Can Urmston’s independent businesses supply everything you need for merriment and marvellousness this Christmas? Yes indeed they can!
Forget battling the thronging masses at the Traffic Centre: supporting independent businesses in Urmston can put the fun back into your festive gift hunt. Read on for the low-down on Christmas gifts, decorations and and festive trimmings from around Urmston.
Cards and Decorations
Card World on Crofts Bank Road has a keenly-priced range of quality cards and gift-wrap. As well as multi-packs, they stock ‘Merry Christmas from Urmston’ and a range of religious cards.
Next, decorations. I got three metres of charming, Christmas tree bunting from Belle Amour Home on Urmston Market for £8. Mrs M Vintage has some beautiful, 1950s original baubles and some other vintage-style decorations.
The haberdashery stall on Urmston Market has some lovely Christmas ribbons and trimmings for wrapping and decoration.
Here is the news just in from the North Pole: women don’t want to receive a loganberry and courgette foot scrub any more than men want an over-packaged box of ‘golf lovers’/ car lovers’/ garden lover’s’ mugs, flannels or other random items that might as well be labelled ‘nobody wants this’. It’s not difficult to find quirky, beautiful gifts in Urmston’s independent shops.
Speaking of Urmston Bookshop, it was from this very lovely shop that writer, campaigner and darling of the Davyhulme set Jayne Dillon launched her debut book: Jessi-cat: the Cat that Unlocked a Young Boy’s Heart. Jayne describes how her fabulous cat helped her young son begin to overcome selective mutism, won the Cats Protection League Cat of the Year award and went on to achieve global media recognition. The book was published in August, quickly appeared on the Sunday Times Bestsellers List and since then has been translated into many languages.
I should mention that I am biased because I am mentioned by name in the book and I am also a personal friend of the author. No matter: it’s a great book with an charmingly heart-warming tale and I recommend Jayne as a writer AND a friend (you can follow her on Twitter if you want to give that a go). Books make fantastic Christmas gifts and buying a local author’s book at your independent bookshop is a nice way to support the local economy.
Other great places to buy gifts are Mrs M Vintage, Six, Woodaloo and Top Marks on Moorside Road. For stocking fillers, why not fill a jar of sweets at Candy Stripes or buy some of their cute Christmas-themed sweetie gift bags? A colourful plant from Floribunda or Parker’s Garden Centre makes a nice gift for a neighbour.
Experience, Learning and Mollycoddling Gifts
This type of gift is generally well-received because it gives the recipient something they will actually use, supports the local economy and has a lower environmental footprint than the usual plastic-packaged bin-fodder offered by big chains.
Many local beauty salons offer seasonal gift vouchers. One example is Salon Pierre on Moorside Road, which is offering some fabulous bargains, from discounted eyelash extensions (yes, gentlemen, this is a real thing) to great deals on block bookings for facials. You can get everything from a manicure to matrix reimprinting at Salon Pierre! Ring salon owner Sharon Pierre on 0161 748 1213 she can advise you on what’s best to buy.
LAMs driving school offer Christmas gift vouchers for driving lessons, as do many other driving schools. This is an excellent gift because learning to drive can be life-changing.
Marie’s Bakehouse runs wildly popular cake baking and decorating classes, which range from modelling a mermaid cake to cupcake masterclasses. I shall be posting full dates for Marie’s classes at a later date, but a good one to book as a Christmas gift would be the adult beginner’s cupcake class on Monday, 20th January at 7.30-9.30pm (£30 a head). Classes can be booked through Marie’s website.
Cakes and other indulgences
We have more cake makers than bus stops in Urmston. I cannot recommend any of them as I only ever eat lettuce, but you can find some of them on the Urmston Independents A-Z (and I’ll happily add any who care to contact me with their details).
Urmston Market’s Christmas Market on Saturday, 14th December promises to offer many foodie treats for hungry shoppers.
Judging by the proliferation of independent cafes, if there’s one thing Urmston folk enjoy, it’s a nice cuppa (that and getting their nails done). Lily’s at Eden Square has really pushed the festive boat out with lavish decorations and a menu of Christmassy specials. You can also enjoy a relaxing break from Christmas shopping in the Garden Cafe, Appleby’s, or in Lily’s on Flixton Road, to name just a few.
Dressing for the season
What about all those Christmas parties? If you’re a lover of luxe fashion on a budget, check out Scarlett’s Bazaar on Church Road, opposite Affordable Fancy Dress. This little boutique offers an Aladdin’s cave of pre-loved designer, modern and vintage clothing and accessories at surprisingly low prices. You can also enlarge your repertoire of winter chic at Six on Station Road. For party shoes or winter boots for those post-Christmas dinner strolls, visit Shoetique, on Railway Rd. The Glass Slipper is sadly no longer open: use it or lose it! For little ones, Budget Baby Boutique on Urmston Market is selling the cutest elf outfits and Santa suits for babies.
It is absolutely possible to buy all your Christmas presents from Urmston’s independent traders: there is nowhere better to buy unique, thoughtful, even quirky Christmas gifts than right here in Urmston. I cannot cover everything that is available and if you have any Urmston gift tips, please post a comment.