Monday, 11 November 2013

The festival that shall not be named

Unless you have been living down a hole for the last few weeks you can't have failed to see the deluge of emails, tweets and adverts that have flooded our world all preparing us for the big 'C', the 'festival that shall not be named'. I have blogged about my great joy at this particular season but I am still a stickler for it remaining in its proper time and for me that means December. But just you wait, come December the 1st IT. IS. ON. Until then John Lewis can send as many anthropomorphised bears and rabbits in my direction as they like. I shall not be moved.

I am, however, starting to think about gifts for my loved ones as, well, I quite like them and want to get them something good. I also start thinking early because time is the friend of the well thought out gift rather than the last minute 3 for 2 from Boots. Time means I can do some online ordering from companies who are doing some real good in the world. There are so many people making beautiful and ethical products and I'd much rather be giving these that some naff plastic affair I picked up a couple of day before the 'festival that shall not be named'.

So here are a few tips for brilliant companies doing brilliant stuff for your nearest and dearest:


Whether you are making your own items for your family (go you!) or you have a crafter in your midst there are heaps of excellent crafting companies online and many are small, family run affairs. I just got this stash of seasonal fabric for my 'festival that shall not be named' bunting from Plush Addict. Swoon.

Created Gifts

From one of my most favourite charities, Tearfund, comes this brilliant online shop full of gorgeous jewellery and homewares that are all fairtrade and made by skilled people from around the developing world. Lots of the products come with videos or stories about where the products came from. One of my particular favs are their bangles. Everyone needs bangles.

I also love Exclusive Roots who have a store in Oxford but also retail online. They have brilliant homewares, jewellery and fashion. I picked up a dress made for Paris Fashion Week by an outfit of Kenyan ladies for Global Mamas there and I still absolutely love it.

Beauty from L'Occitane

I recently went for a free facial at L'Occitane and bloomin' eck their stuff is lovely. Anything from their range would go down like an ice lolly in the desert with me this 'festival that shall not be named'. Even better than the general yumminess of their products is that their Shea Butter range uses fairtrade butter from Burkina Faso. Double win.

Fashion from People Tree

Got a passion for fashion? I do! And there is no where better to indulge than at People Tree as it is another fairtrade wonder! Lots of lovely dresses for all those 'festival that shall not be named' parties you will be going to as well as great gifts of cosy jumpers and scarfs for the people in your life that you really, really like.

Swit swoo from
If in doubt, buy Tea

I'm afraid I'm going to break my rule with the next image, but you can handle it, right? You've survived much worse as you struggle round the supermarket listening to Mariah Carey belt out completely seasonally inappropriate tunes. The reason I am compelled to break my own rules is that I am just loving this tea at the moment. It is everything good about winter in a cup, warming, spicy and just darn perfect.

Happy 'festival that shall not be named' preparations my loves!

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