As Christmas approaches and the frantic present buying commences I can’t help but notice a common phrase – I can’t think of anything to buy – they’ve got everything they want already! We are all feeling the same pressure to conform, to make Christmas special and a great show of love and thoughtfulness through busting the bank balance. I can’t help but feel it’s a kind of madness that grips the nation and I am just as guilty. So may times I’ve been ever thankful to Amazon for their one stop shop and speedy delivery to the point where Derek our DPD driver gets a hand-made card at Christmas with a gratefully given tip!

Recently I came across an article written George Monbiot (see link at the end) which basically highlights the horrific cost of this blind panic consumption. Thought provoking and powerful this article is full of gross, scary statistics that when written in black and white really make you stop to think about the impact the Christmas has on our planet.

So this Christmas I am going to try wherever possible to gift old instead of new. So my little boy is receiving a second hand go-cart and my daughter a second hand bike. Our next door neighbours are soon to become the proud owners of a Highland Cow sculpture made entirely from scrap metal by Keltneyburn Smithy Gallery and my sister-in-law is sure to be delighted with a gorgeous satin jacket encrusted with beads and sequins that I found in Tweed & Trove. It’s lovely to think that something which may have lay gathering dust in wardrobes, or even worse dumped in the bin, is given a new lease of life.

Wonderful, unusual gifts can be found when we dare to stray off the beaten path and avoid the large multi-nationals. Like this gorgeous tweed hat that a customer bought the other day for her niece. Not only did she purchase a beautiful hat at a fraction of the cost of a new hat she had a fantastic time exploring all the nooks and crannies of the shop – it was fun!

Another customer treated herself to a stunning mohair cardigan that transformed her look and added joy and colour to her outfit – she wore it so well we just had to take a picture.

So when you’re looking for something different to buy don’t automatically think it has to be new to make it a lovely gift. Sometimes the oldies are the best!

Keltneyburn Smithy, Aberfeldy, PH15 2LF