A guide to thoughtful gifts this Christmas
I have a lot in common with a five year old – sense of humour, temperament when tired or hungry, dress sense, but also my uncontrollable excitement at Christmas. I love Christmas. I love the food, the drinks, the tinsel, the whole shebang – even the scrooges that moan about Christmas songs being played too early. I have to stop myself grabbing strangers in the street and screaming Noddy Holder style in their faces: “IIIIIT’SSS CCCCHHHRISSTMAAASSSS!” And of course, I love the presents! Getting them is always nice (Chanel bags and Ferraris, just in case you’re stuck for what to get me this year – don’t go crazy, one of each is fine!). But best of all, I love to give them. For me, that is Christmas.
That’s the point, isn’t it? It’s not about money, or showing off. It’s that unspoken thing, that second where a person goes, “Oh wow.” Because who doesn’t like feeling thought about and loved – NO ONE.
So here you will find five ways to buy thoughtfully this Christmas, with suggestions of gifts and where to shop – and possibly a little Christmas soppiness thrown in too. I just can’t help myself.
1. BE A GOOD CONSUMER AND EMBRACE STUFF
I don’t believe in the “let’s not be consumers,” “really, you don’t need to get me anything” thing. It actually leads to us being greedy consumers – we’ll leave it too late, panic and buy thoughtless rubbish that no one really wants or needs. So let’s stop that now, because what a massive waste of time and money.
As an owner of a lifestyle shop, I’m constantly looking at stuff. I embrace the stuff, but the right stuff.
Lets face it – you know you are going to buy gifts for people this Christmas, so they may as well be gifts that those people want, like, can use, keep and make them feel good. If they can be locally sourced, ethically made and independently bought then great – but let’s buy thoughtfully and not wastefully. Rewards of chocolate, wine and television presented by Jimmy Carr await you at the end, plus that feeling you’ve done something well.
2. RECOGNISE THE GIFT
Let’s set the scene. Christmas Day. A son hands a present to his father and there’s a quiet mumble of thanks that emotes nothing, which men are very good at. It’s a bottle of whisky, the one he likes or used to. The son noticed some in the cupboard a few months ago, partly drunk and forgotten. He can remember once stealing a bottle out of the cabinet and his dad telling him off about it, which makes him smile. He thinks, ‘I’ll get him that for Christmas’ and then goes back to what he was doing – job done. Then, on Christmas Day, the dad opens the present and, remembering too, also smiles.
You will be more than forgiven for thinking this is the gift, the bottle of whisky. But wait – there’s more. A little later, after the stomach-splitting dinner, bad hats, and falling asleep in chairs, the father brings the son a glass of whisky, they sit, drinking, perhaps talking, or telling jokes. They haven’t done this for a while, smiles on faces and an understanding of something that is just theirs, a friendship, father and son – that’s the gift! That bottle of whisky was a time capsule, a memory maker, and picking it took ten seconds looking in a cupboard. That’s the real gift – all the stuff that comes from the stuff.
3 & 4. GIVE YOURSELF TIME & MAKE A LIST
I know, you’re busy, but we’re all busy. I’m so busy I had to combine two bullet points. So let’s get on with it.
If you have lots of people to buy for, the best way to tackle it is to start early. If the chains can kick off the Christmas songs on November 1st, so can you! Believe me, the time is worth it, a well thought-out and constructed present can make someone feel really special.
So make a list of who you need or are struggling to buy for – it works for Santa and he’s been running this show for quite a while.
Start with the first person, hold them in your mind, remember a conversation you had, something they said, a place you went together – these all evoke thoughts, smells, tastes, jokes, memories. These are all wonderful inspirations for gifts – the work sort of does itself. Jot down the ideas and words that come to mind, it will set you off on the right track, help you to not miss anyone out and make sure everyone gets something different. Planning ahead makes you feel less stressed in the long run. So find that lunch hour in early December and have a little look round the shops or that hour on a Sunday afternoon to browse the internet. Setting aside the time will show.
5. THINK OUTSIDE THE GIFT BOX
Taking the time to think about what that special person might want or need could lead you to a much more interesting place. That’s the best bit about presents, there are NO RULES (total five year old). So buy them, find them, make them. Done right, they will have the same effect.
Speaking of gift boxes, make a present look nice. Wrap it. Even just brown paper and string will show you’ve taken the time and effort. For the wow factor, ask for help – shops may offer gift wrapping. Many shops on Chatsworth Road sell unique wrapping paper, gift tags, cards and ribbon to make gifts look individual and beautiful. So embrace the magic and tradition of it.
6. TRY AND BE THE MAGI
Don’t panic. No pilgrimage expected. There is a wonderful story by O. Henry called ‘The Gift of the Magi’ – if you don’t know it, it’s a great Christmas, heart-warming read. It’s essentially about selflessness and a couple who are very poor but desperate to buy each other something for Christmas. The woman cuts and sells all her beautiful long hair to buy a chain for her husband’s heirloom pocket watch. Meanwhile, her husband sells his treasured pocket watch to buy hair slides for his wife. So the gifts in the story become irrelevant because they are unusable – but the thought behind them is the real gift, a sacrificing of what they love to provide for whom they love. You can’t fake time taken to show someone you care.
O. Henry finishes the story by saying that the couple are the true, original, real, greatest givers of gifts. They are the Magi.
So I hope this Christmas you buy thoughtfully, joyfully, perhaps selflessly – if you can – and take a little time to be a finer gift giver. Because it will make those around you feel connected and happy and loved. Oh, doesn’t that sound Christmassy.
TOP CHATSWORTH ROAD GIFTS
Your Rapunzel. Give him/her that hour where they can go and get their hair done. Belli Fuori are offering gift vouchers, as well as beautifully wrapped gift boxes of hair products. Prices vary.
The crafter. For that rustic wow factor on the Christmas table The Hackney Draper have beautiful handmade wick candles starting from £4.
If your special someone is not a human. The best pet shop in the world, Pack and Clowder, have you covered. Mrs Claws Cat Wand (£5.95), or a Squeaky Tweed Santa (£7.95) for the doggies.
The hoarder. Factory Press have made a wonderful book, 'The Wall of Stuff’, about Stuff. Beautifully illustrated, for children and adults (£15). A unique gift that could inspire a New Year tidy-up.
Wine and dine. There are beautiful places to eat and drink on Chatsworth Road, all offering great menus this Christmas.
Breakfast in bed. Tea and jam on toast? LBJ have a fabulous screen-printed gift box to add some sweetness to your toast and chutney to your cheese at Christmas and into the new year (£21).
The whisky lover. Brahms and Lizt have an arsenal of tipples, and their knowledge and enthusiasm is vast and well tested. So hit them up for all your Crimbo booze.
The kids. Hop toy store is where it’s at, offering truly individual gifts for your literal or metaphorical five year olds.
There’s a wealth of great independent shops on Chats, offering vintage furniture, plants and flowers, fashion, homewares and produce. We have individual gifts galore. And I’m here at Darling and Gold with gifts, advice on buying, a wrapping service, Christmas cheer and cheesy jokes aplenty!
Text by Holly Drew, ownder of Darling & Gold on Chatsworth Road
Issue 5 of I Love Chatsworth Road Magazine is out soon. Join us to celebrate the new issue at Jim's Cafe on 59 Chatsworth Road, London E5, Wednesday 30th November 5pm - 8pm. Live music.
Jim's Cafe on Chatsworth Road is due to open soon. They are having a pre-view of the space on Saturday 10th June for those curious to how the space look like. We have been give exclusive access and it is looking very good.
59 Chatsworth Road, London E5
WE ARE CELEBRATING THE NEW ISSUE OF ILCR MAGAZINE WEDNESDAY 20TH APRIL 7PM AT
BARKIOSK, 42-44 BROOKSBY'S WALK, LONDON E9. EVERYONE WELCOME!
BUY OUR NEW COLLECTABLE TEA TOWELS
MEET THE TEAM
Daisy Sayer, Manager of Hackney Draper. Go to Business section for more info.
Asher and Danielle are opening a cinema on Brooksby's Walk soon. More info in our Businesses section.
Free Range Urban Kids' (FRUK) reading session photographed February 2016. FRUK is a new outdoor nursery in Clapton.
Elaine, Mark, Myles, Willa and Taco the dog at home.
Go to Home Portraits for more.
Emma in her shop Doree Bakery.
Go to Businesses page for more.
Matt, Paula, Elwood and Herbie
"Our neighbours are very friendly and we have formed a residence association."
More in our Home Portraits section.
Cocktail and wine bar. Winter roof terrace restaurant, serving up seasonal modern European cuisine.
Read more in the BUSINESSES page.
Vic of Furnish, 7 Chatsworth Road, London E5
Gentlemen John and Morrisson of Pedro Boxing Club hanging out on Chatsworth Road.
One of the many stalls at the Jumble Trail, which took place in Clapton Sunday 14th June. Go to our 'The Locals' section to see all the 51 we photographed.
Click here to find out more about Jumble Trail.
THE FACES OF CHATS. ILLUSTRATION BY KIMBERLEY GOLDING; a designer who has lived in the area with her family since 2010. She is co-founder of Forest Kids Hackney, a local walking group for children along the river Lea. Kimberley makes upcycled baby and kids clothes from reused jumpers for her brand Mini Magpie, once a stall on Chatsworth Road market and now based in The Old School Rooms at The Round Chapel. She runs regular classes teaching simple upcycling in Hackney and beyond. Kimberley also makes illustrations and logos for businesses.
This amazing illustration was commissioned by us to feature in I Love Chatsworth Road magazine issue 3. It is also available to buy as a shopping bag and limited screen prints. See our shop for more info by clicking here.
Frank works at the Chatsworth Road Launderette and he is also the friendliest person on the street. Frank is one of the faces featured on our 'Faces of Chats' bag and he was very pleased when he saw the illustration of himself in the latest issue. Visit our shop to purchase the bag and the paper.
The magazine is currently available at these places:
Cooper & Wolf, 145 Chatsworth Road
Chetan and Chirag, 143 Chatsworth Road,
Wayside Charity Shop, 11 Chatsworth Road
The Big Table, 45 Chatsworth Road
London Borough Of Jam, 51d Chatsworth Road
Ishi Newsagent, 15 Chatsworth Road
119 Lower Clapton, 119 Lower Clapton Road
First Edition Newsagent, 74 Lower Clapton Road
Palm 2 by Clapton Pond. 152 Lower Clapton Road
Organic & Natural, 192 Lower Clapton Road
Get in touch if you want to stock us.
You can also order it from our webshop
We are very pleased to invite you to attend the private view of I Love Chatsworth Road photography exhibition in our new studio space in the Round Chapel.
The show is part of the East London Photography Festival and features brand new images alongside the ongoing documentation of the Chatsworth Road area photographed by Jørn Tomter since 2011.
We would be delighted to welcome you and your friends to our new headquarters on Tuesday 21st October from 6pm. There will be a donation bar.
Place and time:
Round Chapel / The Old School Rooms
2 Powerscroft Road
London E5 0PU
Tuesday 21st October from 6pm - 9pm.
The exhibition runs until 15th November Tuesdays to Fridays 11am-5pm, Saturdays 11am-2pm.
Photographer and founder of I Love Chatsworth Road
Happy guys last day of Ramadan, shot outside their local mosque on Chatsworth Road.
Eric Chenaux and Nathaniel Mann photographed at The Old Dentist, 33 Chatsworth Road, during a two days preparation and rehearsal prior to their gig at Museum of London 17th July 2014.
More photos click here.
Pat Dam Smyth is performing live at The Old Dentist Friday 27th June at 8pm.
More info here.
And revisit our feature on Pat last year here.
Hedi Jonsdottir makes bags out of fish skin and upcycled materials. She also lives and works in a great space in Clapton and trades at Chatsworth Road market. We went to see her last week and will post the full feature very soon.
We have been to see Ricardo at his roastery The Roasting Shed in Lower Clapton. Here he is with his girlfriend Esther, who runs the commercial side of the business, and their baby Emilio, who brings happiness to the family. More http://www.ilovechatsworthroad.co.uk/shops/the-roasting-shed/
There are many reasons why we enjoy our documentation of the Chats Rd area. One of them is all the great people we meet and establish relationships with. Here is one friendly crew we shot when they first opened and roughly 18 months later.
Above is the Cooper & Wolf crew in August 2012
The Cooper & Wolf crew January 2014
We have a very limited number of screen prints left for sale. This beautiful illustration made by local artist Jojo Alderson is the perfect Christmas present this year. Hurry while stock last.
Printed on Corona Offest paper (190gsm), which is made entirely from post consumer waste. Order it before Thursday 19th December and we will deliver it in person to any address in Clapton and parts of Homerton.
Order from our shop by clicking here
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Not many tea towel left. We only have 10 in stock. Order it from our shop by clicking here or email email@example.com. Free delivery in Clapton.
£10. Profits go to Pedro Youth and Boxing Club.
Also stocked by Caballo, Venetia's, Firefly, Cooper & Wolf and Triangle
WE ARE DELIGHTED TO INVITE YOU TO THE LAUNCH OF ISSUE #2 OF I LOVE MAGAZINE MAGAZINE THIS WEDNESDAY 11TH DECEMBER 2013 6PM-9PM AT CABALLO BICYCLE WORKSHOP CAFE.
I LOVE CHATSWORTH ROAD IS AN INDEPENDENT PROJECT STARTED BY LOCAL PHOTOGRAPHER JØRN TOMTER. THE AIM IS TO DOCUMENT THE PEOPLE AND PLACES ON AND AROUND CHATSWORTH ROAD OVER SEVERAL YEARS IN A TIME OF MAJOR CHANGES.
LATEST NEWS: THE SECOND ISSUE OF I LOVE CHATSWORTH ROAD MAGAZINE IS LAUNCHING WEDNESDAY 11TH DECEMBER 2013 AT CABALLO BIKE CAFE ON CHATSWORTH ROAD, LONDON E5.
Do you have a story to tell? Do you want to be photographed? Would you like your business featured on our website and in our printed paper?
DONATE BELOW IF YOU WANT TO HELP THE PROJECT FINANCIALLY
What will it be spend it on?: free prints to people we photograph, buy equipment to run workshops for local youth and organise exhibitions in the local community.
Brian Walker has hand painted many shop signs on Chatsworth Road. Here he has just completed the new Dorée Bakery. Photographed 4th Sep 2013.
We are doing a pop-up studio at the festival. Come to have your portrait taken!
Big event at Pedro Boxing Club in Rushmore Road Saturday 25th May. Come to see what they are up to and support the club.
More info below followed by some of the boxers
Joan in her front room. Go to Portraits at Home linked above to see what she says about her neighbourhood.
Below: Harry and Hayden at Pedro Boxing Club on Rushmore Road. Come and join Pedro's open air boxing show on the 25th May at Pedro. They are raising money to still be able to continue their fantastic work for the local community. Click here for mor info.
Portrait at Home this week is of Roosevelt and his family. Roosevelt is a keen boxer and one of the volunteers at Pedro Youth and Boxing Club. There he teaches local youth discipline and keeps them away from the streets. Click 'Portrats at home' above to read what they think about living in Clapton.
Photo of the week: Clement picking up his suit for his wedding having travelled back to his home neighbourhood from Essex.
Our special feature on the dry cleaner will be launched here soon. Its really special, do remember to check in to read it and see the pictures.
Today, 3rd April, 2013, we launched our new series of portraits titled Portraits at Home, where we visit and photograph local residents in their own home surroundings. We also try to get their story about how they came to the area and what they feel about Chatsworth Road. The first famiily we publishing is Tamara, James, Marlen and Luka. The chicken is called Mathilda.
Triangle Store on Chatsworth Road opened last night, March 3rd, 2013, and local celebrity Kaye was there. This place will also be the office for I Love Chatsworth Road Monday - Friday. Pop by for a chat if you walk past.
You can now buy a selection of photos from our new online shop. Explore our shop here.
Our magazine can now also be viewed online or you can download a high res pdf-version from our printers at Newspaper Club
Click here to view online
Pedro Boxing Club is doing many great things to help out local kids. This is Jaded and he is already a pretty good boxer. They need help to survive though. Please visit http://www.pedroclub.com/donate.html if you have a few pounds to spare for a better neigbhourhood.
You can now buy the I Love Chatsworth Road magazine at Ishi Express, Cooper & Wolf, 46b Espresso Hut, Cakey Muto, The Dentist and Lucky News all on Chatsworth Road. You can also order it here from Jørn Tomter's shop buy clicking here.
It was the last day of the exhibition today, Sunday 28th October. Thanks to everyone who visited - your support means everything!
The exhibition runs to 28th October. Open Wednesday - Sunday 12pm - 6pm.
Fred Fabre filmed Jørn's exhibition as part of a film about Chatsworth Road. Click here to see it.
Local Chats resident and our favourite - Kaye Manning - on the cover of Hackney Citizen (above) and checking out the paper and the exhibition (below)
We would specially like to thank the following local traders:
Isle of Olive, Lucky News, Cooper & Wolf, Mini Magpie, 46b Espresso Hut, Pedro Club, Cakey Muto, PC Clinic, Drake & Naylor for helping out:
We would like to thank CRTRA for supporting the project locally and The Royal Norwegian Embassy for making the exhibition happen
Creative Director Jorn Tomter
All photography Jorn Tomter
Designer Matthew Naylor www.13one6.com
Production editor Caroline Simpson
Contributors Garfield Hacket, Alistair Siddons, Brian Walker
Logo designed by Kimberley-Tybee Golding at Mini Magpie www.minimagpie.com
In October we will open our first exhibition and launch our magazine. You are most welcome to The Dentist, 33 Chatsworth Road, London E5 on Friday 12th October for the opening. The show will last until 28th October.
I Love Chatsworth Road started as a photographic documentary project by photographer Jørn Tomter and after he teamed up with web-designer Matt Naylor it turned in to the website you are now visiting.
Here you will find stories about THE LOCALS, see how THE MARKET looks like and meet the owners of THE SHOPS. We will add stories every month so make sure you bookmark us to keep on top of everything. Are you a shopowner and not featured yet? Fear not! We will contact you.
I Love Chatsworth Road is an ongoing project to make a record of the Chatsworth Road area in Hackney, London. It will hopefully be a valuable archive for the future of a place going through rapid changes. The project is founded and run by photographer Jørn Tomter who started photographing the area in 2007. Then in 2010 he opened a pop-up photographic portrait studio offering local people a free portrait including a free print to take home. More than 300 people people visited during the week; and being free it attracted all social backgrounds. Another pop-up studio has taken place at Pedro Boxing Club and more are being planned. Jørn Tomter is on a regular basis visiting all the local businesses in the area offering them to do a feature for the website. Chatsworth Road is a unique high street with mostly independently run shops supported by a strong community to help them survive. Exhibitions will take place during the summer of 2012 and new stories will be added to ilovechatsworthroad.com every month. Local aspiring youth are being encouraged to help out to gain professional experience. Jørn is now helping teaching photography at Berger Primaary School in Homerton as a volunteer. Do you have a suggestion of what Jørn should photograph or do you want to help out? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a fully independent project. We do not represent individuals, any shops or the market. This is done by CRTRA
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All photography by Jørn Tomter / tomter.net