Gifts on a Budget

Gifts on a Budget

Paul Warner

We have become a society that buys gifts for every occasion, so as the belts tighten, our thoughts turn to spending less and we search for gifts on a budget. It’s not the person we want to be because giving gifts can make you feel good too right?

Let me tell you a little secret… it is NEVER about the cost of the gift, what matters is the though you put into choosing and buying the gift.

Let us take a humble wood turned apple made from Oak. The wood itself is not a ‘premium wood’ the apple being life size stands little more than 9cm tall. Heck it could fit in your trouser pocket it’s that small… It sells for just £10.00. I can tell you are excited about this already (not). Now let us give you the back story, the reason this apple is so special and would mean such a lot to the right person.

The Yew tree that this wood came from grew in Irchester Country Park (just a mile from the shop). The tree itself was around 200 years old when it succumbed to the winds of a local storm, uprooting the trunk. At the time, the wood in the park was managed by Willie Penn, a local man who is a second generation woodsman, having learned his craft from his father right here in Northamptonshire. The trunk was then carved up for various uses including selling some to Kevin Devine from Isham, who started a company called It Was a Tree, specialising in lathe turned wooden gifts. Kevin carefully chose a section of the wood to best show off the shading and richness that only Oak can portray. This is where The Emporium comes in because the shop is FULL of local makers and creators, none more so than Kevin from It Was a Tree.

So in buying the apple, you have achieved the following:

  1. Supported Willie Penn at The Wood Company (Irthlingborough)

  2. Supported Kevin Devine at It Was a Tree (Irchester)

  3. Supported The Emporium (Wellingborough)

  4. Bought a gift that has a rich local story that goes way beyond the price you have paid

  5. Bought a gift that has zero air miles


You could have spent 5 x that number on a gift from Amazon that might have been more flash, but the back story wouldn’t be there, worse still, you have little or no knowledge how or where it was made or what labour was used.

The giving of a gift should make you feel good as the giver as well as making the recipient happy. Next time you go out to buy a gift, if it doesn’t fit this criteria, maybe pause and think before flashing the cash.

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