Christmas this year will be pretty unusual. But if we’re going to be stuck in our houses over the 2020 festive season, we might as well deck them out in unadulterated festive splendour. While non-essential shops are closed over the lockdown period, the owners of independent stores across London are still beavering away packaging online orders, and many have already stocked up on baubles and tinsel. Whether you’re after traditional decorations, sleek modern embellishments or Joe Exotic baubles, these indie shops have decorations to suit your taste, plus right now they need your help more than ever.
Christmas is the only time of year when it’s acceptable to be impossibly twee, and this little family-run shop on Upper Street has quaint Christmas decorations in abundance. Finish off your tree with a furry panda or squirrel hanging or a felt penguin wrapped in a wool scarf.
If we end up being cooped up in our flats this Christmas, better make it hygge: the Danish concept that, roughly translated, means feeling cosy. This Putney shop is fully embracing all things Nordic this Christmas, with golden baubles, soft, scented candles and intricate paper decorations.
You’ve had your fill of DIY meal kits, now get stuck into a DIY wreath kit from this rustic florist and gift shop on Exmouth Market. Like all the products here, it’s been handcrafted and hand-selected by owner Alice and will make your front door look like it could be in Elle Decoration.
It’s entirely possible to walk out of Covent Garden stationery shop Choosing Keeping having just spent £45 on a stapler feeling like it was the smartest purchase you’ve ever made, and the same can be said for its Christmas decorations. From delicate hand-blown glass ornaments to model Alpine houses it’s full of exquisite pieces you’ll want to bring out every year. We’ve got our eye on the tiny macaroni-and-cheese tin bauble.
Love Christmas but hate all the tat that comes along with it? Grab some clean-lined terracotta baubles for your minimalist tree from this London design house.
Not an independent shop, but a charity. Historic Royal Palaces (HRP), which manages the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Kew Palace, Banqueting House and Kensington Palace in London, is facing a £95 million shortfall this year. Support it by buying its opulent decorations, all with heavy amounts of gold and an old-time regal twist.
From holographic glitter glass baubles and confetti crackers to scented advent candles and ‘Eskimo wonderballs’, this Tufnell Park gift shop has all the Christmas bits you could ask for – with a cool, designer twist, of course.
This pastel-hued gift shop in Stoke Newington specialises in merging quality design with everyday items, and its Christmas decorations are no different. Pick up exquisitely twisted candles, cheery Christmas cards and sweet wooden animal figurines.
This petite garden centre hidden under the Nunhead railway arches holds a treasure trove of greenery. While it’s shut over lockdown you can order Christmas trees, fairy lights, decorative wreaths and, less glamorous but essential, tree stands online.
This Stoke Newington shop has been filling its chic shelves with gold and silver cone candles, vintage glassware and hand-painted baubles for Christmas. If you can’t find what you’re after on its website, message the shop on Instagram.
This little gift shop really brightens up Roman Road with its bright pink signage, and it’ll help brighten up your gaff for Christmas, too. Head to its website to find a lovely selection of decorations, including delicate paper-cut garlands from local maker East End Press.
Inject a bit of humour into the usual red-and-green festive fare by picking up some of this Hackney shop’s eye-melting Christmas tat. Cannabis-leaf baubles, neon tinsel, and disco-ball tree toppers are just a few of the pieces on offer. Or, if you really want to reflect on 2020, there are some very timely decorations, like baubles of Joe Exotic and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
London souvenir shops were never cool until this pop-art paradise opened. The Carnaby Street shop stocks affordable and charming work by more than 250 London-based artists and its Christmas decorations are just as quirky as its souvenirs. Pick up all sorts, from Hendrix baubles to pop-up Christmas cards.
Not in a cosy Christmas shopping mood? These London pubs will warm you up with takeaway mulled wine.
While you’re shopping for decorations, why not pick up a mail-order mince-pie kit raising money for London’s homeless?
Learn more about how you can help independent businesses in London this year.