Ad. This post is an advertorial with The Nottingham. But all words, photos, choice of topic and choices of amazing small businesses are my own!
We all know Christmas will be different this year but I’m determined to still make it special for the people I love as I’m sure we all are. However, funds may not be as plentiful as in recent years and in a survey of 1000 conducted by The Nottingham Building Society, designed to reflect the nation as a whole, around 37% of people are planning on spending less this year*. When they heard this they created their #SaveChristmasShopLocal Campaign, to encourage those that may be saving money to spend what they do have with smaller, local businesses to help them during these times too.
So when they asked me to get involved I thought the best way to showcase small businesses local to me in Retford, was to make Christmas Gift Hampers brimming with goodies. Plus give some inspiration to make your own Christmas Gift Hampers and not go over budget. If your budget is smaller you could also use any of the products inside as fab stocking fillers or presents on their own too. Plus if you’re not local to Retford or Nottinghamshire then pretty much all the products are available online too!
Steps to Make Christmas Gift Hampers
- Organise materials to create the hamper
- Set a budget
- Decide on a theme
- Research- use local Facebook groups as a way to crowdsource and use # on Instagram and Twitter to find local businesses to suit your needs
Most shops have got pre-made Christmas Gift Hamper sets. My silver flat one came from Wilko (a local business in the next town, Worksop, but not so small!!) it was £5 and comes with the shredded paper, clear plastic and a box if you want to wrap it like a traditional hamper. Or you can pick up a more decorative basket from a local craft shop or homeware shop. I couldn’t find any local so went with this handled one from Hobbycraft for £6. I used wooden straw and packaging paper that came with some of these gifts as the lining for this one. You may have a straw basket lying around from previous gifts and I also find those handled baskets that come with flowers in them around this time of year work well for hampers too!
Set a Budget
When you set your budget don’t forget to decide if you will be including the cost of materials in that, or add on extra to include them! My tip on budgets, in general, is to have those conversations now with your loved ones about how much you are planning to spend this year. The thought always counts but I know that a lot of people feel uncomfortable on Christmas Day to unwrap something they know cost a lot more than the gift they gave. So to stop that feeling just setting a budget can help stop that guilt, and also ensure everyone’s on the same page. There are more tips on stopping money awkwardness over on The Nottingham’s Blog Article here which has some other great tips* to stop that feeling.
Decide a Theme
It helps to have a general theme in mind when you start to make Christmas Gift Hampers. If you don’t it can make it a lot harder to source the gifts to go in it. It can also look like you haven’t thought it through all that well and take away from the thoughtfulness that you were aiming to show. I went for a foodie-themed hamper with a local and festive twist and a home hamper for someone who loves their home to look and smell nice!
Do Some Research
I already knew of a lot of local businesses I wanted to feature but when I was on the hunt for a certain item to go with my theme I went across to Facebook and searched that name in the local page for the area. I also went on to the Nottinghamshire Etsy group who were showcasing members and I discovered a couple that way too. So with a little bit of research, you can find the perfect gift! So without further ado here are the details of what went in my Christmas Hampers. The budget for the foodie and home hampers were £50 each (excl materials) but I switched the mug from one to the other so the foodie one was £58.78 and the Home Hamper was £42.14. Overall I was 97p over budget! I’ll take that.
Redsmith Distillery – Nottingham Dry Apple Gin £25 35cl. First up is this Nottingham Dry Apple Gin made at Redsmiths Distillery. It’s unusual as it’s made from Bramley apples which Nottinghamshire is famous for (no, I didn’t know that either!) The first tree was planted in Southwell, Notts in the early 1800s!
Welbeck Abbey Brewery – Santa Baby £3.20
Keeping with the alcohol theme I chose a bottle of Santa Baby Ale from Welbeck Farm shop and I’m told it tastes amazing!
Chocolate Kitchen – Christmas Chocolate Shards £3 and Hot Chocolate Stirrer £2
Next up was something everyone loves- chocolate! The Chocolate Kitchen is a local, Retford based handmade chocolate business and I had their chocolate discs as wedding favours ten years ago now! I picked up Christmas shards as they are a lovely way of adding something sweet and affordable into the hamper!
Dukki – Nottinghamshire Phrase Mug £9
I had to get this! There were many phrases but I thought this one with it’s ‘Bee Reyt Soon’ message was apt this year! For those not from ‘round ere’ that means it will be alright soon! It’ll be perfect to have the hot choc stirrer in. Plus it will be a part of the gift my recipient can keep too.
Sauce Shop – Brussels Sprout Ketchup £3.29
Then we have award-winning sauce makers Sauce Shop. I have to say their social media is on point! So I bought a bottle of their infamous sprout ketchup to add to the Boxing Day turkey sarnies. I bought this one from another Retford business Vert, who are a zero waste shop in Retford. They stock lots of local goodies from flour to oil and all the refillable essentials plus treats like the Sauce Shop sauces and more.
Beelux by Rosa – Small wax wrap £3.79
I found Rosa though the Nottinghamshire Etsy Facebook page and thought that this is another great little keepsake gift. Plus it’s useful as it’s perfect for wrapping up that leftover turkey! These wraps replace cling film in a sustainable way and they have some fab designs! Plus Rosa seems super lovely!
Finally, I popped to Welbeck farm shop and picked up some crackers and chutney as they scream Christmas. These Mince Pies won’t last until Christmas though so I’ve had to eat these (I can confirm they are delicious!) I’ll pop back to get some more nearer the time!
Relax at Home Hamper
Sarah Miller Candles – Christmas Cake and Orange and Cinnamon tins £3.95 each
Based in a village outside of Retford, Sarah makes soy candles and melts. I picked up a couple for my hamper and a couple for me! I must say the tin candles are such a reasonable price! They last around 8 hours which is great I think! She also does larger jars so if there a scent I like I will invest in one I think.
I also picked up some Wax Melts from my cousin-in-law’s business The Wax Hut. Again I bought some for me and some for the hamper! These smell amazing and at 2 strips for £5 are a great stocking filler! She will post if you ask too, or does doorstep collections in Worksop.
Inline Homewares – Tea Light Holder £12.99
To finish the candle theme I got this ever so cute house tea light holder! I love how quaint it is! It’s from an interiors shop that I’ve had a few pieces from over the years in Retford. They offer delivery so you can grab one but be quick as they were selling fast when I got one and at £12.99. I can see why!
Michelle Crocheting – Coasters £7.75 for two
Alongside that, I added coasters from another Etsy shop based in Worksop. I have a small rug from the same shop and she’s so lovely! There are lots of crochet things but these natural jute ones took my fancy.
Chocolate Kitchen – Chocolate Covered Marshmallows £2.50
There was space to add choc to this as and everyone needs chocolate! These coated marshmallows look so lush too.
Having a budget really helped as it meant I could not get too spendy which for me is easy to do! I was happy to rediscover some more local businesses to me and to share them with you all! If you try and make Christmas Gift Hampers please tag me on Instagram as I love to see them!
The Nottingham has lots of local branches to me including ones in Retford and Worksop where most of my lovely gifts come from! You can find your local branch here.
*Consumer Intelligence interviewed
1,009 people across the UK that represent the demographic profile of the UK on behalf of Nottingham Building Society. They were asked whether they would spend more, less or the same amount for Christmas 2020 and by how much. Their answers were then extrapolated to the UK adult population of 52 million (based on ONS statistics). Full details of the study can be found here.