My favourite part of the blog title is that I say “2020” as if I have been doing this for years and years! This is the first and who knows, maybe only, Christmas Gift Guide I have pulled together. Regardless, I am here for it and I am excited! I am not a giant Christmas person but I think after the shit storm that has been 2020 we are all reaching out for a little joy and pegging our hopes on Christmas being a little less crap than the rest of this year.
In that uber cheerful spirit let me kick off my Christmas Gift Guide!
I have tried to keep the Christmas Gift Guide focused on local small businesses. I may not always have gotten this right but I have tried my best. Please remember what a tough year this has been for small businesses and consider supporting them this festive season. I can promise you will almost always make someone’s day, your order often comes beautifully wrapped and MAN I am a sucker for a personalised thank you card.
I am also not certain on the rules for sharing images from someone else’s website and as such have downloaded a ton of pictures from my camera roll that came up when I searched “flowers”. I thought that would add a little festive cheer! If any of these brands spot this little festive cheer and are happy for me to use their images I will happily swap out the flowers for brand specific ones. I have however linked to the exact product I am referencing wherever possible to help make your life a little easier.
- Candles from Cape Island – but more specifically the Clifton Beach Range. There is no polite way to say this – it smells like rich people. It smells like sunscreen, coconut, hot summer days, private yachts and those rim flow pools over Clifton. It really is just LUXURIOUS and something that’ll perk up a Christmas morning – even a 2020 Christmas morning.
- DIY cross stitch kits from Lauren Fowler. I am personally a fan of “Home Sweet Fucking Home” and “Make Magic”. One for the humour and one for the whimsy.
- Skoon’s festive range looks absolutely gorgeous. I know many many people recommend Skoon but I have not personally tried their products. They’re offering super cute starter kits broken down by skin type which could be super cute for any teenagers in your life. I personally love the little “soentjies” bauble for hanging on your christmas tree with two of their lip balms included.
- I was very recently introduced to the Barethreads brand and shopped up a little storm during Black Friday (oops?). I love their headbands and their gold plated jewellery. My delivery is still on route but I have been told by a colleague that the quality is “better than you’d expect”. The price point is particularly good so I am excited about this! Love their OTT headbands and their pretty layered jewellery is perfect for summer dresses.(Update: They arrived safely and beautifully wrapped and the quality is really lovely)
- Swiitch Beauty are an amazing local brand and I hope you stocked up during their giant week of sales during Black Friday. My recommendations would be their mega 35 colour eye shadow palette currently on sale for R195 with serious saturation and bang for your buck, their liquid luck eyeliner and their brow bar kit is also getting rave reviews.
- Ma Mere makes amazing nougats and sweet treats and their Christmas range is gorgeous! But really you can’t go wrong with any of their lovely things. I have a dream of popping a row of the gold dusted chocolate coated salted caramel popcorn (try saying THAT fast) down the Christmas table. They also have a beautiful range of nougat twists in little gingerbread style houses exclusive to @Home. So whilst you may be buying from a big corporate – you are definitely supporting a small business.
- The Kirsten Sims collaboration with Good Clothing is just magical! I am a huge fan of Kirsten Sims’s work and was delighted to see her work in fabric form! I ordered the jade wrap dress which is a real stunner!
- I recently learnt about Skaam’s beautiful dried flower art at a Kamers event and have subsequently followed them on instagram and become obsessed. They range in prices with the biggest pieces getting pretty pricey but there are a bunch of gorgeous options in the small size range currently on sale. They also have workshops which would make a lovely gift to go with your mom or a girlfriend maybe!
- I just love these little ceramic houses over on Calico Ceramics. You pop a little tealight candle behind them and they light up bringing a little festive cheer. I am obviously Team Gold Star on the ceramic design choices.
- The Counter is a Jo’burg based catering company that has re-focused on their confectionary offerings due to COVID ruining everything. I haven’t yet had a chance to try their confectionary but there is huge praise for their chocolate brownies and fudge. And don’t worry about them being in Jo’burg, they ship to Cape Town too! They also have some gorgeous festive options worth a sneak peek!
- If you’re going all out on the festive cheer – and honestly who can blame you – you’re going to need Christmas stockings! If you want non-tacky ones (but no judgies on the tacky) then Zana’s range of beautiful stockings are my recommendation ar R130 each.
- Jack Rabbit chocolates was a new discovery to me through TechGirl‘s local Christmas gift guide and now I am SO sad I didn’t discover them sooner. Their chocolate bars are like 3D works of art and it is kind of insane!They have a gorgeous advent calendar and they have the “Jack Rabbit Crew” which are Christmas theme’d tubes with the cutest characters and filled with their signature Nougat, Turkish delight Orbs, Blonde Chocolate Coated Malt Balls, Florentines, Honeycomb, Strawberry Sweeties, Fudge Bites and Fruit Caramels. I want them all! It does look like delivery is only in Jo’burg. SO we will write this one off to a win for Jo’burg.
- Alexa Lily are a well known local brand name in the organisation world. I personally don’t use a diary – it is too chaotic – and get through many many notebooks in a real jam packed with scribbles. HOWEVER, if I did use a diary in would be their “Your Daily Edit” planner and I particularly like the green leopard print. I have spotted the “Your weekly schedule” which comes with a magnet and can hang out on your fridge. This could be super useful for planning our meals for the week and generally co-ordinating our schedules. They also offer the cutest sticker packs – and honestly, as grown up as we may be, we’re always going to want stickers!
- Another lovely idea – but a bigger ticket item is a subscription to Saffron’s Garden Plant Club. Boxes are sent out the first Monday of every month and include a surprise plant, care instructions and a plant-related gift. There is actually a really lovely box especially for Christmas and I may be clicking “add to cart” for arrival on the 22nd of December.
- Karen Dudley, who is well known for the incredible food they were creating at The Kitchen, has had a giant pivot thanks to COVID. She has started a monthly foodie box called “Karen’s box for Cooks” which includes an amazing selection of foodie treats to kick your cooking up a notch. The December box sounds bloody smashing and is due to arrive Thursday the 10th of December – with orders closing Monday the 7th. Honestly, click through to the link or it will just be me waxing lyrically about squidgy date cake and poppy seed dressing. Take it from me, this is definitely the gift for the foodie in your life!
And there you have it! A lovely list of local things to bring a little joy! I will update the list as I go along in case I discover more gems as we head towards the festive period. I hope you enjoyed my Christmas gift guide
My friend Shante, over at Rose and Thorns, pulled a beautiful gift guide together if you’re looking for more inspiration. She also has two daughters so has plenty of ideas for those with smalls in their lives. You can work your way through her blog post over here.
I only have one child friendly suggestion and it is the beautiful high quality dolls from Imobongo Kamakhulu. I gifted one to a little fairy princess of two very good friends of ours and I thiiink it was a hit. Whether the small in your life is a boy or a girl, a white, brown or black small, get them one of these beautiful dolls. I opted for the Luniko Doll in coffee with her gorgeous pink dress!
A note on gifts that aren’t things
ALL small businesses (and big ones) have been hit hard by COVID. And some of the hardest hit are our beloved restaurant and travel industry. Please think of them this festive season. Christmas gift ideas that could support them include reaching out to your favourite restaurant to buy a voucher, booking a sneaky mid week escape up the coast, booking in for a couple’s massage, treating a loved one to a restaurant they have been dying to visit or visiting a local tourist attraction like the aquarium, boulders beach or Table Mountain.
And a gentle nudge, when dining in restaurants this festive season remember the waitstaff who have had a really tough year. Please tip generously, please be kind and please remember they’re working during valuable family time.