Festive Rituals | Faye's Christmas Gift Guide
WARM TIDINGS FROM FAYE
In12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days, Jeanette Winterson writes so beautifully about the rituals we all preserve at this time of year. For her, they include making 'Mrs Winterson's mince pies and her dad's tinned-fruit-laden sherry trifle while listening to Carols from Kings' on the radio. For us, and possibly for you too it starts with the tree.
The children love to take lots of time to carefully unwrap each bauble and choose just the right spot on each branch. Before I had children it was always quite a tasteful tree but now I really embrace the gaudy clash of colours. I'm even feeling a bit drawn to tinsel this year.
There is nothing gauche however about these handmade hammered tin decorations I found that the children will be fighting over who gets to hang.
Handmade hammered tin Christmas decorations from £7.50, THE SHOP FLOOR PROJECT
FIZZ POP AND SPARKLE
I really do love entertaining and a big part of that for me is the table. It's like a canvas or a theatre set. I have a massive cupboard full of different coloured candles and stacks of table cloths and napkins, all different colours.
It might come as a shock but I'm not a cook. If it was left to me alone, I could serve you a bag of crisps, but the table will be absolutely exquisite.
To bring glitter to your table consider Jess Wheeler's brass oak garland candelabra and Michael Ruh's mix-and-match roman glass.
Jess Wheeler Oak Garland Candelabra £420, CUTTER BROOKS
When we throw a party I'm in charge of the cocktails.
We have a rather too big cocktail cabinet and a giant 60's silver acorn ice bucket that I found on eBay. I prefer a help-yourself table with an array of heavily laden platters and bowls.
At my Christmas Eve party this year I'll be wearing our Shepherd Dress.
Left: Michael Ruh Roman Glass from £120, THE NEW CRAFTSMEN. Right: The Shepherd Dress, TOOGOOD
I find buying gifts for children difficult because of all that plastic. I try to find things that they can use all year round.
I love these wooden mushroms and basket and I know my children will play with them a lot: rearranging and making scenes with the mushrooms, adding in tiny people, foraging in the garden using the basket to collect treasure. Toys that fuel the imagination are best and foraging isn't just for the kids.
Thames Mudlarking is a beautiful book I found in Labour and Wait, just round the corner from our studio. At Toogood we did a whole fashion collection based around mudlarking on the Thames and my collection of found sticks, stones and broken bones.
Left: Wooden Mushrooms and Basket £48, BIJOU. Right: Thames Mudlarking £9.99, LABOUR AND WAIT
For those tricky to buy for folk, how about a John Derian puzzle, (my favourite is the cat one), a joyous poster from David Shrigley, Verden's Arborialist Hand & Body Wash, or Niwaki's nifty Japanese Hori Hori Weeding Knife.
Top Left: Calm Cat Puzzle $19.95, JOHN DERIAN. Top Right: 'The Moment has Arrived' Poster €40, SHRIG SHOP
Bottom Left: Aborealist Hand & Body Wash £35, VERDEN. Bottom Right: Hori Hori Garden Knife £49, NIWAKI
Another fabulous discovery local to our studio is Sally Clarke.
If you have any grown-ups that you never know what to buy, her hampers are beautiful and full of things you will actually use.
The problem with a lot of hampers is that half of the contents will end up in the back of the cupboard. No strange tea or spooky condiments to re-gift here!
Left: Sally Clarke Hampers from £90, SALLY CLARKE. Right: Oak Leaves and Acorns Crackers £36, NANCY & BETTY
THE TWENTY FIFTH
Cranberry or bread sauce debates aside, something you cannot eat Christmas lunch without is a paper crown.
This year our headgear will be provided via beautiful Nancy & Betty Crackers.
For the main event it's usually a turkey, except this year I'm considering a goose. (Delia's Goose with Prunes in Armagnac is an oldie but goody.)
We always have Christmas pudding, something my grandfather used to make for us. I haven't actually ever made one, but this year we intend on doing so, gold coin and all.
If you induldge me for a moment, eternally at the top of my letter to Father Christmas is a Moon Vase by Yoon-Young Hur.
I know I won't be getting it, I'll be getting socks... but one can dream.
Left: Moon Vase by Yoon-Young Hur, FRANCIS GALLERY. Right: The Falconer Top Crumpled Cupro Chalk, TOOGOOD
On Christmas Day I’ll be dressed as a bit of a Nativity angel – The Falconer Top in chalk, red lippy and halo, courtesy of a wire hanger and a spot of tinsel.
Wishing you and your friends and family the warmest of winters
Love Faye x