Want to shop local for Christmas gifts this year? Here are some great ideas for all the family on your doorstep

IT'S a great feeling when you find that perfect Christmas gift – and even better when there is a lovely story behind it.

That's why it is extra special when you pick up a product made by hand, crafted by someone in your community, who can give you that background story. And it's great to know you are doing your bit to help the local economy too.

Michelle Hughes is just one such person. A graphic designer by trade, she also makes lino prints of York and Yorkshire landmarks from her studio in Holgate. One of her new works is of Holgate Windmill (which she can see from her garden workshop); you can buy a print of that for just £55 (or £85 framed) from michellehughes.co.uk.

York Press:

AT WORK: York artist Michelle Hughes

Here is our Santa's sack list of other Christmas ideas from local makers, traders and shops...

Lucy Monkman is another local artist and works as an illustrator. She has produced the perfect stocking fillers: pocket mirrors from £4 at lucymonkman.com

Or get your family organised at home with Personalised Handmade Leather Trays, £19, from Walter and May, Bishopthorpe Road.

Another local place to pick up gift and stocking-filler ideas is Thora & The Prince in Haxby, including Harris tweed bags from £12. 

York Gin has made its mark this year, but did you know it has teamed up with York Cocoa Works to produce a chocolate bar? The York Gin Cocoa Gran Nativo Edition 35g Chocolate Bar costs £4, from the Cocoa Works shop in Castlegate. As for the gin itself, a great present idea is the triple mini gift pack (£18) available from Fenwick's and The House of the Trembling Madness as well as the York Gin stall, St Sampson’s Square, during St Nicholas’ Christmas Fair from Monday.

York Press:

BUY LOCAL: Bears, buns and wreaths, all available in York

Still on a foodie theme, look out for tasty goodies from Izzy Whizz Treats, on sale at Shambles Market in York on December 12 and 20, with jams and chutneys at £4.95 for a two-jar box and £6.95 for a three-jar box.

Experiences make great presents and we have found a few with a local flavour:

York's best-known curry tutor Sharmini Thomas will be running family cookery days in the 2019 with prices from £110-£200 (for details, email: cookery@sharmini.co.uk).

The website uniquelylocal.co.uk has lots of suggestions for great things to do in Yorkshire such as the Hidden Gems Food Tour of York, run by York resident Marion Martinez (£50pp for a 2.5 hour guided tour including all food and drink).

Perhaps you want to give the gift of a new skill? Maria Smith runs Pretty Plaits and sells vouchers for plaiting lessons for children and adults as well as cute hair kits, including a Rudolph one for £2.50 (or £3.50 with a bun ring) – find out more on Facebook: facebook.com/mariasprettyplaits/.

Or learn how to create a mosaic or do paper cuts with workshops from Lisa-marie Newman, with prices from £35 (creative-avenue-york.co.uk).

For music lovers, how about a ticket to York Proms' picnic concert in Museum Gardens on July 14, 2019 (early-bird ticket price: £29 for adults from yorkproms.com or the Visit York Information Centre).

TV celebrity Selina Scott now runs a North Yorkshire business selling cashmere goods, including an on-trend leopard-print scarf for £155, available from naturallyselinascott.com.

York Press:

FOLLOW ME: One Hundred Stars gowns at Maude & Tommy in York, loved by Nigella (and us)

Also coming with a celebrity endorsement is the One Hundred Stars dressing gown made famous by Nigella Lawson. Nigella wore the pretty robe on this year's TV show, later tweeting that she bought it at Maude & Tommy, Grape Lane, York. The city centre boutique now has the latest One Hundred Stars gown in for Christmas, priced at £49.

If you want to deck the halls with anything but boughs of holly, then check out the alternative wreath from York brand Unostar (£18.50). All Unostar's products are made by hand, using recycled fabric and beads where possible. On sale via Etsy and you can check out the Facebook page at Facebook.com/unostar.uk.

No Christmas is complete without a cuddly toy: check out this Paddington bear (£75) from Stonegate Teddy Bears in York.

Support local businesses all year round with the She Loves York and the He Loves York loyalty cards. Each costs £39 and entitles the holders to discounts at high street and independent shops as well as lots of local food and drink outlets in the city – and each card comes with a set of discount vouchers worth a few hundred pound too.

Candles make great gifts for loved ones and we have two ideas for you:

Yorkshire Rhubarb Gin candle from The York Candle Company chalet on Coppergate (£10, or you can mix and match 3 for £25).

North Yorkshire company Neom has a Christmas Wish Candle (£32), from Browns, York.

Happy shopping!