Deck the Halls: Seven Independent Shops for Beautiful Christmas Decorations

Tis’ the season for Christmas decorations. This year we’re trimming our tree, decking the halls and tablescaping (it’s a thing) with offbeat ornaments, eco-friendly crackers and handmade trinkets from small, independent UK businesses.

Whether you're the type of elf that erects a Christmas tree as soon as Halloween is out the way or the kind that doesn't think about tinsel and fairy lights until advent starts, it's likely that you'll share that ritualistic joy of unearthing the decorations of yore.

This year, as we add to our collection of baubles and such, we're side-stepping big brands in favour of some of the UK's most characterful small, independent shops. Expect eco-friendly crackers, DIY wreaths and offbeat ornaments charming enough to put a smile on even the most unmerry resting Grinch face.

Seven of the UK's best small, independent shops for Christmas decorations

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The Allotment Florist

Bring the outside in with by way of seasonal flora sustainably grown on a north London allotment by the green-fingered Helena Willcocks. (You can read more about her in our Postcode Pioneers column.) Willowy wreaths, dried-flower cards and feathery garlands of winter foliage quickly take your home from bah humbug to ho ho ho - but for a crafty Christmas, try The Allotment Florist's DIY wreath kit or join a Zoom wreath workshop.

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Choosing Keeping

A stick of butter, chicken soup, boxed mac 'n' cheese and a gherkin may be unlikely candidates for Christmas decorations, but frankly the red-and-gold theme is starting to feel a bit tired. When trimming your tree this year, branch out with the eccentric, blown-glass baubles from the Covent Garden stationery shop Choosing Keeping. Fan of the offbeat ornament? These cheeseboard candles will go down a treat.

Address

21 Tower Street, London, WC2H 9NS

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Cutter Brooks

Where cottagecore meets Christmas. Curated by fashion consultant and writer Amanda Brooks, who traded in city life for the Cotswolds in 2012, Cutter Brooks puts a modern spin on the country-bumpkin style. It's throwback quilted stockings and hand-painted Santa figurines pair well with the multitude of bucolic baubles - expect to find blown-glass replica broccoli ornaments, toadstools and seed packets.

Address

Stow-on-the-Wold, Cheltenham, GL54 1AB

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Nancy & Betty Studio

Christmas, but make it eco-friendly. From its home in Kent, this independent stationery brand pulls out all the sustainable stops when it comes to luxury holiday supplies (the kind you'll find stocked in Liberty and the V&A). Nancy and Betty Studio's crackers - handmade "by elves" - are fully recyclable, contain plastic-free gifts and look adorable in among the seasonal tablescape. Better yet, a tree is planted for every box of crackers sold.

Address

2 Old Garden Court, Canterbury, CT4 7GA (appointment only)

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Oklahoma

Manchester, United Kingdom

Bright, bold and bohemian, Oklahoma is one of the biggest and most-loved independent stores in Manchester's Northern Quarter. Its colourful homewares sourced from creatives across the world make even the greyest day feel celebratory. Where better, then, to find OTT ornaments? We'll be adorning our tree with fantastical baubles by Nathalie Lété and Cody Foster as well as rainbow pom-pom garlands, and fashioning a winter windowsill scene with this Kraków szopka, a delightfully camp Polish iteration of the nativity scene. Like this? Browse the cannabis-leaf baubles and disco-ball tree toppers at Shoreditch's W. A. Green.

Address

74-76 High Street M4 1ES

This image is on holiday

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Blåbär

"Live a life more Nordic." So goes the motto of Blåbär, which curates a sleek edit of lifestyle wares from independent, new-Nordic designers in its Putney shop and café. Whoever said Christmas had to be all bells and red-nosed reindeers? It's pared-back decorations in a palette of neutrals and earthy tones include clear-glass ornaments, slim candlesticks, star mobiles and wild-moss wreaths. Like this? Check out Edinburgh's Scandi-inspired Lifestory.

Address

3A Lacy Road, London, SW15 1NH

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East End Press

Based in Glasgow's East End, this design and print studio sources its decorations from around the world, paying craftspeople a fair wage and using sustainable materials where possible. Choose between baubles hand-painted in Jaipur, screen-printed wreaths and kitsch, FSC-certified wood hangings of toucans, Tunnock's teacakes and jars of Dundee marmalade. We're tempted to keep this recycled-paper Celestial Garland up all year around.

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