It’s been a rough few weeks for businesses in Manchester, whose Christmas trade has been slashed by concerns around Omicron.
But there are ways you can support your favourite indies, while ticking off a few tricky last people on your gift list.
We’ve rounded up some brilliant Christmas gift ideas that are perfect for those people who are impossible to buy for, and give a little something back to Manchester at the same time.
Everyone, and I mean everyone, loves going out for dinner – but with Covid cases rocketing, a lot of us are spending a bit more time at home in the run-up to Christmas.
A great way to help your favourite restaurant to weather the current storm is to buy a restaurant voucher, paying it forward to a date where things are a little calmer.
It’ll give your friends and family something to look forward to, too.
Got someone in your life who absolutely loves a pamper?
You can deliver whole spa treatments – complete with professional masseuse/nail tech/spray-tanner – to their door with Secret Spa.
Services include manicures from £27, massages from £45, and spray tans from £27, all performed in the comfort of your own home between the hours of 6am and 10pm.
Mancs can take £20 off their first book using code THEMANC – the code expires on January 31, 2022.
There are gift cards too. You can browse the lot at secretspa.co.uk.
Let the festivities be gin, am I right?
Manchester’s got loads of local distilleries but if you want to have a bit of fun with your booze, it’s got to be Zymurgorium.
Beer-lovers can sip on The Cub Gin, made in collaboration with Congleton brewery Beartown; pink drink fans can go for a shimmering Realm of the Unicorn gin liqueur; and there’s even something for jam fans in the marmalade gin, made by the legendary Duerr’s.
You can order a yard of gin, a Zym Experience Pack of five little bottles, or just commit to one of their many flavours as an ideal Christmas gift.
Browse the range at zymurgorium.com.
Manchester’s beautiful bagel bakery and florist hybrid has put together the ultimate Christmas morning hamper.
You can win over the hearts of your tricky relatives by rocking up and Christmas day armed with a selection of bagels, schmears, smoked salmon, sparkling wine, coffee, juice, and a floral centrepiece.
The hampers are available to collect from Kampus on Christmas eve, but if you can’t make it, there are also gift vouchers you can pass on as an IOU.
Tipples of Manchester
It’s getting a bit close to the wire to be relying on online orders, but if you’re in the city centre you can grab some great gifts at Tipples on Lloyd Street.
This independent booze shop has got a whole library of liqueurs and spirits to suit every taste.
The staff are always happy to make recommendations if you’re really struggling too.
Find out more at Tipplesmcr.co.uk.
You can tick your entire Christmas gift list off in one go with a trip to Afflecks.
Everything from jewellery to American sweets to artwork is sold here, with the legendary shopping emporium packed with independent makers.
You can read our guide to shopping at Afflecks here.