All I want for Christmas is…a lot of local products!

When I sing it at home the subject of this song is of course my husband but for the purposes of this post I’m using poetic license. Buying novel gifts for Christmas gets harder every year but lucky for us Norn Irish we live on an island that is bursting at the seams with talented artisans. There is no better time to be buying local and supporting your own economy and local people, Christmas presents us with the perfect opportunity to do so. Here’s a sneak peek at my Santa letter for Christmas 2016 to help you to shop locally for the lovely ladies in your life.

Dear Santa,

I hope you’ve had a good year, I’m hoping I’ve made it onto the good list despite a few misdemeanours throughout the year. If you’re passing our neighbourhood on Christmas Eve we’d love to see you, in fact if you swing by we’ll leave you out a tipple of Jawbox Gin, some gingerbread men from Deli Muru and a few treats from Neary Nogs. There may even be some tasty snacks for your snowdog from Armstrong’s Twisted Fish (or the reindeers if they’re so inclined). It will be worth your while I promise!

Anyway, you know why I’m writing, I wanted to give you a few hints for the big day to save any disappointment, you always seem to appreciate the guidance and I do get fuzzier every year. We’re normally limited to requesting two items in our house but forgive me if I break my own rule here Santa, my children need never know. The first thing on the list has to be a scarf/dress from the Eadach collection by Sara O’Neill. I just love the Pirate Queen and Children of Lir designs. These can be found in the BTS Concept Store in Coleraine, in Grainne Maher in Spires Mall in Belfast or in Brown Thomas if you’re passing Dublin. This is a big ticket item Santa if you’re feeling flush but I will totally understand if it doesn’t appear under the tree. Sure why don’t I give you a few more options.

You know I’m a sucker for earrings and I’ve spotted some lovely rose gold plated Lines and Current bar earrings, as well as the Mini ‘D’ drop earrings. I’m loving everything by local glass blower Catherine Keenan of late, not least her bluebird earrings. I bought her blackbird earrings earlier in the year and have worn them lots. Catherine’s Etsy shop is down at the minute but you can buy her work in the lovely Space CRAFT shop in Belfast City centre.

It’s cold in Northern Ireland pretty much all year around so some knitwear wouldn’t go amiss. I particularly like the scarves and hats by ONA by Agne, you can find these in Studio Souk in Belfast. While you’re there you could also pick me up pretty much anything by the White Chalk Studio. I love it all!

Finally, a few lovely things for the house would be most welcome, maybe a Heart of Winter candle from the Bearded Candle Makers, a nice Christmas decoration of a local landmark from Deborah Toner and a novel wooden sign for the hallway from Once upon a Dandelion.

Finally, just for the craic, I wondered if you could throw in a packet or two of the Rory’s story cubes ? The mythic ones have taken my fancy and these should add to the banter around the table for Christmas dinner.

I think I’ve given you enough suggestions Santa, I’m sure I’ll love whatever local goodies you bring me. See you on 25th, or will I?!


Lisa xo

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