It’s that time of year when you start getting messages from your well-meaning relatives asking for ideas for Christmas. The urgency sets in when you realise that if you don’t ask for something specific, you might end up with a pair of scratchy socks and a bag of Revels. So, whether you’re self-employed or buying for someone who is, we’ve got some great ideas you’ll love. Keep reading our freelancer Christmas gift guide to discover some presents that will (hopefully) make someone you care about smile.
Hi, I’m Ellen and I’m a stationery addict.
I even have a trolley full of pens, pencils, paper, paints and plants in my home office. Even if you’re not a professional writer, you probably appreciate the value of a good pen, so what better gift than a refresh of your stationery collection? Instead of heading to Amazon, I want to shed some light on a fantastic Northumberland company called Under The Rowan Trees. Run by self-professed stationery addict Danielle, Under The Rowan Trees is a fantastic online store that stocks some of the world’s best stationery brands, including my personal favourites Zebra, Tombow and Archer & Olive.
If your freelance pal is a true stationery lover, Danielle has an amazing subscription service called The Rowan Berry Box, which promises a themed stationery selection every month… what more could you want?
Us self-employed folk live at our desks… and if you are lucky enough to have graduated from the bed-desk or kitchen-table-desk, then you might even have a dedicated space to work at home. I love making my desk a warm and inviting place to be, especially since I spend so much time here.
One handy addition to my desk is this calendar from Wag & Co, a North East charity that strives to end loneliness by taking dogs to care homes and the elderly in their homes. I must admit, I am biased here — as my eldest Potter is in-fact a Wag dog, and COVID we visited a local care home every fortnight for treats and cuddles with the elderly residents. In fact, you’ll see that Potter is Mr December in this year’s Wag calendar, a particularly proud moment for me as a greyhound mam! When you buy a Wag calendar, you can choose to purchase an additional one for an elderly friend of the charity… it’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Another purchase I recently made for my desk was these beautiful dried flowers from Dawn McTaggart Flowers on Etsy. Instead of buying bunches from the supermarket that die after a few days, these lovely dried flowers will last forever and even have a slight scent. I will definitely be buying some more of these for use around the house!
If you are anything like me, then you love a good cuppa. The CBTS mug selection is huge, yet there is always space for more… especially those we paint ourselves at The Pottery Experience in Jesmond. If you’re a fellow Geordie, then I highly recommend booking a painting session with Hazel and the team, it’s so fun and therapeutic and a lovely gift for a busy self-employed loved one. You can also make your own pots on the throwing wheel under their expert guidance. This is such a special gift to give anyone, not just a freelancer.
And if you aren’t lucky enough to live up North, then you can always pick up a mug that matches your freelance friend’s branding… check out Pantone’s huge selection of coloured mugs, you’re bound to find one that perfectly complements their colour scheme.
Now you’ve got a lovely mug, it’s time to decide what to put in it. This is the ideal opportunity to shout out my favourite roastery, Girls Who Grind, an all-woman owned coffee roastery in the South West that specialises in working with female coffee growers all over the world. GWG’s coffee is absolutely delicious and they have a fantastic choice of origins that change all the time. You can make a one-off purchase or treat yourself or a pal to their subscription service.
2020 has been an amazing year for freelance books. Here are some of my favourites that I believe any freelancer will love:
- Survival Skills for Freelancers: Tried and Tested Tips to Help You Ace Self-Employment Without Burnout by Sarah Townsend
- The Freelance Introvert by Tom Albrighton
- Content DNA by John Espirian
I could keep going but I shall stop right here as the sound of client work beckons me back to my desk. I hope this freelancer gift guide has helped you buy better presents for your self-employed friends, or taken the pressure off deciding what you want when your mother-in-law asks. Have I missed anything? Let me know over on Twitter!