2021 Indie Xmas Gift Guide

I’m one of those people who gets started on the Xmas pressies. Thus I’m pretty much done already & ready to share some independent/small business gifts. If you’re not ready for Christmas chat yet, I’m sorry! Everyone else, let’s get to it.

If like me, you (or someone you love)find yourself exceptionally attached to pieces of music this one is for you. These beautiful visual representations of sound waves feel like a special present to me. I found MuckaStudio on Etsy, they created exactly what I wanted for a really reasonable price.

Sound wave art

Robyn Boyle is a beautiful artist & person. I first found her art on Instagram, then got to know her & now consider her a friend. I have bought commissions as gifts & have her art hanging in my home. Why wouldn’t you want to buy a stunning piece of art from a wonderfully kind person.

Pencil drawing of dog on a bed. Abstract painting. Thread portrait all by Robyn Boyle

Bonnie Bling is an old favourite. They are an independent Scottish brand who create quirky acrylic jewellery & accessories. I’ve been buying their Scottish centric wares for years. They use all recycled plastics, so they tick the ethical & desirable boxes. Buy some pretties.

Bonnie bling jewellery & Xmas decorations. Round schitt’d creek quite Xmas teee decorations, orange plastic highland cow necklace, orange ginger necklace, wooden Lewis capaldi angel

Another artist that I discovered on Instagram is Edoniworks. They do gorgeous architectural drawings and take commissions. Their communication is great, quick turn around & reasonable pricing; 5 stars from me. I think a drawing of your forever home/wedding venue/favourite bar makes a really lovely gift. Someone in my life is getting one this year.

Architectural drawings by ediniworks. Water mill, semi detached house and the dome in Edinburgh with Xmas decs

I’m never going to write a small business guide without including Wilde Mode*. They make the cutest, comfiest underwear I’ve worn and they are all round good eggs (their ethics are tip top). They have so many excellent xmassy products this year. Definitely the kind of thing I will be giving.

Wilde mode cotton briefs, comfort top and Xmas jammies

If feminist, inclusive & sometimes ridiculous are up your street you need to check out Crudely Drawn. Unique prints, mugs, tees & more can be found here. I can think of a few people who would love a Louis Theroux with boobs mugs and I really want some tidy hating bits for myself. I love quirky, cool gifts like this.

Crudely drawn Louis Theroux mug, cat butt socks & in the house we hate the tories socks

* I am a Wilde Mode brand ambassador, but I was not paid for this post.

November icks…

Regular readers will now that I occasionally go on a little blog rants. I vent about all the trends that get my goat & today is one of those days.

Elf on the Shelf

I hate the little bugger. First of all the actual figure is so creepy. The idea of it wandering around while everyone sleeps would have scared the life out of wee me. Secondly, I really dislike the adoption of American trends/traditions. We have plenty of our own & they’re much nicer! Last up, I feel very sorry for parents having to come up with ever more creative ways to pose the wee creep each morning.

elf on the shelf doll climbing a window

Lumen

Sold as an easy way to ‘hack your metabolism’, lumen mistakenly believe I’m their target audience. I get non stop ads. It claims to monitor your metabolism and tell you if your burning fat, carbs eaten or both. It then suggests whether you should have a low, medium or high carb day. Obviously, I hate all this diet culture nonsense. In this case, though, I dislike the dishonesty even more. From the information I can find they can’t actually back their claims. The testing that would be done in lab to find thing information is not designed to be done daily. Experts* say there is no way compare results from lumin to those derivived from clinically proven tests. Thus, they cannot verify accuracy. In other words, no one can tell if it works. Even if it did we all now that low carb is just another fad diet anyway.

Black lumen device with purple light

Horoscopes

They’re just everywhere & I am so sick of hearing about it. Saying I’m a ‘Gemini’ doesn’t mean anything. Things didn’t go wrong because Saturn was in retrograde. You weren’t a bitch because oh your moon position. Ugh, my intense dislike for everything astrological is just one illogical unchangeable things. Your horoscope memes do me no harm, but still make me ugh.

Kermit the frog meme

The Huns

I don’t know how I ended up on their radar. I think it’s pretty obvious that I’m not about to buy into an MLM. Nevertheless, for the last month or so, I have received constant dms offering me exciting opportunities. It is annoying and sometimes the tactics they use are really despicable. It also makes me really sad that they’ve been sucked into the con.

Screen shot of dm trying to sell herbal life

Charity of the month…

Christmas is around the corner & along with all the big Xmas ads come the Sally Army appeals. They portray a kindly organisation providing aid for poor suffering souls. I understand why well meaning folks send money their way at Christmas. However, there is darkness behind that brass band. Thus, I want to urge to support less judgmental groups.

The Salvation Army are the quintessential ‘sing for your supper’ charity. Their help does not come without strings. There have been many reported cases of discrimination against LGBTQ+ & addict users of Sally Army services. The church is anti LBGTQ+, anti choice, anti harm reduction drug policies et al. You can find more information here & here. Of course you are free to give donate your money anywhere you please, but if this doesn’t align with your beliefs there are many excellent alternatives.

Social Bite are a incredible organisation who provide hot meals, employment & social housing for homeless people. You can donate in a variety of ways including pay it forward meals in their restaurants.

Social bite in green circular background with bite taken out of it

Birth,Baby & Beyond provide essentials for new parents & families. With the recent £20 cut in Universal Credit combined with rising prices of almost everything struggling families are facing extreme crisis. B,B&B accept donations of baby equipment, clothes, toys & food. They currently have an emergency pack appeal that requires support. Please donate if you can.

Group of new born baby essentials and birth, baby & beyond  van

Kid’s Out allow you donate a Xmas present to children who many not otherwise receive one. Many of the children they live with are in refuge escaping domestic violence. The simple requests are heartbreaking, these kids really deserve to have gifts under their tree. You can now pick a toy & buy it on their website, so it could not be easier.

I will be sharing more charities making a difference at Xmas over the coming weeks. If you are in a position to do so, I hope you will lend your support.

A Very Covid Christmas…

Like many others, last minute covid restrictions scuppered my Xmas. I was bummed not to be able to see my people, especially the wee ones. Ultimately though, it wasn’t so bad.

My digestive tract is still struggling with the long covid, so Christmas dinner was never going to be an option. I’m way too sore & tired to relish the idea of getting all gussied up. The wonder of video calls mean I could still watch the kids open presents & have a carry on. Thus, Xmas day on the sofa wasn’t as bad as I had imagined.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a magical day. I don’t fancy making a habit of it, but needs must. I still had lots of gorgeous presents & messages of love. I think more than anything what got me down was just the lack of distraction. Enjoying the kid’s exuberance takes my mind off not having made any of my own little people. This year I couldn’t help but dwell a little longer on the the Christmas traditions I’ll never be a part of.

2020 has been a wash out for most of us. I still feel I’m stumbling blind when it comes to discovering a new focus. I have actually achieved things I’m proud of this year. I’ve smashed some career boxes that I didn’t think would even get ticked. Those successes don’t fill that motherhood chasm.

My Corona Christmas has been reminiscent of the whole 2020 experience. I’ve felt a lot aimless, a little sad and entirely capable of making it through. Surviving is the only goal this year & we’ve almost reached it.

ly is wearing red glasses & leopard print. She is cheersing with a glass of bucksfizz

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Merry Christmas to me…

I’ve wrapped everyone’s presents & sent all the cards. The cupboards are stocked, the house is tidy. There’s only one thing left to do; treat myself!

I could not resist getting myself a wee crimbo pressie. Despite having nowhere to go I plumped for these amazing Snag tights. I’ve been wanting the faux garters for ages, so I snapped them up in red. Then grabbed some slate grey because they kind of go with everything.

Two  little parcels wrapped in blue paper with snag tights card on a rainbow blanket

No sooner had I ordered those beauties than I noticed Snag had added some new designs. When I saw the leopard print l just had to order them too. I’m desperately hoping I’ll be able to show them all off soon, but in the mean time I’ll settle for shameless internet displays.

Plus size women standing in front of Xmas tree wearing black knickers & harness bra with red faux garters tights.  She had her arms up holding her on top of her head
Tights – Snag
Bralette & Knickers – Tutti Route

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Have a Holly, Jolly & Safe Xmas…

Christmas is coming at us fast, but I’m still lacking in merriment. Between feeling rotten and almost everything xmassy being cancelled I’m struggling to feel the cheer.

So, I’ve turned the festive up on my lockdown. I’ve trimmed the tree, festooned everything in twinkly lights & all my presents are beautifully wrapped. I’m particularly pleased with my little robins.

Faux green Xmas tree with white lights & gold decorations
Xmas presents wrapped in white & good paper with red ribbons & tiny robin red breast decorations
Gift wrap – Marks & Spencer

I have launched a festive nail frenzy. Every glittery & gilt polish has been pressed into service.

Gold nails with green & red wreath accent nail
Shimmery white nails with blue Xmas trees and sparky snow flake
Red and green candy stripe nails with white snow flake accent

The ultra cosy bedding is on. The Christmas scents are go. I even put some real clothes on & venture out with a cheeky wee elf.

Bell jar lamp, candles &  framed photographs on antique table
Candle – Aphrodite & Ares
Soft grey fleecy bedding on king size bed
Ly wearing polka dot dress, leopard print cardi &  face mask with toddler in elf outfit
Dress – Monki
Cardi – Boohoo
Boots – Dr Marten
Mask – Rosana Exposito

I’ll be seeing more of my little ones over the next week and I’m certain watching them open presents will top up my seasonal joy. It’s been a rough year & will likely be a strange Christmas, but I hope you all find safe ways to have holly, jolly time.

Red text  ‘holly, jolly love from me to you’ on black background with gold stars

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You gotta give a little…

The world is in an extra big mess this Christmas. Corona have wreaked havoc and not many of us are feeling financially or emotionally buoyant. With that in mind I thought a little giving might do us all good.

A little can make a huge difference to the life of a person dealing with homelessness. Social Bite can provide a Xmas dinner or emergency winter food pack for just £5.

Kids out work with children living in refuge. At this time of year the ask for donations of Xmas gifts for little ones who may not otherwise receive any. They simple requests are so humbling. They are hoping for so little. You can select a gift that suits your budget & but it online here.

Xmas tree with giving tree decorations

Centre Point so amazing work with homeless youth. Christmas dinner can be a really important symbol, especially for young people who cannot be with family. Ten pounds can cheer up a lonely Christmas with a delicious xmas dinner.

Cats Protection can feed a cat in their care for 50 days with a £10 donation. I’d adopt them all if I could, but helping others take excellent care of them is the next best thing.

Black and white cat wearing Santa collar

If you have no cash to spare, but still would like it help keep someone warm this winter, The Big Issue can direct you to a drop off point near you. As temperatures drop coats are desperately needed. If you have an unwanted winter warmer in your wardrobe please pass it on!

Give a little in black letters inside red love heart

It must have been the mistletoe…

I’m usually a stickler for leaving Christmas until December. I get started on the shopping, but the tree et all must wait. This year has been an aberration in so many ways and I needed a little cheer. The tree has been up for a week.

Now it is time for my manicure to get in on the act. Since I won’t be having any actual parties any time soon, I’ve thrown a festive nail party. This is my first attempt at a disco ball & I’m loving it.

Xmas nail art.   Glitter ball and mistletoe on green background

Present wrapping is my next Xmas distraction. I have an idea that I hope will be as pretty in reality as it is in my head.

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Shop Small this Xmas…

I always enjoying supporting small business, but this year more than ever they need our custom. If you’re after for some beautifully different presents for your loved ones, look no further.

Illustrated by Charlie can cover two Xmas needs, gift & cards. Their fun prints would make a fab present and humorous take on festive cards are sure to make everyone smile.

Candles can be a passé as a gift, but not if you find some that are really special. ESH do exactly that. All 100% soy wax, handmade beautiful designs. I have my eye on those pillar stars.

Jessica Jumpers creates beautiful prints, portraits and totes. Her work often features two of my favourite things, ‘kitties & titties’. She also takes commission for portraits. Her unique style ensures any purchase would be a delightful gift.

Tote bag  with ‘titties & kitties’ slogan Sms drawing of naked woman bending over to stroke  a cat.

If African prints warm you heart, My Ankara Love is the place for you. These fabrics are divine. They stock everything from interiors to jewellery. I would die if I found any of their pieces under my tree.

Lamp, bangles, dress &  cushion is African wax print fabrics

Hatch is a retail space in Glasgow that curates independent makers from throughout the UK. They have so many beautiful things that would make amazing gifts. If you’re local I definitely recommend you check them out.

Dried flower wreaths octopus plate, good posnt holder with ivy, stained glass robin window decorations

Curated by Girls have the most amazing feminist tees. All of which are already on my Xmas list. If you know a woman who takes no shit one of these would make the perfect present.

Women wearing t shirts with feminist slogans.

The revolution awaits…

It’s been one of hell of a week. On top of quite the year. I’m sure I’m not the only one still processing the gigantic mess. Sometimes I find it easier to let off steam about the little things. I invite you to join me in a big sigh of relief that Trump will soon be gone & an equally big moan about some non life & death grievances.

Trivial annoyance no 1; the shacket. You’ll no doubt have seen an influencer raving about this shirt/jacket hybrid by now. I’m afraid I must strongly protest. For starters that name gives me boak. Moreover, do not look good. Admittedly they do bring up bad memories of a really ugly quilted denim shirt I had in 1994, but they’re also useless. They’re not a great inbetweener. You end up sweating inside & shivering out. Just put your coat on and take it off when you head indoors. The shacket must go.

I know loads of folk are going to disagree with this one, I care not a jot. The pink Xmas trend can get in the sea. I’m not traditional about much, but when it comes to festive decorations I am old school. Pink does not belong on the tree. It’s not Christmassy. I don’t care if Elle decor has declared it this year’s prettiest trend. I want Christmas looks that warm my heart. Think Forrest green & twinkly gold. Candy floss is a Yuletide treat. Please stop it.

Pink flower on Xmas tree, pink artificial Xmas tree, pink Xmas tree bauble

I’m heading back to the resurgence of the fashion of my youth now. Specifically, cycle shorts. I can’t quite work out how a thing I wore to P.E. when I as 11 has become ‘a look’. Moreover I’m baffled that it’s still hanging around mid November. It’s fucking cold there.

Finally, I have a complaint for our friends across the Atlantic. God, knows they’ve given us plenty to bitch about. In the spirit of keeping it light I have picked this hill to die on. Plaid is not the same thing as Tartan. As we head into prime tartan season I need the conflation of the two to cease. My poor Scottish heart can’t take the way my blood pressure soars when I see either wrongly labelled.

Text-  if it’s not Scottish, it’s crap on red tartan background

That felt pretty good. I highly recommend you take a minute to whine about something pointless. First thing tomorrow it’s back to the Revolution!

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