Looking for a unique, handmade and beautiful 2016 Christmas / Yule / Winter Solstice gift for someone who loves Glastonbury?
There are loads of very talented artists craftspeople, musicians and other creatives making stuff in this town. So, I’ve assembled a list of presents that are available to buy by mail order for those of you who live out of town and don’t have time to visit in the next month (eek, it really is that soon…) I’ve selected gifts that I think Pagans, Re-enactors, Weekend Vikings, people who like wearing clothes and smelling nice, and cake eaters will like, but I think there is something for everyone in this list. Do browse their websites, they sell a much bigger range than just the items I’ve chosen to highlight.
Torsy Moorsy Cake
I got a Torsy Moorsy Cake a couple of Christmases ago from a friend (thank you Zena!) and I still haven’t forgotten how nice it was. It’s a rich fruit cake with cheddar cheese in, and comes in a nice purple tin with the Tor on. £6.50 each plus P&P. Contact Burns the Bread for mail order details.
When I googled Torsy Moorsy, I found this brilliant description of Glastonbury on a foodie site called ‘Gypsy Grub’:
“A small intriguing town for the most interesting people on earth. What a strange, bizarre, uncomfortable, magical, dark, modern, mythical, perfect, quirky, medieval little place. It is definitely one of its kind. Here, you will come across many people on the streets in wizard garb, or who seem to be of faerie decent. They believe strongly in magic, and practice it devoutly.”
Music from Avalon
For the definitive Glastonbury Winter Solstice album why not send a friend a digital download of the perfectly seasonally appropriate Live on Midwinter’s Day album by The Silver Twiglets (lot’s of Glastonbury’s finest musicians) which features my favourite contemporary Midwinter Carol ever. The album download is £7 (or more if you are feeling generous).
Or for something less seasonally specific download ‘Uncarved’ by long-term Glastafarian songsmith Tim Hawthorn, again £7 (or pay more and support him in future album projects).
Ancestor’s Artisans – perfect gifts for Vikings and Medievalists
Friends of either / both / any sex with a penchant for quality leather items made in a historical style would appreciate a handmade leather pouch from my great friend Dan at Ancestor’s Artisans.
“I choose materials from the land around me and gather little bits from here and there. I draw my inspiration from the time of our ancestors. I knapp flint and obsidian, bind and glue with natural materials which I gather locally, and bring them together in a conscious way.”
One of the cool things about buying from Dan is you can know you are supporting someone who dresses like a Viking – most of the time. Here he is, with a big pointy thing, at this year’s Samhain celebration.
We like to drink Mead (honey wine) in Glastonbury at Christmas. Also at Beltane, Samhain, the Equinoxes, Birthdays, handfastings and alternate Tuesdays if it’s raining. My favourite of the local meads has to be Hecks Mead. They make a traditional mead from honey produced by bees that live in the Hecks cider orchard! They don’t offer mail order on their website but you can get it for £12 a bottle from Bristol Cider Shop.
A Mug for anyone who is Normal for Glastonbury
My very own Glastonbury Mug, featuring my Glastonbury Town Tourist Map on one side and a logo on the other so everyone knows that you are ‘Normal for Glastonbury; too. 11oz capacity, dishwasher & microwave safe
£7.50 per mug, plus £3.50 postage for one to three mugs. See the Buy Now links on this site.
Not currently available due to supplier issues! It’s difficult to print something so detailed on quite a small thing, so the last batch I received wasn’t up to standard and I had to return them.
Gwydion’s Moon Calendar
There are not many things more ‘Glastonbury’ than Gwydion’s Moon Calendar. There’s something fantastically old-fashioned, quintessentially British and eccentric about Gwydion’s calendars and diaries.
“An essential day-to-day reference for those genuinely interested in the natural spiritual traditions celebrated in the British Isles, including Witches, Druids and a whole spectrum of sincere fellow travellers, since the first edition in 1990…You can see at a glance the Moon’s current phase and its Zodiac Sign entry times, also Sun/Zodiac entry times (‘Sun Signs’) with eclipses details, a sunrise/set indicator, lots of interesting Pagan details such as an outline guide to the symbolic Sun God and Earth Goddess cycles and their myths, the annual ‘Earth Festival’ and ‘Solar festival’ dates.”
They are £4.25 from the Goddess and Greenman who stock Gwydion’s diaries and other nice handcrafted items too.
A Very Glastonbury Cushion
Dan Goodfellow is a Glastonbury artist and cartoonist, you can buy phone covers. T-shirts and other stuff featuring his artwork on the Red Bubble site. These funky cushions are £14 and come in a variety of designs.
Essential Oils, Incenses, Candles, Sculptures, Perfume
Star Child is one of the oldest ‘alternative’ Glastonbury businesses, for a fragrant Yule gift how about their Avalonian Incense.
Apparently “Star Child Avalonian Incense is dedicated to the realm of myths and legends, of magic and enchantment. Enter a world between the worlds and a time outside time where dragons roam and fairies play…” Crikey, and I thought it just smelt nice….
The Star Child website also features the iconic Goddess sculptures of Phillipa Bowers. You’ll have seen these all around Glastonbury, there’s one in the garden of Rainbow’s End Cafe.
Christmas if of course a time of Peace and Goodwill to all, so a Glastonbury Unity Candle would make a very appropriate gift for almost anyone. They are “Infused with the nature of Glastonbury – flowers, herbs and trees, including the world-famous Glastonbury Holy Thorn – your 12″ x 2″ candle is an exact replica of the Mother Candle which travels to community events of every kind”. They burn for 60 hours and cost £13.29 including first class postage.
Or how about a Festive Essential Oil blend from a small Glastonbury business, which smells like “Mulled wine, warm fires, and Jingle Bells all in one bottle” £7 for 10ml.
Marina Barcenilla launched her perfume business in Glastonbury in 2011, she’s now an award-winning perfumer who uses all natural materials. Marina seeks to “rediscover the soul of perfume”, and you don’t get much more Glastonbury than that. As you’d expect these perfumes aren’t cheap, but if you’re looking for a present for an extra special someone check out her beautiful website MBParfums.
Ethical Fashion by Local Designers
You can also buy her creations in Haruka who have a shop in Magdalene Street and do a mail order service, they sell their own range of clothes and work by other local designers.
Sophie Harrison is another fabulous designer and maker of stylish felted clothing, here she is modelling her wool neck hand felted smock which you can buy from her Elfn Felt Etsy Shop for £58.
Photographs of Glastonbury
Glastonbury Tor must be one of the photographed places in the world, but few people do it better than Kev Pearson. Check out his website for prints, calendars, canvas prints and photo books.
And for the New Year…..
Know anyone who’ll be overdoing it over the festive period? Those lovely folk at Indigo Herbs do a Super Cleanse Detox Tea for £3.99. Perfect for anyone who might overindulge in mince pies, sherry, Christmas cake, cream, mead, turkey, nut roast, port, coffee, Christmas Movies, roast potatoes, chocolate, wafer-thin mints, cheese, biscuits, stuffing, more cheese, more chocolates and Christmas pudding. You might want to buy yourself a packet while you’re at it! Lots of their other products would make an ideal gift for a health-conscious friend (or anyone with a liver).
When you buy from small businesses like these you know your money is going to support them and their families, not into some big companies offshore tax haven!
I’ve chosen gifts that are made in (or very near) to Glastonbury and that I think are wonderfully typical of the town, that are good quality and that I’d be happy to give, or receive, myself. I’m not asking a commission for sales from people that I’m mentioning (or indeed anything at all). so, if you do buy anything as a consequence of this article please could you mention the blog when making a purchase, as I’d be happy to get a Yule present myself from any of these suppliers as a thank you!
Apologies to all the wonderful people I’ve missed out of this list, it’s off the top of my head and I have to publish it before it’s too late. If you want a mention in a later blog post get in touch – free samples would definitely help!
Please share this post if you think other people might like help finding presents, and feel free to like and comment. I’d particularly like to know if you bought or received a gift as a consequence of this post.
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