you think they will like or a themed collection, building a hamper allows you to get creative. The recipient will certainly appreciate the time and thought you have put into their gift.

Themed ideas:

  • Cosy night in: hot chocolate sachets, mug, fluffy socks and bath bombs
  • Classy night in: red wine, cheese, chutney, crackers and a board game
  • Cornish hamper: scones, jam and cream, Cornish fairings, tea and coffee

I threw these ideas together in two minutes, but you get the picture!

Bonus tip – If you don’t have time to put something together yourself, don’t worry! You can get some great pre-made hampers online or through local companies such as Philps Famous Pasties who do pasty and cream tea hampers by post (we have done this before for further afield loved ones who couldn’t travel for Christmas and they went down a treat).

These are just a few ways to gift uniquely this festive season. I hope this inspires your Christmas shopping and remember; the weeks will go quickly now so it’s never too early to start!

Header image sourced from Pexels Free Photos

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