Head of Lens and volunteer writer Helen Forrest, brings with her the Christmas spirit as she gives us some tips on how to shop small this Christmas!

With the widespread impact of the COVID-19 pandemic this year, it is more important than ever to shop small and support local businesses this Christmas. Here is a quick gift guide to give you some inspiration on how you can shop locally this year!

All photos used in this article are from the owners’ websites.

To kick things off, LSU Rag has created a Virtual Christmas market this year where many students/alumni are sharing products they are selling this year, and a small percentage of the profits will go to various charities of their choices – why not check it out here?

Stocking fillers:

For the friend or family member who loves a good homeware haul, these handmade coasters are a fun and super unique stocking filler! You can even customise your order to their favourite colour scheme!

If you’re looking for something special, a necklace or pair of earrings can make the perfect Christmas gift!  Check out these beautiful handmade healing crystal necklaces here.

Why not treat someone to their all-time favourite Christmas smells with this box of yummy handmade soaps?

Personalised gifts:

A beautiful unique gift for a friend or family member, these sound wave prints turn their favourite song into a work of art – the perfect gift for music lovers!

This custom print of the Hazlerigg building is the perfect commemorative piece for your time at Loughborough or even a special late-graduation gift for those who didn’t get to have their graduation celebrations this summer.

Cards and packaging:

As well as supporting smaller businesses, shopping locally is often a lot more sustainable than purchasing from bigger brands and companies.

Take your gift-wrapping aesthetic up a notch with some wrapping paper featuring original monoprints! Matching Christmas cards are also available, which is an adorable touch!!

If you’re planning to write several Christmas cards to friends and family members this year, why not take a look at this multipack of handmade Christmas cards?

Something for your furry friends:

Pets deserve Christmas presents too! This shop sells beautiful dog collars and bandanas made from 100% cotton fabric and vegan leather!

And lastly, you absolutely cannot go wrong with a custom pet portrait! Anyone with a furry friend will absolutely adore this perfect personalised gift.


Header by volunteer designer Annabel Smith.



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