My top ten for Manx gifts this Christmas!
I love to buy Manx-made gifts for friends and family and with such a bunch of talented artists and craftspeople on the Island, there’s no reason not to! I recently made myself a go-to list for presents, as I’m often forgetting what’s right under my nose, so I thought I would share my top ten with you in case you are a fan of the Isle of Man and are in need of present ideas for Christmas. Support artists, musicians, craftspeople and the language… go on; have a peek below! I’d be really interested to hear what your favourite Manx gift ideas are, so do leave me a comment at the bottom!
For foodie friends and family…
#10 The Apple Orphanage make beautiful juices, pressés, cider and Elderflower keshal (sparkling wine) from Manx fruit and present them in beautifully designed glass bottles. I’m particularly taken by their hampers of single variety apple juices. Check them out here!
#9 Local producers Berries make the most scrumptious Christmas puddings – they’ve even sold them to Fortnum & Mason (whoah!) yum yum! You can buy them online here
For the adventurous…
#8 If you live on the Island, or perhaps are planning a trip during the balmier months(!), I’d definitely recommend trying out sea kayaking or coasteering! Adventurous Experiences are based on the West Coast of the Island and run one off sessions, courses and lesson bundles…loads! It’s possible to buy gift vouchers from them for sessions. Have a look here !
For those who appreciate handcrafted items…
#7 Nicola Dixon from Peel, on the west coast of the Isle of Man, is really quite renowned over here for her lovely artwork… her pieces have all got such a sense of place in them, and that really appeals to me. She’s just got a new website up and running: contact her if any of her prints or cards interest you!
#6 In With The Old, Out With The New make beautiful items handmade from gorgeous Liberty fabrics: the likes of iPad cases, glasses cases, pinboards… loads! Their wares are stocked at the House of Manannan and the Manx Museum on the Island, and at various craft events throughout the year! Have a look at their Facebook page here
#5 I’m not an avid blogger, or follower of blogs, but I do have one exception and that is Lovely Greens. Tanya Anderson, on the Isle of Man, shares her wisdom for all sorts of things from recipes for baked goods and preserves, to tips on beekeeping, gardening and making natural beauty products. If you fancy making Christmas presents, definitely check her page out! She also has made a wide range of natural bath and body products for sale, available from Manx National Heritage and various markets and fairs (especially during the festive season!)
#4 Artforms from Nature (a.k.a Graham Hall) makes some gorgeous wooden bowls, and sculptures. Graham works up at Grenaby Art Studios, but you can find his work here. Drop him a line if you fancy anything: he’s a lovely chap!
For music lovers!
#3 There are so many CDs that I could recommend, but I’ll just choose two and combine them into this post. Mec Lir’s CD ‘Not an EP’ was released this September and is a great new album of Manx and Irish music. The band, who play upbeat trad. music that will make you want to dance, features two of my fellow musicians from the Norwegian Manx Collaboration, fiddler Tom Callister and David Kilgallon. They only formed this year, so will be hitting the gigging scene more in 2015: keep an eye out as they are absolutely brilliant live! Buy the album here
There’s also a (very!) limited edition tune and songbook of the Norwegian Manx Collaboration available to buy now from Culture Vannin. It has a 3-track CD in the back of the project too. Buy it here!
For Manx language lovers and/or learners…
#2 There’s a tonne of gifts – mugs, notepads, magnetic bookmarks – with Manx language words and phrases on them, available from Manx National Heritage (click here). I have one of the bookmarks myself for my diary, and it’s incredibly handy and a really good little item to pop in the post with a CD (maybe ‘Sheear’ *winks*) for a present.
#1 Lastly, but certainly not least (my favourite!) local potter Katy Mitchell paints Manx phrases on her handcrafted stoneware items, and I LOVE her ‘Nollick Ghennal’ (Merry Christmas!) ranges of cups, ramekins and Christmas tree decorations! Available at her studio on Bishopscourt Farm, or in Manx National Heritage shops. For those of you off-Island, she has an Etsy shop too… below here is a picture of some of her work in the studio!