If there’s one thing that’s topping our Christmas wishlist this year (Santa, take note), it’s that we’ll be able to spend at least some of the festive season with family and friends in real life.
Nobody knows yet how it will pan out, but two things are certain: first, after a tough year of disruptions, cancellations and gloom, the sparkle and warmth of the festive season is a welcome distraction, and second, pandemic or no pandemic, come 25th December, kids will expect presents! And let’s not forget the hardworking parents who’ve juggled homeschooling and work and the grandparents who’ve lost out on precious chocolate-dispensing time with their grandchildren.
Everyone deserves a treat for making it to the end of this strangest of years, and we’ve got some lovely ideas for gifts for the whole family. All of our picks are from independent businesses in and around York: they’re missing out on vital income at the busiest time of the year and they need our support to make it through to the other side. They’re a vital part of what makes York so special: use them or lose them. Happy shopping, happy Christmas and roll on 2021!
Gifts for kids
Christmas Eve Box from Choc Affair
This simple but sweet Christmas eve box is filled with lovely festive chocolate treats that will put the little ones into the spirit for Christmas day. Each chocolate treat has been handmade with love and made with natural ingredients – £15 from the Choc Affair website
Yellow Miffy toy from Noun
This gorgeous Miffy toy is one of a selection from Noun on Bishopthorpe Road, and is something to cherish for life. Order from the Noun website for collection or delivery – £17.95.
Santa Post book from Little Apple Bookshop
Young children adore books with letters in them, and this festive Father Christmas book is full of them. Buy online from Little Apple Bookshop’s website.
Viking tee for your little Viking from Winstons
Every little Viking needs this Winstons’ kids’ Viking t-shirt in their life. 100% cotton, you can even get an adult one to match! Buy from the Winstons’ website until the family-run shop re-opens after lockdown – £11
Guess How Much I Love You print from Blossom Street Gallery
This gorgeous Guess How Much I Love You print is one of a number of children’s prints from Blossom Street Gallery at the top of Micklegate and would be a gift to cherish for life. Order online though the Blossom Street Gallery website – £85
Spark Family Fun: 50 Ways to Play, Laugh, and Connect from Noun
These fun faux matchsticks are printed with prompts and talking points that will get loved ones laughing, connecting, and playing together. A perfect way to liven up family gatherings, road trips and special occasions. Order from the Noun website to collect from their Bishopthorpe Road shop or for delivery – £11.99.
Slime-making kits from Bish Bash Pot
Lots of fun for little ones, these slime-making kits from Bish Bash Pot can be delivered to your door. Choose from the standard or unicorn-themed kids. Order through the Bish Bash Pot website – £12. Paint at home is also available.
Eco-friendly glitter from The Bishy Weigh
We love glitter, but we don’t love what it does to the planet. This eco-friendly version from The Bishy Weigh has all of the sparkle but none of the guilt. Order through the Bishy Weigh website or pop in to their Bishopthorpe Road shop pick some up.
Christmas Party Gift Box from The Potions Cauldron
The little wizards in your life will love this Christmas party box, complete with Magic Meter, drinkable potions, butterscotch beer and much more. Worth around £60, it’s available from The Potions Cauldron website for just £29.99.
Forest Play Packs from Forest Craft and Play
Whether you are 3 years old or 103 years old, Forest craft and play boxes will make you smile and want to get crafty. The activities are tailored to different ages and interests. Both mucky monsters and expert den builders will love opening their box to discover pheasant feathers, moss, bark and sheep’s wool. It’s an exciting way to connect with nature and spark imaginative play. All packs include everything you need for the activity, simple instructions and beautiful artwork. Just find scissors and glue. Whether you are looking for great Christmas gift ideas or want to nurture play in lockdown, you will find beautiful and original boxes at www.forestcraftandplay.com
One for the chocolate-lovers – Tony’s Chocolonely from The Bishy Weigh
Anyone with a sweet tooth will enjoy this festive version of the delicious, slave-free, fairtrade chocolate, Tony’s Chocolonely with mint candy canes! Order from The Bishy Weigh or pick up a bar from their Bishopthorpe Road shop – £3.99.
Paint a lovely gift from Rainbows Ceramics
It’s hard to beat a handmade gift, so why not order a Paint at Home kit from Rainbows Ceramics and create something lovely for your favourite friends or family members? You can even paint some baubles for your Christmas tree (just watch out for curious cats or prancing puppies!). Visit the Rainbows Ceramics website for more details.
JD Bug Scooter from Totally Awesome
Active kids will love the selection of scooters and stunt scooters from Totally Awesome. Visit their website to order, then collect from the York store – £34.99.
York Minster Snow Globe
Add some Christmas sparkle to your mantelpiece with a York Minster Snowglobe, containing a replica of the Minster surrounded by the York City Walls at the base. £6.95 – visit the York Minster online shop to buy
Happy Self Journal from Walter and May
The HappySelf Journal is a daily journal for children aged 6 to 12, based on scientifically proven methods that promote happiness, develop healthy habits for life and nurture enquiring minds. Beautifully illustrated and easy to use, with just a few minutes focus each day, children benefit by being encouraged to express gratitude, reflect on their emotions and think about their actions. Order online for delivery or collection from Walter and May on Scarcroft Road
Mini beeswax candle rolling kit from Heima
This miniature kit holds all you need to roll 10 mini candles (5-7cm tall). Includes wick and instructions. Burn time: 20-30 minutes. Great as a gift or for making little birthday cake candles. Visit the Heima website for delivery to for collection from the Gillygate shop
Beginner’s juggling clubs from Totally Awesome
These beginner’s juggling clubs will be a big hit for circus fans and they’re a bargain at less than £10! Visit the Totally Awesome website where you can order to collect from the York store – £7.99
York Minster eco teddy Bear
York Minster’s soft and cuddly eco Teddy Bear is made from 100% recycled plastic. The perfect sustainable companion this Christmas – £12.95. Visit the online York Minster shop to buy.
Gifts for the grown-ups
Chocolate orange gin from York Gin
Inspired by Terry’s Chocolate Orange, this new flavoured gin from York Gin is bound to be a hit with gin-loving parents this Christmas. Buy direct from the York Gin website – £39 for 70cl.
Ainsty Ales Taster Pack
One for the beer-lovers, this taster pack of beers from York-based brewery, Ainsty Ales, is available for delivery or collection. Visit the Ainsty Ales website to order – £26
Pinecone wreath from Noun
This gorgeous Scandinavian-inspired pinecone wreath would look lovely on any door or wall. Order from Noun to collect from their shop on Bishopthorpe Road or for delivery – £20
Best teacher biscuits from Walter & May
If ever there was a year to say a massive thank you to teachers, it’s this one. These Best Teacher biscuits are available from the Walter and May website for delivery or collection from their Scarcroft Road shop – £16
YRK sweatshirt from Winstons
Show your love for York by wearing it on your chest! This brilliant unisex sweatshirt from Winstons is available for delivery (and there are other colours and a T-shirt option too) – £39
Bettys Christmas Gift Box
A lovely one for grandparents, parents or anyone who loves tasty Yorkshire delicacies, this Bettys Christmas Box is one of a selection of hampers and gifts from this local institution. Order through the Bettys website – £55
Pizza kits from Great Balls of Flour
Great Balls of Flour is a new York-based business specialising in pizza-making kits. Create your own authentic Italian pizzas at home with very little effort – could be a good one for an Christmas Eve dinner! From £8 – order through the Great Balls of Flour website.
York Minster Christmas decorations
Complete your Christmas tree with these handmade fabric decorations inspired by York Minster. The range of decorations are produced using traditional techniques and reflect some of the cathedral’s best-loved architectural gems, including the 13th century Chapter House ceiling and the Heart of Yorkshire from the Great West Window. Visit the York Minster website to buy.
Willow phone/tablet holder from Heima
Give your phone or tablet its own piece of furniture, and make it easier to follow a recipe/watch a video/make a video call. Buy from the Heima website for delivery on collection from the Gillygate shop – £6.50
Nature-inspired door handles from Posh Knobs
Spruce up your home with these gorgeous hand-crafted Yorkshire nature-inspired door knobs, produced by a new York-based business. Visit the Posh Knobs website to order – £40 a pair or £20 for one.
Little ghost from York Ghost Merchants
Nothing says York quite like one of these gorgeous little ghosts from York Ghost Merchants on the famous Shambles. Order via the York Ghost Merchants website (but bear in mind that they only go on sale once a week, so you need to be organised!).
Yorkie Bar panel print from Corner Gallery
The perfect gift for any Yorkie: a one metre Yorkie print on an aluminium panel from Corner Gallery. Visit the Corner Gallery website to order – £180
Illustrated York and North Yorkshire Calendar from York 360
Savour the fact that every passing day of 2021 takes us further away from 2020 with this lovely calendar from a York-based artist. Order online through Etsy – £14
A delicious hamper of deli goods from The Hairy Fig
What could be nicer than a hamper of deliciousness from The Hairy Fig on Fossgate? Take a look at The Hairy Fig website and then contact them to discuss what you’d like.
The Penguin Book of Christmas Stories from Little Apple Bookshop
This is a collection of the most magical, moving, chilling and surprising Christmas stories from around the world, taking us from frozen Nordic woods to glittering Paris, a New York speakeasy to an English country house, bustling Lagos to midnight mass in Rio, and even outer space. Buy a copy from Little Apple Bookshop’s website
Fun Christmas tree decorations from Upside Down Design
Jazz up your Christmas tree with a selection of decorations from Upside Down Design. Order from the Upside Down Design website or click and collect from their Bootham shop – from £1.95
Heart of Yorkshire pendant from Azendi
The Heart of Yorkshire’ is one of York Minster’s most famous stained-glass windows and, according to tradition, couples who kiss under it will stay together forever. This pendant from Azendi on Low Petergate recreates the flowing lines of romantic tracery in highly polished sterling silver, and there’s free gift wrap and a hand-written gift card with each purchase. Buy from the Azendi website www.azendi.com
Bishy Road prints from Corner Gallery
Add a bit of Bishy Road to your walls with these prints from York-based Corner Gallery. Visit the Corner Gallery website to order – £36 unframed, £60 framed
Gift vouchers from The Grand, York
We all deserve a bit of a treat after the year we’ve had, and where better than The Grand, York, for a five star experience? They have gift vouchers on offer that can be redeemed against afternoon tea, cookery classes (including parent and child classes) and anything else at the hotel. Visit The Grand’s website to buy vouchers of your chosen value.
Pretty glasses from Upside Down Design
Cheer up your dining table with these pretty glasses from Upside Down Design on Bootham. Order from the Upside Down Design website -£6.95 each
Little Box of Calm from beautiful ethical
If ever we needed a little box of calm, it’s 2020! This lovely gift box from new local business, beautiful ethical, contains natural, ethical, beauty and mindfulness gifts, handmade by small British brands. Everything is cruelty free, vegan, palm oil free and gifts are beautifully wrapped in tissue and boxed. Little Box of Calm is £24 plus shipping – sign up to their newsletter for 10% off your first order