6 December 2017

Fantastic Gifts and Where to Find Them

When I think of Christmas, one of the first things to *apparate* into my mind is Harry Potter. I don't care if it's not an 'official' Christmas /bookmovie! (After all, my Hogwarts letter isn't 'official' but it is 100% on its way). Whenever  I flip open the book, hear "Hedwig's Tune", see Jim Kay's illustrations or watch my favourite HP Vloggers in December, no it truly is the "most wonderful time of the year"

If there are any traditionalists among you who say "It's not really a Christmas story!" here's my defence: Everlasting Snow, Yule Balls, Weasley Jumpers, Seasonal Studio Tours and Santa DOBBY Claus. If they don't count as Festive, I will eat a Hippogriff (made of Quorn, obviously, because veggie needs must).   Who wouldn't want to spend an hour in a sock emporium, picking out gifts for their favourite House Elf? Speaking of GIFTS, let's get onto the real purpose of this ramble...

Gifts! And not just any gifts Dear Reader, oh no. I'm talking HARRY POTTER gifts from the most magical emporium known to Muggles, *ETSY* (in my not so humble opinion). I'm a longstanding consumer/worshipper of Etsy and, as of 2017, a seller too (Crochet house elves and Niffler Prints, to be prcise!) Yet it was only the inspiration of other sellers that got me to this point. Those moments of sheer wonder, as when I pulled a 'fill-your-own' cracker 2 years ago and a Harry Potter 'Always' pendant  tumbled out! I loved it more than all the jewels in Gringotts Goldsmiths, because it was SOPHIE.

Christmas is traditionally all about meaning and  I like to remember this when choosing gifts; rather than pick the shiniest 'pickbait' gift box from a highstreet shelf, why not put the PERSoN back in PRESenT? For me and *hopefully* some of you lovely muggles , nothing says YOU quite like U-No-Poo. So in the name of Seasonal joy, oh come let us AdumbleDORE some true Etsy stars...

     "MADE IT MYSELF, WORDS AND ALL"   

I'll be honest, I'm not the biggest fan of Christmas Cards. I think people can feel pressured into sending them, especially thanks to good ol' British politeness. Yet a lot of the time they're standard cards, with the same standard message. A few people do personalise it and I always enjoy reading those, but the others just make me feel sorry for all the poor trees (they really don't get a good deal in December, do they?) 

Nevertheless, after hunting Etsy for some HP-inspired Christmas cards, I may have been swayed. What I love about these is that they are personal; for example, you most likely wouldn't send one to your Great Aunt Dolores, unless she's the actual Dolores from Umbridge-land (on second thoughts, I can't see her taking kindly to "Ronderful Seasons Greetings". They are very much geared towards the Pottiest of Potterheads among us, the Wartiest of Hogwartians and I know I'd certainly be happy to receive one by (Owl) post. 

*Not that I'm biased, but I may also happen to be working on print designs for my own etsy. I didn't want to include them here, as I wanted to exclusively celebrate other sellers, yet all will be revealed in 19 years very soon!

 There's a Blizzard Harry & Ronderful Christmas£2.86, Beyond The Ink UK 

 *Christmas Muggle, £2.75, Vera La Lune*      *Weasley Jumper Card, £3, English Rose Cards*

*Hermione Christmas & Dumbledore Christmas Lights, £3, The Dandy Lion Designs*
   "WHERE YOUR TREASURE IS"   

A NIiffler Necklace exists. I repeat A NIFFLER AND A GOLD COIN exist in jewellery form! I suppose the only issue might be when your pet Niffler tries to steal it... What would be your dream necklace in Fantastic Beast form? I think mine would honestly be the Niffler, as when I saw it my heart practically burst with happiness; there are other people who share my Luna whimsicality! Speaking of Ms Lovegood, I've fallen in love with these Luna badges and can see them as the perfect stocking/card filler.

I referenced the Always Pendant at the start of this post, so obviously I had to include it here. Yet it turns out that the magic doesn't end there and there are so many other cute, yet more subtle options.  I wanted to include some options for the more modest fan (aka not the one who wears odd socks and spends her day crocheting house elves). I love Ms Hepburn, but there's a world beyond Tiffany that would still sit nicely in a little blue box! A golden snitch charm, for example, or a feather necklace. The World is your Oyster Salamander.

* Book Ring £18.90, Myth of the Wild *     *Always Pendant, £6.50, Diamond Dragons Design*  

*Luna Badge, £3, The Square Penguin *    *Snitch Charm, £9.99, The Chamber of Gifts*

*Niffler Necklace £10, The Flying Squib*    *Feather Necklace, £9.75, Beautifully Bookish UK*
  ADVANCED POTION MAKING     
As a proud advocate for all-things animal welfare, I have to start with a very important point: these are all CRUELTY FREE and vegan. So if you're looking for a present for a SPEWtacular friend, you've apparated to the right place. I'm forever seeing candles on bookstagram accounts and am always disappointed to see that they're made in America - Muggles need them as well as No-Majs!

Thankfully I discovered two brilliant finds, one from an old favourite Geeky Candles Co and a new discovery that STUPEFIED my heart for a second... a sorting hat candle! While I am likely to stick with my Pottermore verdict, I would still find this RIDDIKULUSLY exciting and I'm certain I'm not alone. As for the other products, they confirm my belief that Etsy is the Hogsmeade we never had.  Dragon Egg bath bombs and Buttered Beer lip balm are, quite simply, "amazing! Just like magic!".

 * Burrow Candle, £12, Geeky Candles Co *     * Sorting Candle, £8.50, Happy Piranha  *

Buttered Beer Lip Balm£4, The Little Shop of Lathers *   

* Horntail Bath Egg & Pumpkin Juice Bath Milk, £4.95, Pretty Suds Co *        
    "WELCOME TO THE ROOM OF REQUIREMENT"     
Sometimes the most practical presents are the best ones, but this doesn't mean they have to be boring - there will be no foolish (Micro)waving or (greasy) hair products in this gift guide - sorry Snape.! Instead, these homeware sensations will be your new salvations (wow that was a mouthful). I like to think of this list as "Useful things Hermione would give you, if she wasn't able to find a screaming Planner".

I've been wanting an HP version of my own Portobello Market Crate for a long time, so this instantly went on the Witchlist, along with 'wand' pens and 'odd sock' laundry; this one is genius, because I am ALWAYS losing socks! I like to think that I wear odd socks to show my support for SPEW, but really I just can't find the other one... As for the phoenix tears bottle, it would make the perfect pot for my HP book flowers and - surprise surprise - they're also from Etsy! Can you spot a theme in my life yet?

Odd Sock Laundry, £9, Cotton Bobbins *     *Wand Pencils, £6Infinite & Darling *    
   
*Stamped Wooden Crate, £20, Betas Vintage Lounge*
   
Hallows Chest, £25, The Burnt Tree *  * Pheonix Tears Bottle£9.95, Ruby Alice & Me *
  "MY DEAR, YOU HAVE THE GRIM!'"     
If the Grim was a Boggart, these items would be your RIDDIKULUS! charm. Do you think a Hufflepug in your tea leaves would symbolise a DogWarts in your future? If so, find me  that teacup! Last month I read about a rescue centre that actually sorts dogs into Houses, to tackle breed discrimination and instead describe dogs by their traits. There is still some magic left in the world of 2017!

I genuinely had so much fun hunting for  all-things ParvaTEA on Etsy and struggled to narrow it down; nevertheless, my heart was won by Puns and Potions, along with one of my favourite quotes from the entire series... If I had a time turner, I'd love to go back and say to a 13-year-old Hermione: "you know that guy who has the emotional range of a teaspoon? In 19 years time you'll be married to him."

HufflePug Tea Coaster, £3.50, Katy Abey Design *          * Tea Potions, £12,  Literary Tea Co * 

Espresso Patronum Teaspoon, £4.99, The Orange Corner  *

Emotional Tea Mug, £11, Wizard Mugs Co *        * Harry Pot-ter Mat, £15, Silje Made This *

*this post includes affiliate links, but product selections and terrible puns are entirely my own, ALWAYS*
What's your cup of Etsy? 
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