It’s that holly jolly time of year! I’ve mostly finished my Christmas shopping, and it didn’t involve any stress or trips to the mall fighting the masses! And not because I’m super organised either… hats off to all of you who get your gifts by February… but chaos reigns around here and Christmas doesn’t even get a thought until at least November. So what’s my trick? I have a few to share!
Firstly, my family (my parents, siblings and their families) have scaled down Christmas gifting to focus on just getting together and enjoying the holiday. We’ve never been crazy big spenders, and Christmas has always been about food, fun and family anyway. And lot’s of good wine of course! But everything adds up and it’s easy to get excited and spend too much, so a few years ago we started having a $25 limit on gifts, for the adults at least!
The great thing about this is it takes the pressure off. It’s not a hard and fast limit, it just means we don’t have an awkward moment Christmas morning when I’ve bought my brother a box of beers … and he’s given me a new leaf blower! Sometimes we might find something really cool and spend a bit more, but it’s fun hunting down more creative and even making homemade pressies!
The second big change I’ve made is trying hard to shop for local and handmade pressies. There are so many benefits to this! As well as supporting local, you will save on shipping if shopping online. Buying hand crafted items means finding something unique and memorable and no chance of a double up too!
So here are my top picks for shopping handmade, local and independent makers this Christmas … and yes, there is still time!
- Trio Soy Candles – one of my all time faves for myself and pressies! Matakana based, you can find these luxury candles, melts, diffusers and more both online and at local markets. They are cheaper (and nicer!) than imported brands like Ecoya too!
- Etsy!! Maybe a little late for ordering from overseas sellers for Christmas now, but I LOVE Etsy! My own shop is on Etsy, and it’s my go to for all things handmade and vintage. From a digital print to a beautiful vintage scarf to a piece of 80s pop culture, Etsy is a wonderful treasure trove of unique items from sellers around the world.
- Made By Mum (MBM) – A Facebook selling platform for NZ makers of handmade items. Join this group and it’s a gold mine of beautiful handmade and custom items! With over 50 000 members it covers a lot of ground, post an ISO (in search of) and a budget and you will be inundated with creative offers!
- Felt is a similar platform to Etsy, but is NZ based. It’s like an online craft market!
Check out the Felt Christmas gift guide here
“Everything on Felt is made in New Zealand by passionate local artists, designers, makers and craftspeople. When you make a purchase on Felt, you’re not only buying something beautiful – you’re investing in your community, nurturing local creativity, celebrating Kiwi ingenuity and supporting the little guys. We think that’s a pretty epic way to shop!”
- Local markets – get along to your local craft and Christmas markets – there are always interesting gifts and bargains to be had – as well as entertainment and tasty food – beats the fluorescent lighting of a mall any day! And they are everywhere at this time of year – big and small.
- Vouchers, vouchers, vouchers! No not for the Farmers or the Warehouse silly… for local goods and services! For the vintage or pinup loving lady, shops like Rita Sue (Auckland) , 19 Black (Hamilton), Kabella Baby (Christchurch) and 2 Lippy Ladies (Napier) are located around the country and all offer both gift vouchers and online shopping too! For the person who has everything? What about a voucher for a massage or beauty treatment from a place nearby to them? Or even a voucher from their fave tattoo artist!
- Endemic World – for art prints, graphics and paintings – curated in NZ. Art is a great gift idea! They have free NZ shipping at the moment too!
- For those that are Auckland based – check out local stores like Retro Addiction (New North Rd, Mt Albert) and Junk & Disorderly (Northcote).
- Red Bubble – this is an awesome site where independent designers sell their designs printed on just about anything! I buy t shirts as gifts often from this site – they are high quality and whatever floats your boat, there is likely someone on there who has designed a t shirt for it!
“Redbubble was born in 2006 in Melbourne, Australia. The dream was simple. Give independent artists a meaningful new way to sell their creations. Today, we connect over 400k artists and designers across the planet with millions of passionate fans. A brave (and dare we say stylish) new world of self expression.”
- Give the gift of giving! A great stocking stuffer or addition to a Christmas hamper is a donation to a charity. There are so many to choose from but a few are
Women’s RefugeFoodbank NZ
Starship tea towel – Designed by cancer survivor Ruby and only $10 – $6 from each tea towel goes to Starship!
What are some of your ideas for making Christmas less stressful and all about the spend?
Wishing you all a magical Christmas!
Love Natalie Louise xx