The fabulous Deco Christmas gift guide 2020

Christmas in a pandemic isn't anyone's idea of fun. But if we can't get together with family and friends for large jolly gatherings at least we can cheer each other up with an appealing gift or two. Eco of course.

Steel figures from Origami Steel

It's probably wise to keep expectations limited and plan for a fairly low-key - but lovely nonetheless - Christmas this year. So while it almost certainly won't snow, you don't have to make do with a pack Quality Street and a premix can of egg nog! Anyway, it's always better to give than to receive is it not, so take pleasure in choosing gifts your loved ones won't forget about in a day or two. Pictured above: jolly Christmas figures from Origami Steel

1/ SEEDBALL: how does your garden grow?

Seedball is a wonderful venture that brings wildflowers into our lives. Let the grey chilly weeks ahead give way to thoughts of sunny days full of flowers, and it's hard to imagine not being happy to receive their Mini Meadow Bamboo pots . Everything you need is in the box bar the water.

  • A set of 3 biodegradable and compostable bamboo pots and saucers
  • Peat-free coir discs
  • 12 wildflower seed balls (in lovely new packaging!)
  • Choose from Garden Meadow, Bee Mix or Butterfly Mix
  • Full instructions on how to use

Pots are best positioned outside or on a windowsill/garden table and can be set up at any time of year (though early spring or autumn are optimal). All packaging is made from 100% recycled card and vegetable inks and can be safely composted. Coir discs are made from the natural fibres found on the outer shell of coconuts which expand when water is added, turning into a great growing medium. Three varieties: Garden Meadow, Bee Mix and Butterfly Mix. Mini Meadow Bamboo pots £20

 

Seedball bamboo pot kit for wildflowers
Lindleywood make wonderful bird boxes for the garden

2/ LINDLEYWOOD: for our fine feathered friends

We need to do everything we can to help our birdlife cope with winter and a quirky garden birdbox from Lindleywood is the perfect present for anyone who loves having birds in their garden. Lindleywood is run by Lincs-ased husband and wife team Simon and Helen Lindley, who design and make their uplifting and distinctive bird (and butterfly) boxes using European redwood pine. Choose from a host of fun designs, whether it's a box painted to look like your mate's local pub, a cup cake, a violin, a bottle of gin or a sports car... Birds boxes £59

3/ TOG pocket knife

Tog Higonokami pocket knife from £25. high carbon steel
mini tog pocket knife from £25

TOG makes probably the best kitchen knives available, so rejoice that they've now brought out a high carbon steel pocket knife, made in Japan to the same exacting standards, priced from just £25. A TOG Higonokomi pocket knife won't guarantee you'll pass your Duke of Edinbugh Gold, or out-survival Ray Mears, but hey, you'll be able to cut brambles out of the way, sharpen sticks and even skin a rabbit should you be out for a spot of wild camping. Closer to home, who wouldn't find TOG pocket knife useful..for cutting herbs, deadheading plants, sharpening pencils, opening bananas.. TOG pocket knives from £25.

4/ THE ELEPHANT HEAD: bottle opener and corkscrew set

Corkscrew and bottle opener from The Elephant Head
Get your (iPhone) photos printed into different gift formats with Motif
Bagh pasta jars, £22, The Elephant Head. Ethical, fair trade, made in India
This Is Holistic London scented candle, £20
Rendezvous, V&A limited edition print by Kustaa Saski, £275
Handmade paper lampshades by London artist Rosalind Freeborn. Shades depict places
Lindy Barletta ceramic butter dish
Set of 3 zinc planters on sticks, £18.75 at Live Laugh Love
Give luxury organic soap from France, £3.90 a bar at Green Fibres

The Elephant Head is a wonderful online emporium full of lovely products for home and garden made by artisans in the city of Channapatna, in central west India, some 40 miles north of Bangalore. Products are fair trade and ethical and they're beautifully hand-made using wood with lac-ware finish. For an inexpensive but ever useful present for friends/neighbours, its Christmas tree-shaped bottle opener and corkscrew set is perfect. Made from wood and metal. Bottle opener and corkscrew set £13 at The Elephant Head.

5/ The Elephant Head also has delightful pasta jars which will add that splash of colour to a kitchen worksurface, as well as being very useful. Made from Wrightia Tinctoria wood in Channapatna, £22 each.

6/ MOTIF photobooks (for iPhone users)

If you use an iPhone and want to give your loved one or friend a photobook or calendar printed with photos on your phone, it's super easy via the free-to-download Motif app for iPhone, iPad and Apple Macs. Create the perfect personalised photo gift - it really is dead easy. As the previous print provider for Apple, Motif has the added benefit of integrating directly into Apple Photos, which makes sure that all photos remain high quality.  Choice of hardcover sizes. Motifphoto Prices from £21.99, but Deco readers can enjoy a free trial using the code CHRISTMASTRIAL2020 at the checkout

7/ This Is Holistic London scented candles

Everyone loves a scented candle..but too often these gifts can turn to disappointment when you light them and no fragrance comes forth. Deco has tested out Holistic candles and can vouch that they really give off lovely aromas. Eco friendly, glass jars, soy wax, no synthetic fragrances. Small Holistic candles £20

8/ V&A Limited Edition Prints

London's V&A has commissioned a new series of artworks from artists it asked to reinterpret pieces from the museum's collections. Those paintings have been made into limited edition prints - 75 is the number of prints available per artwork. Visit the V&A shop to look at the six works, which include Rendezvous by Finnish artist Kustaa Saksi. He based his painting on an early 16th century millefleurs tapestry and reimagines the narrative of the tapestry as a meeting between a Unicorn and Horus, wandering through a field of flowers. Rendezvous prints (60x80cm) cost £275 at V&A Shop.  

9/ Papershades by Rosalind Freeborn

Give a friend or loved one a lampshade that captures a place they love. Artist Rosalind Freeborn has expanded her repertoire into lovely paper lampshades printed with her joyful artworks. She has plenty of places on offer..Kent, Shrewsbury, Muswell Hill..but if you want a place she's not yet drawn she will do it for you. Her papershades cost just £25 and they're designed to fit a standard UK lamp. She recommends using max 40w bulb or LEDs. papershades.co.uk. Shades come flatpacked.

10/ Stoneware round butter dish by Lindy Barletta

Handmade by London ceramicist Lindy Barletta, her stoneware butter dishes are guaranteed to elevate breakfast standards. Rounded, pretty, useful, they come in a choice of colours. Butter dish £45

11/ Set of 3 zinc planters on sticks at Live Laugh Love

For the container gardener in your life...a set of 3 small zinc planters on sticks. Perfect for borders or sticking in pots for plants that stand tall. Set of 3 planters £18.75

12/ Savon du Midi from Green Fibres, Totnes

If you're on a tight budget for gifts this year, it's hard to think of anyone who wouldn't appreciate a bar of lovely organic French soap..  well OK teenage boys might not be too thrilled. Green Fibres of Totnes has a panoply of delicious fragrances from Marseille soap maker Savon du Midi. Bars cost £3.90 at Green Fibres