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  • Writer's picturehello@makingroots.co.uk

Christmas Gift Guide 2023

Updated: Nov 26, 2023


This years gift guide is a little different than our previous gift guides. This year we are focussing less on the individual brands or products, although there are some suggestions still. This year’s guide is more about the idea of gifting slower, homemade or personal. Gifting things that will enrich, be special long term and provide moments of slow joy later into the new year. These are also suggestions from things we have been bought in the past and loved.


If you're trying to gift frugally and or ethically, there are a few general tips that can help when buying presents:

- Plan out your gifts, so you're less inclined to 'panic purchase' or impulse buy gifts that you're not certain they'll love. This also means you have more time to think mindfully about gifts, to make things if you choose to and enjoy the process too. I find having gifts bought early adds magic for me.

- Be very mindful of Black Friday. As I write this, Black Friday is just around the corner. Potentially it may be a good opportunity to get a deal on things you already planned to purchase or need. Don't get caught up in the rush of consuming and purchasing.

- If the person you're purchasing for is fussy, or doesn't need a surprise, ask them what they'd like. This way you're most likely to buy them things they will use and love. If you'd like to add in a little bit of surprise ask for a list and buy something from the list so they're not 100% sure what they're getting.

- Try if you can to buy from small independent business

- Think about if you really need physical gifts, or if your gifts this year could be even before or after the big day.


Gift Inspiration



A puzzle or game. I find every year that I bring out a big puzzle and everyone will groan, but over the next few days the whole family will congregate around, for a moment, over the busy period to have a little bit of mindful peace and quiet. Jigsaws are a fantastic leveller for all abilities as well as allowing you to spend time with someone without it being too intense. Buying jigsaws secondhand can be a little bit risky, just in case there are pieces missing (not being able to put in that final piece might not bother you) however some charity shops do mark up boxes that are complete- they have volunteers who make up the puzzles to check. Worth checking out as the cost of a secondhand puzzle is usually significantly less.


A hand painted mug. You can find a local craft cafe, where you can paint items, like mugs, plates etc and they will be fired to make them fully and properly safe to use.

Two I recommend are Kate Creative Cafe in Lingfield, Surrey and the Honeypot Creative Cafe in South Queensferry Scotland. Not only is this such a lovely little gift, it's so much fun to do yourself too.



A craft kit

I was given a Christmas decoration sewing pattern and macrame keyring kit, from a small indie craft brand and absolutely loved it. I made them on a chilly January evening after Christmas and will use them this year. A perfect gift for the artsy and crafty person in your life that will enjoy the make. Etsy has a huge selection, just search 'craft kit'.



Some special artwork bought directly from the artist, or getting something they already own framed.



A christmas jumper bought second hand or hand decorated.

Hand decorating is an opportunity to have so much fun- you can have fun! Go for a cheeky cheesy jumper or go for a beautiful elegant timeless jumper. Either way, it will be a unique piece. You can also pick up some cheerful second hand jumpers in the charity shops at the moment really cheap, or check out secondhand apps (like depop) for some lovely high quality pieces too.


A multitool

Multitools, which are super handy utensils, that like the name suggestions, have multiple tools in one. For the person in your life that is getting into handiwork, has a vehicle or moving into a new place (or anyone really), a multitool is SO handy. Most have screwdrivers, pliers etc, that mean you're able to get stuck into building/ creating small projects. I recommend Leatherman's, as they're excellent quality.


A voucher or visit by a local cleaning company

A thoughtful gift for those who are busy and would love an extra pair of hands as a treat. Ask your local cleaning company if they do vouchers so your loved one can use it when they need it, whether it's a clean post Christmas period or later in the year, although it's not a glitzy gift, it may bring a lot of joy to have some help.


Voucher for upskilling classes

Like sewing for beginners. Sewing classes are a fantastic chance to meet new people and pick up a very useful skill. I adore sewing, as it empowers me to be able to fix things, create new items that allow expression and mean I can save money. It's a great gift to allow someone to learn this wonderful skill. Some local councils are now running these classes for a very small fee, so do check that out.


A piece of art you have created

This could be a homemade Christmas card, something painted, a clay piece, Christmas decorations, something you have sewn. A personalised present means it will be truly unique!


A book series

Bought second hand, from your local bookshop or Hive is ideal, but buying a whole book series is such a fantastic opportunity to gift escapism for many months! I was bought a 7 book series a few Christmas's ago, I read all books over a number of years, so much joy was given.



Homemade goodies

I love Pinterest, do yourself a favour and look up 'Christmas baking' and get inspired for your homemade gifts. You could also make DIY cookie jars, layered with dry ingredients to be baked at home.


Tea selection

We were given a fancy tea selection last year, and we absolutely loved it as it provided a little moment of luxury that we saved for weekends.


A foraging course for later in the year

If you're fresh to foraging, you can find some UK foraging courses here: https://www.countryfile.com/how-to/foraging/best-foraging-courses-in-uk

I particularly love the look of

- Wild Food UK courses

- Walks with Iona at Ashdown Forest (https://www.ashdownforage.com)



An experience, a hotel stay or dinner


Your time

Plan a walk to a new place near your home, cook a meal, plan a movie night, plan a girly night or a date night or whatever your giftee would really love. It doesn't have to cost a lot to mean a lot.


A journal/ scrapbook with washi tape and pens


Seeds for 2023s garden, or an indoor plant

If you can, I really recommend buying quality seeds as this is often reflected in growing season. We normally have a lot more success with better quality seeds. This is true also for indoor plants. Buy from an independent garden centre- especially important for gifting plants as your local garden centre should support more if the recipient struggles with their plant.


Book and pay for a haircut


Having a much loved items repaired or cleaned

For example, having their bike serviced (with their permission) or boots resoled.


A bat box, bird box or bird feeder

A bird box will probably vary from between £12 and £50. You can get something basic or bougie. A bat box is a little more complicated, and don't forget a bat box is a bigger commitment for the recipient. Bird feeders are a particularly lovely gift, as you can get an absolutely huge variety, some of which can be beautiful pieces of art for your garden. If you gift a bird feeder, add in some bird food too!



A tech tidy/ cord organiser

These are purchasable in many places (including from small independent creators) but it's also possible to make them yourself. A suggestion for how to here-https://sabrinasorganizing.com/make-a-travel-tech-organizer-kit/ .



Plastic free cleaning supplies

Great for bulking a hamper, I love little bamboo scrubbers, or refill tabs. 'Homethings' brand are really great introduction refill tablets, they're cost effective and last ages. We have been using the bathroom cleaner and love the smell.



Local food delicacies

There is such a huge variety of delicious items you can find locally to you. Head to a deli with a budget and an idea of what your recipient will love. Some ideas..

Seaweed Chutney by Isle of Mull Seaweed

Blackthorn Sea salt



A dry foods shop from an independent zero waste shop

Topping up the food cupboard may seem like a 'dry' gift in itself, but an essentials top up from a zero waste shop, wrapped beautifully into a hamper can be luxurious. Especially thoughtful for those of whom a little essentials top up would mean a lot. You also support a zero waste shop at the same time. You could combine essentials items with more luxury items from above for an extra special hamper.



Art supplies

The price of art supplies varies hugely- you can buy sketchbooks and paints cheaply, or you can get eco friendly versions (like Nordic Chic paint). If you have an artist in your life, perhaps check what they need, or branch out into something new they can try. Either way, art supplies will provide a creative outlet, and a moment of calm. Just a note, when buying air dry clay, many (most) brands have plastic fibres in to allow them to dry without a kiln.



A homeware item that they've needed (but not necessarily glamorous)

For example, cast iron pans are a lovely gift, as it's more expensive than we might ordinarily spend but will last forever.



Home knitted scarf or jumper.

This is one whereby planning really comes handy! If you're lucky enough to know how to knit, put it to use. Knit jumpers, socks, scarves and hats. This one if definitely one of the gifts I would love!


Second hand festive wear

Check our your local charity shop, which are full of fantastic festive finds. Similarly you can find things on Depop or Vinted.


A donation to a charity they love This is more for those who have it all already!


A paddle board or outdoor item

This is probably one of the priciest gift ideas on the list, and one that you probably won't be able to use for a while due to the weather (if you live in the UK!) But a paddle board or kayak, is a wonderful long term gift for the outdoor types. Depending on your budget, it's a good idea to buy the essentials too- like a wetsuit or lifejacket. You can also pick up great bargains second-hand on paddle boards etc. I strongly recommend testing out things you buy secondhand before you gift on, ie pump them up and check for leaks.



Dry robe

There are so many dry robe brands other than Dry Robe itself- although we have a Dry Robe and love it. They are absolutely brilliant for post wild swim or even for those who just feel the cold. Getting the gear to enjoy the outdoors can sometimes be the key to be able to enjoy the wild, so it may not just be a dry robe but a ticket to enjoy wild swimming.


Looking for long lasting zero waste beauty gifting ideas, stocking fillers or hamper fillers? Here are some specific suggestions and some general...

Scence body balm

Beauty Kitchen face oil (I am a huge fan!)

A tub of face mask (as opposed to sheet/ one use masks)

Hair oils

Upcircle scrubs

Period knickers

Bamboo toothbrush


Pssst. If you’re gifting on a budget this year, but want to gift more sustainable face items- check out TK Maxx’s beauty section. Although the brand may not tick all of our ethical concerns, its a good spot to pick up some bargains on ethical beauty products that you might usually buy!




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