We have a wealth of artistic talent, and some fantastic shops, on our doorstep. Before you whip out the credit card and head into the big cities to do your Christmas shopping, why not look a little closer to home for inspiration?

Not only does this support the little businesses that need it, rather then the big multinational companies that do not, but you will find something altogether more orginal and special to gift to friends and family.


Mugdock Makkers Art and Craft Gallery is based within the courtyard at Mugdock Country Park, and has a fantastic selection of gifts that are all crafted by Scottish artists. Prices start small, the variety is huge and there really is something to suit every pocket. You are buying something made with love, time and care – so much better than the cheap, imported and mass-produced gifts on so many shelves. Make an artist happy today….

Love Bite Dog Treats offer a handmade range of wonderful gifts for the pooch in your life. Aside from the delicious dog treats, they now handcraft these fabulous bandanas and scarves for dogs. All very beautiful, and at a great price. The scarves sit very well, rather like a sash.

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Local artist Jo McColl has a lovely selection of Christmas cards, orginal artwork and prints available that would make fabulous personal gifts. If you know someone with a love of  ‘Scottie’ dogs, then your present searching is over!

Contempo is a small (and award-winning) gift shop within Stirling. It has an eclectic mix of gifts, and items that will please across the board. It has such a wide range of quite different items, including retro-style portable record players and radios. There is a full range of affordable jewellery that had me very tempted.

Snapdragon is a local business with Jane Lindsey as the self-proclaimed ‘chief cheerleader’! The ethos of the company revolves around designing thoughtful, practical and beautiful gifts that are well made. Snapdragon Studio Membership bestows many benefits – half price gifts, access to free online resources and ‘how to’ craft ideas. They have a beautifully diverse selection of original gifts ideas to order online. Below is a tiny selection of the gifts available.

Killearn based Flyingbird Designs are not available to buy online, but email or ring Lesley and she will sort you out. She has a cornucopia of competitively priced gifts to peruse.

Preserve Your Skin, Body And Soul With Award Winning Temple Spa products. Karen Degg is the local consultant, and can advise on the best products for you. There are products for him & her; bath oils, room scents, body butters & facial creams. All rather lovely, and just like treating the one you love to a home spa experience.

Sally Walkinshaw  is a local potter working from her home studio in Killearn, where she is constantly inspired by nature. From the birds in the garden to the fabulous colours of the sun setting over Ben lomond, little things find their way into her work. Each piece is completely handmade, whether thrown on a wheel or moulded by hand, they are totally individual. Commissions taken.

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Christmas wreaths need not be traditional, and Something Special – based in Balfron – can provide some rather lovely homemade fabric wreaths to decorate your home, or to gift to friends & family. Prices start at £20.

There is something rather lovely about receiving a hamper full of lovely things, don’t you think? A treasure trove of delicious treats that you might not otherwise buy for yourself. It also solves the ‘what to buy’ question for the more tricky family members. Both Hewitt & Aker (Killearn) and and Benview Farm Shop (Dalmary) can put together super bespoke hampers to an order that fits your budget, but some hampers are already packed and ready to go if you pop in. Benview have supplied a selection of priced, ready-to-go hampers, for us below and Hewitt & Aker tempt us with what could grace a bespoke hamper or bowl full of lovely food and drink.

Calluna Ethical Living has great credentials, and offers some alternative gift ideas. Some items are upcycled, and others are Fair Trade and sourced from diverse locations worldwide. Based in both Stirling (Murray Place) & Linlithgow, gifts can also be purchased online.


This is an independent and unbiased look at some great local shopping. Please support your local businesses. None of the business featured in this article paid to be included, nor did they have to be listed within our Business Directory (although some are). Our ethos is to promote LOCAL.


Those who gravitate towards a more altruistic approach might like some other gift ideas we have. While they may not all be local, they certainly are worthwhile.


Glendrick Roost Animal Welfare- Centre Sponsor An Animal £25-£100 per year

Glendrick Roost Animal Welfare Centre is a small registered Scottish charity who have been exclusively self funded since 2003 and we have successfully carried out our work with a tiny team in incredibly difficult circumstances. We take in any abused, abandoned or neglected animals from gerbils to clydesdale horses and give them a home for life.







David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Adopt An Elephant Orphan – $50 per year

AKA The Anti-Trump Elephant Pledge! We all know Trump is an ass, and his recent stance on allowing elephant trophies to be brought into the US, can only confirm what we already know about the nature of the man.

When a tiny new-born elephant is orphaned, it is often because its mother and family have been killed to serve the brutal ivory trade. For an elephant, family is all important; a calf’s very existence depends upon its mother’s milk for the first two years of life.


The Scottish Woodland Trust – from £15

Dedicate a single tree or an entire woodland in one of 50 locations throughout the UK, including Glen Finglas.

Each wood has a different character: some are strapping young woods barely above head height; some are majestically old and gnarly with carpets of bluebells in spring, and some are just beginning their growth spurt in new woodland creation sites.

Once you have selected your wood, choose the number of trees you would like to dedicate,








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