Buying Local for the Holiday Season

For me, the gift of giving is profoundly magical feeling. I subtly patrol shop windows throughout the year just in case the perfect gifts presents themselves for the special people in my life. I relish the moment when I discover an thoughtful object that will bring joy to someone – even better if it’s unique. Money is not the focus, it’s the feeling of consideration and the gift of giving.

When I think about Christmas, it’s all about this magical feeling.

Everyone has their own special traditions for exchanging presents. In my home it’s done after everyone is full on Christmas lunch, a little tipsy from a few glasses of bubbles, and wrapped warm in blankets while the rich darkness of the wintry sky is interrupted by the dots of candlelight scattered around the sitting room. Our speakers buzz with the melodies of old time Christmas carols and we exchange presents with laughter and conversation. It’s this feeling of ceremony and thoughtful consideration that I hope to pass on to my children.

And there is nothing like seeing the faces of my family when they open up their gifts and it’s something they love. So, this is what I am going to share with you this week, to help you sally forth into your little world to discover magical presents and not just more clutter.

I think the best way to shop this feeling is locally within our own communities.

We live in Greenwich and every year we take the children down to the market to peruse the offerings from talented local artists and tradesmen. Walking through the stalls with a mulled wine in hand and the fairy lights illuminated is enchanting and the tables are packed with unique, handmade gifts. In fact, I can get most of my shopping done here without a superstore in sight.

One of my favourites is the most amazing body lotion (Puriskin), sold on a stall from a wonderful lady. Her Facebook page is @puriskin and the Nurse Aid Hand Cream is everything!

Greenwich Market Guide shows you everything you need to know about shopping local in Greenwich market.

What I want from a gift is something that someone has made with love, is independent minded, entrepreneurial, resourceful and really benefits from the purchase when you buy their products. You can touch the thought and time that has gone into making it and that’s a special feeling.

“ When you buy from a small business an actual person does a little dance!”

So my local finds and go to shopping places in south east London are:

For toys and books:

1. Ottie and the Bea

2. Gently Elephant

3. Just William

4. Papagaio

5. Tales on Moon Lane

6. I also find charity shops an amazing source of toys and puzzles. A good charity shop will always check that a toy works and a puzzle has all the pieces but do check before you buy.


1. Voewood

2. One Two Five

3. Gently

4. Bunka

5. Blackbird

6. Hortus

7. The Corner 96

8. The Hill Trader

9. Studio 61

10. Made in Greenwich

You time:

1. Floatworks

2. Pasha Spa

3. Rose & River

Beautiful Christmas markets in South East London can be found at:

Pullens Yard

South London Club

And to finish off my magical blog, i met a wonderful women the other day on the train who told me my rucksack bag was un zipped which was kind of her on a busy Westcombe Park station. We got chatting about where I had got mine, as we had matching bags, mine was from OneTwoFive and hers Voewood. We sat on the train and chatted all the way to London Bridge. She was a potter and a founding member of the Corner 96. Her work is amazing and she runs pottery classes. Have a look at her work at: Fiona Veacock Ceramics

Now that’s what I call magical.

Happy shopping everyone!!

Olivia x

PS - Please share your shopping markets and vendors with us to help spread the love this season!

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