Top 5 Chiswick Christmas presents for those who like to shop local
I know I’ve written on my blog about how I dislike the growing commercialism of Christmas. But I love Christmas itself and I love to shop local! So I hope you’ll forgive me for mentioning the C word in November!
And while I may hate commercialism, I still love a perfect handpicked gift, that’s bought locally and guarantees a happy recipient (and giver!)
So here is my completely subjective, top present list – for those of you racking your brains for a gift for a local family, relative or friend.
By the way – this isn’t a sponsored post and nobody I’ve mentioned here has asked to be included. It’s just my little own list! Although it does include one sneaky little affiliate link marked with an * – hope you don’t mind. In the spirit of Christmas, anything I make from Christmas related affiliate links will go to Crisis for their Christmas Dinner appeal.
Membership to Kew Gardens
Every visit to Kew Gardens is like visiting for the first time, because the landscape is constantly changing with the seasons and the ebb and flow of nature. Having a membership means the utter luxury of not having to dedicate a whole day to visiting, but being able to pop in whenever you’re nearby, just for an hour or so.
We often visit after school on Fridays – the Children’s play area is one of the best locally. In winter we hide with our books in the hot houses. Giving a gift of membership to Kew is like giving a year of happy memories. We’ve bought ourselves memberships for the last 6 years and we’ve never looked back.
A Hen Corner course
For someone who can’t fit any more ‘stuff’ into their house, then a gift of learning something new is the perfect choice. It’s also a way of giving someone a bit of me time, a few hours or even a day away from their normal routine, harking to a simpler time.
Run from their family home in Brentford, Hen Corner courses offer real skills that you can then try out at home. From bread making to bee keeping, carving wood to cheese creating – Hen Corner courses are fun and always accompanied with lots of home made refreshments! I’ve done their bread and marmalade course, and their bee keeping course (the latter a massive step out of my comfort zone and I felt so good afterwards.). I’m still planning on treating my mum and myself to a hen keeping course. (PS the courses I’ve done so far were gifts from Hen Corner themselves!)
It’s so good to support our local independent arts centre and there’s some really good stuff on here – from cinema to children’s theatre and a fair bit in between. Membership comes with a free ticket, and then money off each ticket thereafter, plus a discount at the bar which does some yummy Indian snacks.
My advice: if you’re giving this to a parent then include a book of home made babysitting vouchers where you promise to babysit one evening a month so the recipient can have a date night. I already have Waterman’s membership, but I’d love the babysitting vouchers so I can actually see something in the evening!
Matching festive onesies
T I don’t think it’s Christmas until the Christmas onesies have come out, and last year Santa’s Elves brought my whole family matching onesies from Hatleys on Chiswick High Street so I’ll be heading there again this year to see what’s in stock!
These are not cheap onesies – but the quality is great, and they’re printed all over with a lovely little patch on the bottom! (These are true Canadian style Union Suits rather than onesies technically. So for the adult versions the patches on the bottom have, er, a function that might be useful if you’re in the blistering Canadian cold with only an outside latrine.).
5. Augmented Reality quiz game
Co-created by Chiswick local and Twitter regular @AhraniLogan, the AugmentifyIt app brings toys and games to a whole new level of life. Last year I bought some great Christmas stickers from Ahrani. This year their new Space Quiz cards bring science to life for ages 3 to infinity! They work with or without the added augmented reality app. These are definitely on my own Christmas list this year!
What would be in your top picks of local gifts? And when do you think it’s acceptable to start using the C word?! 🙂