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Independent York

The importance of buying locally seems to be on everyone’s conscious this year, which, as a small independent business is fantastic news. By supporting local companies, it keeps money moving in the local economy for longer, it’s more beneficial to the environment and you are less likely to buy duplicate gifts for family members when you shop from quirky, interesting and unique shops.

So, as a nod to those small independent businesses working hard this year in York, here’s our quick A-Z of amazing gifts you can buy for your loved ones (or yourself!), to make this Christmas an extra special ...and local one.

A is for Aromatherapy - Room sprays and oil pulse point rollers to make your house smell beautifully festive whilst you remain joyful at this time of year. (Room Spray, 50ml, £9.99 & Relaxing / Energising rollers 9ml, £6 (Sarah Wilson Natural Therapies,

B is for Books - Gift Sarah Dixon’s ‘Alfie Slider’ series to any sci-fi loving child and it’s guaranteed peace for a few days! (Sarah Dixon,

C is for Cupcakes - indulge in some festive flavoured cupcakes. Do we need to say any more? (CrumbleBerry Kitchen,

D is for Dolls - These handmade dolls come with the cutest clothes and make a fantastic plastic-free toy. (£40+, Billie and Ben Dolls,

E is for Exquisite Cakes - these are out of this world! She’s an international award winner and any cake you make at home now will instantly be an embarrassment! (The Sugar Florist Artisan Bakery,

F is for Foxy Chocs - luxury handmade chocolates to share with yourself! (Foxy Chocs,

G is for Glass - The ideal gift for a crafty relative, Naomi’s glass fusing lessons are great fun. Or you can just buy one of their stunning ready-made pieces! (Naomi’s Stained Glass,

H is for Hair - This is a brilliant idea for those of you with WILD haired children. You can either let the professionals plait their hair for a special occasion, or you can gift a plaiting lesson (so your other half can plait hair at 7am while you have a lie in!) (Pretty Plaits,

I is for IDAS - (Independent Domestic Abuse Services) is a specialist charity supporting anyone affected by domestic abuse or sexual violence. Sadly 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will be affected by this terrible crime, and it's so important we do all we can to support those affected. Why not donate to the charity this Christmas instead of sending cards (IDAS,

J is for Jam - Grab some of these beautiful gift boxes, filled with homemade jams and chutneys and while you’re at it you might as well get Santa a Brownie Mix! (£4.95 for 2 jars, £6.95 for 3 jars, Izzy Whizz Treats,

K is for Kinesiology - Get you body ready to move in the New Year with some fantastic kinesiology sessions. (The Happy Healing Hut,

L is for Leather - luxury leather goods all handcut and handstitched by York’s very own leather artisan. Anything from gorgeous bags, purses, wallets to even dog collars and stunning belts. If you can’t decide or you’d like to gift a commission, vouchers are also available from Morgan + Wells. (Morgan + Wells,

M is for Motivational Cards - “Take Care of Your Whole Self” and grab a set of these nifty reminders to “Be Calm, Stand Strong” and be awesome in 2019. (Emma Langton Coaching and Hypnotherapy,

N is for Nursing Jewellery - a great gift for a new parent, or parents-to-be for the dreaded teething period. These necklaces have seven colourful beads which are bright and eye catching for baby to chew and play with making it great for nursing and baby wearing. (Belle & Bear,

O is for Our Little Shop - based at the Steiner School in Fulford this is a treasure trove of Waldorf wooden toys, books, craft materials and natural toiletries. (Our Little Shop,

P is for Promises - Make 2019 a peaceful one with a bubble bath voucher, or even maybe a wild one (baby sitting voucher) with a book of Promise Vouchers (£5.99, Stationary Geek,

Q is for Quiz - Spark CIC have just released their New Year’s Eve party details and along with some of the finest independent street food and bars in York there will also be a DJ and a quiz of the year. (£6 and includes a glass of bubbles on arrival, Spark: York CIC,

R is for Roots - If you’ve ever eaten at Roots Restaurant you’ll know the score. It’s awesome! Tommy Banks has bought some of the Black Swan charm right into our city and their dishes are hearty, fun and simply delicious. Book now! (Roots York,

S is for Soul - A Gentle Hug for the Soul is a lovely book if someone’s going to have their first Christmas after a loss or has recently dealt with a major life change. This new book by Lindsay Coldrick will provide some comfort and help you move forward (NRG Healing,

T is for Traveler - Never be without your notes, planner or check list with these cool and refillable notebooks. (Dotty Ella,

U is for Ukulele - the unstoppable York ukulele collective, The Grand Old Uke of York’s have a brilliant Christmas CD out. ‘On a Christmas Morning’ is packed full of festive classics and a couple of surprises are in there too. Download it from their website, put your feet up and perhaps pour yourself a cheeky sherry! (The Grand Old Uke of York,

V is for Vintage - with one of the best shop window displays around, Bowler Vintage on Fossgate will get you kitted out and you can guarantee no one will be wearing the same as you! (Bowler Vintage,

W is for Wine - Hurrah! If you’ve never been for a night out to Pairings Wine Bar, you are literally missing a treat. A great last minute gift is their Pairings Experience (Pairings Wine Bar,

X is for Xmas Cards - It’s not too late to scribble on and seal these stunning lino-cut Christmas Cards. (£10 for 4 cards, Rose and Hen,

Y is for York Cocoa House - chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. Eat it, drink it, buy it, smell it, gift it. Their afternoon tea is to die for. (York Cocoa House,

Z is for Zzzz’s - Light a Cherish Life Relax(ing) soy candle and float off into the land of nod. They are 100% natural and vegan friendly so are beneficial to your mind, body and conscious. (£9 travel tin or wax melts, Cherish Life,

For more fabulous ideas you can always visit Indie York’s guide to some of the Independent businesses in York.

Happy (local) Shopping and a Merry Christmas to you all!!

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