There’s nothing quite like the feeling you get when someone opens a gift you’ve given them and you see the look of surprise and joy on their face.
Knowing you’ve absolutely smashed the gift-giving is one of our favourite parts of Christmas (along with pigs in blankets, of course), so we want to help you win at Christmas too. We’ve compiled this very handy gift guide, composed of the very best things to buy for your loved ones from some of the very best independent retailers, artists, designers and makers in the city. Your guide to shopping local – to put a smile on the face of your loved one on Christmas morning, but also to put a smile on the face of a hard-working, small business owner who is making something cool and unique, and contributing to the charm and character of our fair city.
This year, we’re making your Christmas shopping even easier as we’ve separated our gift suggestions into categories. This way you can find something for everyone on your list, simply by finding the things they like on this list.
We present to you our Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide.
For The Foodie
We all have that special someone in our lives who is obsessed with food. Always going out to the best restaurants, taking Instagram snaps of their food, and cooking up a storm in their own kitchen trying to recreate their favourite dishes from their favourite restaurants. If this sounds familiar, then you’ll want to get them one of these gifts.
For an extra special restaurant experience, a voucher from one of the following fine-dining restaurants:
Vouchers For The Wilderness
Vouchers For Carters Of Moseley
Vouchers For Adam’s
Vouchers For Harborne Kitchen
A decadent treat: Afternoon Tea at The Edgbaston
The go-with everything: Pip’s Hot Sauce
A chef Glynn Purnell (of Michelin starred Purnell’s fame) Cook Book
Chef Brad Carter’s (of Michelin starred Carter’s fame) Cook Book: Staff
Chocolate Making Experience at The Chocolate Quarter
Cookery Classes at Loaf
For The Drinks Lover
If you know someone who loves their booze, we have some excellent suggestions for you. Whether they love to shake up their own cocktails or they fancy themselves as a bit of a sommelier, we have a gift for them all.
Vouchers for 40 St Pauls for gin lovers
Whisky Tasting at The Birmingham Whisky Club Bar And Tasting Room for whisky fans
Vouchers for Couch (also know as ‘Couchers’) for a laid-back cocktail experience
Vouchers for The Vanguard At 1000 Trades for mead-infused cocktails and good times
A cocktail masterclass at Island Bar
For the wine expert in your life we suggest a tasting card from Loki
Wine by the bottle from Connolly’s
Or gift vouchers from Grace + James
For the craft beer aficionado head to Stirchley Wines And Spirits to pick up some unusual bottles/cans
Or book them a Brewery Tour at Dig Brew Co.
For The Culture Vulture
Is there a special someone in your life that loves to go the theatre, is always catching the latest blockbuster at the cinema, or loves their music? Well, we have some ideas to make their Christmas the best one yet. If you have someone on your list who loves all things culture, then choose one of these gifts for them and show them how much you care.
Tickets to a show at Birmingham Hippodrome
Tickets to a show at Birmingham Repertory Theatre
Photo: Dave Musson
Tickets to a show at Midlands Arts Centre
Tickets to a performance at Town Hall Symphony Hall
Photo: Verity Milligan
Movie mad? Buy them a gift voucher for the oldest working cinema in the UK: The Electric Cinema
Love their music? Head to a local record shop such as Swordfish Records and pick up some unusual records for them
Know someone who’s into art? Head to Ikon Gallery Bookshop and select a book all about their favourite artists to add to their collection (they do a lovely selection of little gifts too)
If you know a keen walker, treat them to the Walk Birmingham book by Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
For The Jewellery Wearer
Looking to buy something for a loved one who loves wearing jewellery? Well we have suggestions for them too. Whatever their style – classic or quirky, minimal or maximal, there’s a great suggestion out there. From chic and timeless, to fun and vibrant, here are some great local jewellery makers.
For beautiful, timeless, art deco-inspired pieces: V by Laura Vann (you can get some of their pendants engraved for that added personal touch too)
For fun and colourful handmade clay earrings: Love Kiki Designs
For colourful, hand-dyed acrylic jewellery: Abbie Gaiger
For quirky statement pieces: Frilly Industries
For bold, unique, wooden and acrylic pieces: Working Clasp
For The Well-Groomed Gent
If you know a gent who likes to look and feel his best then you might want to consider one of these gifts to keep him looking tip-top all year round.
Grooming products and gift certificates from Shepherds
Gift vouchers and products from The Barber House
For The Fashionista
Want a gift to make the most stylish person in your life happy? We have just the thing. Whether they’re into the latest styles or love accessories, there are plenty of choices that don’t involve heading to the usual high street stores. Here are our top picks for fashionable finds.
For classic clothes that never go out of style: Liquor Store
For unique embroidered t-shirts, jumpers and more: Lint & Thread
For the little ones: Mini Mini Kids
For stylish leather accessories, made right here in Brum: B18 Leather
For fabric pouches, bags and more: Soft Accents
For The Budding Interior Designer
Need a gift for the interiors lover in your life? We’ve got you covered. If you’re looking for a gift for someone who is houseproud and loves to add those special touches to their home, we have some great suggestions from amazing local designers and retailers. Find them something they can treasure forever and put in pride of place in their home.
For the plant collector: Isherwood & Co
For the minimalist: Honest (we particularly recommend their candles)
For unusual lighting: Enamel Shades or The Workshop Below
For prints: Vincent Van Doodle
For prints: Currentstate
For prints: My Vintage Prints
For prints: Known As Unknown
For a personal touch: bespoke lettering from Andrew J Mason
For the one who spends time in the kitchen: tea towels from Dot Moth
For the Scandi style home: Kin Home
For something more extravagant: Minima
Stylish homeware: Hedge
For The Proud Brummie
This is possibly our favourite category. If you know someone who is born and bred Brummie, and damn proud of it (as they jolly well should be), then we have some incredible gift ideas for you. Made by Brummies, for Brummies, this is a selection of gifts that give a not-so-subtle nod to our hometown and will definitely put a smile on the face of that special someone on the big day.
Birmingham prints by Brumhaus
The Birmingham Tolkien Trail Illustrated Map by Tom Woolley
Birmingham merch from Provide
Mini Laser-Etched Concrete Models Of Their Favourite Birmingham Landmarks from Space-Play
Yes Bab T-shirts from Punks and Chancers
Birmingham photographic prints from talented local photographer Ross Jukes
Birmingham 2020 Calendar by Verity Milligan
Sometimes those little extras are the best bits. The small stocking fillers that have had just as much thought behind them as the bigger gifts can be just as fun and exciting – and we have a great selection of stocking fillers for you.
Christmas cards from Milan Topalovic
For the chocaholic: chocolates from The Chocolate Quarter
For the one with the sweet tooth: fudge from Sweetmeat Inc.
For the caffeine addict: bags of freshly-roasted coffee from Quarter Horse Coffee
For the eco-conscious: zero waste lifestyle gifts (including gift vouchers) from The Clean Kilo
For the stationery lover: notebooks and more from Folk Like These
For the slow-living one: soaps, crystals and more from Quietude
For the one who likes to stay in: candles from The People Shop
For the one who needs a boost: embroidered motivational quotes from Sparklymouse
For the little extras and Christmas cards: Smithsonia
For a range of gift ideas (including jewellery, stationery, and Birmingham-related trinkets), check out the BMAG shop
For the one who likes to support local: The Independent Birmingham Membership Card
Grab an IBcard and enjoy up to 20% off (alongside exclusive 2-for-1 offers, freebies and more) at over 120 of the very best independent cafes, bars, restaurants, pubs, theatres, cinemas, hotels, shops and experiences in Birmingham – including: Digbeth Dining Club, The Electric Cinema, The Wilderness, Carters, The Indian Brewery, Birmingham Hippodrome, Adam’s, Zindiya, The Meat Shack, Baked In Brick, Harborne Kitchen, BoneHead, Purnell’s Restaurant, Chakana, Tiger Bites Pig, Bodega Bar And Cantina, Stirchley Wines And Spirits, Wayland’s Yard, Legna, Purnell’s Bistro, Buffalo and Rye, Midlands Arts Centre, Gaijin Sushi, 40 St Paul’s, The Plough, Hare and Hounds, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, The Jekyll And Hyde, Bourne and Co., The Rose Villa Tavern, Cherry Reds, The Prince of Wales, The Loft, Laghi’s Deli, Medicine Bakery, The Paper Duck, The Clean Kilo, The Early Bird Bakery and many more.
Shop Local. Celebrate The Unique. Believe In Birmingham.
Note: whilst we have recently launched the Independent Birmingham App, the IBcard is still on sale this December – but will no longer be available to purchase after Christmas, as we phase the IBcard out in favour of the IB App. All IBcards purchased will be valid for a full 12 months until the expiry date on the card, and will be honoured in all participating venues while valid. This is your last chance to give the IBcard as a gift this Christmas.