And here we are again, at that time of the year when I invite Classics and History enthusiasts to casually leave this page open on their computer for their family, friends or significant other to find.
Here’s my round-up of top Classical Christmas gifts this year. As with last year’s gift guide, my focus this year is on small businesses, artists and crafters. If you buy something from these sellers you’ll be helping out someone who needs a bit of extra income, or someone who is trying to finance a project or grow a business.
I’ll highlight one particular item from each store or seller: but sometimes they’re chosen almost at random because the shops sell so much great stuff! So do have a mooch around their other products too. As usual, my list has a mainly UK focus, but many of the sellers also post internationally, and a few are US based.
I asked on Twitter for recommendations, and received a LOT – so this turned out to be a very long list, and I still couldn’t include everything! However, do let me know if I’ve missed any shops or sellers which you think should be included – and you can find the full Twitter list here.
Finally, for those who’ve asked… yes, I have my own shop too, and will be doing some new stuff for Christmas (I hope!) – but I’ll save my self-promotion for another occasion. This Gift Guide is a celebration of all the amazingly talented creators out there who are producing things I want to buy – and it’s taken me a lot longer than I expected to pull the list together, because I’ve ended up doing my own Christmas shopping at the same time!
Great Gifts From Amazing Sellers
Here are my top (in no particular order!) classical gifts from individual crafters and sellers. Many have limited availability – so don’t wait too long!
- Mythological Creatures Advent Calendar: one of my favourite things from the Greek Myth Comix Saturnalia Shop. Purchase the download to make your own (£4.50), or buy a limited pre-made version if there are any still available (£8.50 plus postage).
- Silver Coin Necklaces: from Meg’s Ko-fi Shop. These are my personal favourites (at £15 each) from Meg’s classical jewellery shop: but there are lots of other shiny pretty things, including bracelets and ear-rings with semi-precious stones. I don’t mind telling you about them, because I’ve already placed my order…!
- Ionic Column Candle (£5.99 plus postage) from The Classical Compendium on Etsy. I love these hand-poured candles (which come in different colours or as scented candles). The shop also stocks Roman busts and statues in candle form – and keep an eye out for some jewellery coming soon!
- Greek Mythology Pins from The Literary Emporium on Etsy. The shop sells enamel badges of Artemis, Circe and Pandora’s Jar (at £8.00 each plus postage) – and loads of other brilliant literary gifts too!
- Minoan octopus brooch/pendant, £60 from It’s All Greek (this store is full of the most wonderful things, particularly bronzes, if you have the budget!).
- The Panoply Project store has some wonderful items inspired by their animations, including wrapping paper, greetings cards and calendars, and this gorgeous postcard for £1.20…
- The Cambridge Schools Classics Project is on Zazzle, for all your Caecilius-related needs – like these Caecilius post-its (£8.20).
- DIY Amphorae Crochet Kit (£13.99 plus postage) on Etsy: almost enough to tempt me to learn to crochet…
- Anubis embroidery (£24.96 plus postage) from AncientStitchery on Etsy, along with other ancient-world inspired designs.
- Trumpet-playing Rat Earrings, by Katie Whittaker Design: inspired by a little Roman sculpture in the British Museum, and part of a range of artefact-inspired jewellery. £14 without hoops, and ridiculously cute.
- Athanatos, an album by the brilliantly talented Bettina Joy de Guzman and friends. £7.99 on MP3 – but if you spend a little more and buy the CD directly from Bettina, you can send her a message and she’ll send you a thank-you card wax sealed with her signet ring!
- Athenian Tetradrachm Coin Earrings, $30 from Caitlin’s Ko-fi Store, which also has some beautiful digital prints.
- Caroline K. Mackenzie’s illustrated Latin Lexicon, with a special offer through this link: £19.99 plus free UK shipping.
- Medusa Fabric from Designs by Amy Coker on Spoonflower (£10.70 for a fat quarter) – I like the green best, but there are other great colours too.
- Children’s Roman Mosaic Project Kit (£12 plus postage, and a second one for only £4!) from the Roman Mosaic Shop. Mosaic kits for grown-ups are also available, and now I really want to spend my Christmas holidays making mosaics…
- Cuneiformations, a new Etsy shop from Digital Hammurabi, has an amazing Mesopotamia-inspired range of gifts. I love this Christmas ornament, inscribed with the cuneiform “dingir” sign which means “god” in ancient Sumerian (no, I didn’t actually know that before…!). £9.36, plus postage from the US.
- Ancient Floral Crown Courses run online by Dr Patty Baker at Pax in Natura ($150 for 4 weeks): for a really unusual gift experience!
- The Atramentaria Art Etsy shop from Aimee Hinds Scott has some gorgeous handmade prints and postcards, including this limited edition lino cut print of Medea’s Cauldron…
- Kid Beowulf graphic novel from Alexis E Fajardo: recently released, and the latest in a series for kids aged 8-12. £15.55 in paperback.
- Imogen Lucy Art on Etsy: some beautiful stuff here, including this Ancient Greek Artefacts Calendar…
- Classical Puzzles by Julian Morgan (who also publishes some really great Latin and Greek puzzle books too!). £5.99.
- Ever wanted the Julio-Claudians on a mug? Here you go. £20.34, and 21st Century Agora donates £1 from every sale to Classics For All.
- Parvulus Latin children’s book – a cute (and scatological!) little Latin story from Ana Martin.
For those who don’t know, Redbubble is a company which makes merchandise and ships it all over the world, using designs from independent artists. When you buy from a Redbubble store, the artist gets a small percentage of the money that you spend. So it’s a great way to support your favourite Classics artists, and get something special at the same time! Here’s a round-up of some of the loveliest ancient-world Redbubble stores for you to browse.
- Flaroh: for the boldest and brightest Classical art (I spend far too much money in this store!). My current favourite is the Homeric Epics range, but you’ll also find new Saturnalia products too.
- Lots of new designs from everybody’s favourite Latin-teaching mouse in the Minimus store – as well as my personal favourite, the Reverse Monsters on stickers and magnets.
- Maria Haley: a favourite of mine for the wonderful ancient world travel posters (here’s the Lighthouse of Alexandria on a mug for £12), but the Ancient Herstories range is great fun too!
- Check out the Neo-Classicist store: challenging classical whiteness with vibrantly coloured illustrations. The best stickers around – and amazing posters too, including this Greek Ceramics rainbow print poster for £24.48.
- Spells of the Amulets Hardcover Journal, £14.76 from Aakheperure (I’ve only just discovered this shop, and there’s so much brilliant stuff in it that I haven’t been able to decide what to buy yet!).
- Lovely architectural illustrations from Abi Mason, including this Arch of Constantine notebook (£9.85)…
- Still one of my absolute favourite T-shirts: “Ask a Classicist About Bees“, £15.91 from the Sportula Europe shop, which raises money to support classicists in need.
- And I know I’ve already recommended the Greek Myth Comix Saturnalia shop, but an honourable mention has to go to the Greek Myth Comix Iliad Chickens, which I already have on a Tshirt and will be buying in other forms for as many people as I can…!
Lists from elsewhere
In case none of these suggestions suit your requirements, here are some recommendations from elsewhere on the internet! If you know of a good gift guide, let me know in the comments and I’ll link to it here. Sadly this is the first year without the Eidolon Gift Guide, which has left a big hole in my own festive schedule!
Christmas Classics from Working Classicists