Don't Let Covid Stop You Supporting Local This Christmas
There is no doubt that Christmas shopping this year will be yet another annual event changed from the normal because of COVID. Where once we rushed around busy shopping centres, fitted in lunch hour retail during hectic days at the office and generally stressed ourselves out with frantic last minute shopping trips, this year will necessitate an entirely different approach, especially given West Lothian’s recent move into Tier 4 restrictions.
Just as we made changes to our everyday lives during the first lockdown earlier in the year, why not make another shift and do your Christmas shopping locally? ‘But all the shops are shut’ I hear you say… Fear not!
Local shopping is still alive and well, even in Tier 4 restrictions.
Local shopping is not only guaranteed to de-stress the seasonal countdown, you’ll be making a huge difference to small businesses. There are many advantages to shopping locally, from the friendly welcome you receive to the warm feeling you get from knowing your custom is helping an individual, their family and your local economy at the end of what has undoubtedly been the most challenging year in my memory!
You’re also very likely to find something unusual, thoughtful and unique amongst the small businesses in your local area, with a gift to suit every recipient.
Below is a list of small businesses in Linlithgow, all of whom are still trading, even if their shop front has closed… As you can see we’re spoilt for choice!
(All of the businesses marked with an * have delivery options available, either local or further afield.
Books, toys and gifts
Books are always a great go-to gift for pretty much anyone in your family and friendly independent booksellers such as Far From the Madding Crowd* are undoubtedly the best place to stock up. With a comprehensive selection of fiction, poetry, history, biographies, humour – the list is endless – Far From also have a very impressive children’s book department and an encyclopaedic knowledge of books, helping you choose the perfect gift for a bookworm. Also stocking a lovely selection of cards, stationery and gifts, they’re a great first stop on your local shopping trip. Describe the type of book you’re looking for and the type of person you’re buying it for and they’ll line you up with the perfect choice! Every year I enjoy choosing wonderful books from their shelves – perfectly matched, and always hugely appreciated by the recipient. Far From will be doing both telephone and ‘collect’ orders from their front door during the Tier 4 period.
Although we all enjoy the warmth and family time that Christmas brings, nobody gets as excited about Christmas as the kids! Bright Star Toys* has all the toys you could ask for – from something bright and fun for toddlers and pre-schoolers, through Pokémon for bigger kids to unusual and often hilarious games for all the family. They also hold a great selection of craft items for the mini-makers on your list. Their website is packed with all the items they stock, and they have a fantastic delivery service (which was hugely appreciated by our family during lockdown).
Another local shop with beautiful gifts is Lilypond Crafts & Gifts*. They have an impressive stock of Scottish themed items – perfect if you need something to send south of the border or even further afield. They have an online website and provide a fantastic local delivery service.
Linlithgow DIY is a wonderful shop with gifts for the gardener or DIY enthusiast in your life. They stock all sorts of items for the practically minded and are only too happy to help with advice and top tips. They will be remaining open as normal during Tier 4 restrictions.
For unique and ethical gifts, look no further than Fair Tradewinds*. Clothes, jewellery, toys, items for the home and beautiful houseplants are all available in this colourful shop. Fair Tradewinds has an online store (with their sister shop Calluna Ethical Living) where you can purchase items, they also operate a great local delivery service.
All your food and decoration needs
Christmas time is always synonymous with good food and tasty treats – neither of which is hard to find around here. Bramble* can provide delicious handmade platters, baking and treats, Grow Wild Organics* are a one-stop-shop for your Christmas dinner meat and vegetables and you might find something a bit different from your standard roast turkey at Castle Game*! Finally, Complete Health at the Millstone* will take your Christmas baking recipe from you and return it with precisely measured ingredients, cutting down on waste and making your life just a little bit easier.
An exciting part of the run-up to Christmas is decorating your home. Grove and Thicket can make you a beautiful wreath for your front door, perfect for announcing that the festive season has truly arrived. New Hopetoun Gardens* have a wide choice of fresh Christmas trees for sale and will even deliver it locally for free if you order in November. They have a beautiful, twinkly selection of decorations too. Badger Belle* can make you some festive fabric bunting to decorate mantelpieces, bannisters, and walls in either your own home or to give as a gift.
Vouchers for treats, learning and experiences
If you’re looking to provide an experience rather than a hold-in-your-hand gift this year, there are lots of vouchers available to buy locally. Usually, with long expiry dates, they come with the added bonus of being easy to wrap! Try TheTranquil Room and Holistic Care by Catherine to give someone an indulgent and relaxing treat, Mason Belles Kitchen and Bar Leo for the promise of a delicious meal.
Family photography vouchers which can be put towards new family photography sessions, or they can be given to those who have already had a session and would like to purchase more images or products.
I am running two kids and teens photography workshops early next year – one in January and on in February. My current workshop has been hugely successful, and I can’t wait to get started with another group of enthusiastic young people! This would make a great gift for your child who loves photography or is getting a camera for Christmas. Though the workshop is applicable for those with a phone camera too.
And for the adults in your life who love photography, or have a camera but don’t really know how to use it properly, why not by them a voucher for a Beginners photography workshop – being held online in both January and February next year?
And if you'd like to give someone starting a business a boost, why not book them in for a 1-hour business branding session, giving them a fantastic set of images for social media and website?
I also have a range of gifts available – framed prints for family, print boxes and more.
As you can see there’s plenty of choice for supporting Linlithgow’s local businesses.
If there’s anyone I’ve missed from this list please do let me know so I can add to it!
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