We would have to say, it’s been quite a year so far – and not in a good way. Unfortunately, right now, it looks like the rest of the year is going to be the same too. 

It’s been a heart-breaking time for so many people; illness, loss, unemployment and cancelled events. Let’s hope we never see another year like this! 

However, there are some positives that can be taken from this year. Yes, not many, but there really are some. 

Friends, family and neighbours have looked out for those of the more vulnerable among us. Our NHS has never been more important or appreciated. We’ve spent more time than we would normally be able to do with our families either in person or via internet technology (how many of us used Zoom before the pandemic)! 

Let’s hope these things remain the positive legacy from what has been the strangest time.  

If we would choose a word to sum up the year so, our word would be “Adaptability”. We have all had to adapt to new ways of our living our lives.  Adaptability is what’s going to get us through these next few months too. 

In the run up to what, we hope will be a reasonable Christmas for everyone, we’ve both adapted by starting our Christmas shopping early and changing how we shop.  Many handmade businesses like ours have seen a downturn in customers for various and understandable reasons. For some of these businesses, online crafts is their only income, for others, that income is making up the shortfall in reduced hours or furlough but, either way, there is little support for these businesses out there.  

For that reason, we have decided to support small businesses like our own when buying Christmas gifts.  As well as this website, we have shop on Etsy. Why not check out what we and our hardworking, talented colleagues have to offer – you really will be surprised at the quality and imagination you will find on these sites and, more often that not, customer service that is second to none. 

So, can we ask that this year, when internet purchases are likely to make up at least part of your gift list, that you Shop Small, Support Handmade and give those makers an opportunity to put a smile on the face of your loved ones this Christmas. 

Thank you.