Innovative businesses from across our county are creating their own special twist on Christmas essentials so you can have yourselves a merry little Somerset Christmas.

Somerset County Gazette: Exmoor Distillery Christmas crackersExmoor Distillery Christmas crackers (Image: Faydit Photography)

Crack a bottle open

These convivial Christmas crackers are the brainwork of Exmoor Distillery. They come in boxes of six, each cracker filled with miniature bottles from the distillery’s eclectic range. Founders John and Nicola Smith are constantly challenging themselves to make the highest quality spirits they possibly can. Clearly a popular brand, they not only sell online and across the south west, but also nationwide and now in Europe. Their most popular products are Northmoor Classic Gin, Blackmoor Spiced Rum and Exmoor Aged Rum. For John, Christmas has truly arrived when the nights draw in, the temperature drops, shops gear up for the Christmas rush and families gather to enjoy the festivities.

Somerset County Gazette: Festive Orange candle Image Tripps Festive Orange candle Image Tripps

Shine an aromatic light

Tracey Tripp founded Tripps Candles only a year ago, selling candles both online and across Somerset. After a near-fatal accident as a teenager, she temporarily lost her sense of smell, only for it to return stronger than ever as time passed. Inspired by self-care, she believes scents are strongly intertwined with feelings and mood. Her bestsellers are Juicy Plum & Rhubarb and - at Christmas - Festive Orange and Christmas Wax Melts. Her favourite time of year is Christmas, which for her begins when her tree goes up and she can sit by an open log fire. She has even created a fragrance based on this – Cosy Log Fire.

Somerset County Gazette: Bath tree decoration Photo SparkoriumBath tree decoration Photo Sparkorium

Trim the tree

If you’re after keepsake tree ornaments, The Sparkorium is a family business and one-stop shop for festive fun. The brainchild of owners Daran and Vickie, it evolved after they became fed up with buying mass-produced decorations with a limited shelf life, preferring instead to supply creative and bespoke decorations – including local city names such as Bath - that would feature each year in family Christmas traditions. They sell online and nationwide and across a number of Christmas Markets. Christmas is very much a family affair, involving a trip to the Christmas Eve pantomime and their very own Santa Meter decorations for the children - if they have been good.

Somerset County Gazette: Christmas Stocking Sacks Photo Harriette Pearce Christmas Stocking Sacks Photo Harriette Pearce

Santa sacks for all ages

A company in its infancy, Hariette Pearce Somerset was only founded in March of this year by self-confessed ‘serial dreamer’ Hariette, who draws inspiration from living in the Somerset countryside and also spending time in Cornwall by the sea. She sells her products through her website and will be attending a number of upcoming Christmas shopping events in order to showcase her range. In particular her festive Christmas Stocking Sack, which is made from jute and tastefully personalised with a silver initial. Hariette embraces Christmas with friends and family time, log fires, wrapping presents in front of a film and long dog walks that involve a hearty pub roast.

Somerset County Gazette: Nature inspired Christmas cards Photo Eloise Hall Nature inspired Christmas cards Photo Eloise Hall

Pick a card, any card

Eloise Hall was set up in 2014 to provide greeting cards and stationery inspired by the power and beauty of nature that designer Eloise encounters on walks through the Somerset countryside with her dog Bramble. Alongside a loyal following in Somerset, several stores across the UK stock her cards and they are also available through online retailers Holy Mackerel; the Christmas robin being a particular customer favourite. At Christmas Eloise loves getting cosy and decorating her house, especially putting up the tree which signals the true countdown to Christmas. When it comes to lights she believes in using more than you could imagine, to create a gorgeous festive feel.

Somerset County Gazette: Somerset's eco wreath Photo Wilde Green Somerset's eco wreath Photo Wilde Green

An eco welcome

Previously just a gardening service, Wilde Green expanded two years ago to focus on floristry and floral design. Founder Emma Benson sells her products through her website, in farm shops and at fairs and markets. She draws inspiration from Somerset’s outdoor spaces, led each time by the colour and plant variability from season to season. The most popular product is her seasonal Eco Wreath. The wreath is made using all natural materials, so once the season is over and the ribbon detached, it is then fully compostable. For Emma, Christmas means Helleborus heads nodding in in the winter chill, and the first sign of buds on her winter-flowering Clematis.

Somerset County Gazette: Felt fox Christmas decorationFelt fox Christmas decoration (Image: Coco & Ned)

Festive Folklore

Inspired by the rustic styling and colours of Nordic Christmas traditions, elfin folklore and nature, Kate Goodwin of Coco & Ned sells her delightful and traditional decorations across a multitude of fairs and markets in the West Country, as well as through social media. Early favourites this year are festive cats and dogs, but the range also features elves and tomtes – mythological, bearded spirits from Scandinavian folklore. A highlight for Kate at Christmas is putting her own tree up, featuring decorations she has collected over the years, plus her own. Then it’s a glass of Bucks Fizz on Christmas Day morning, followed by a lunch with all the trimmings.

Somerset County Gazette: Decorative table runner Photo Jonny's Sister Decorative table runner Photo Jonny's Sister

For your home, and your pet

Jonny’s Sister was set up eight years ago by founder Jane Field, who prides herself on trying to do something different, always personalised and at a price that is affordable, whilst keeping abreast of trends. For personalisation, their vast Christmas range covers everything from pet memorial baubles to cake tins to decorative table runners and napkins to adorn the Christmas table. Jonny’s Sister only sells online, with deliveries going both nationwide and overseas. Jane’s favourite part of Christmas is during the last hectic week at work when she goes in to help in the studio. Carols are playing, they all wear Christmas hats and everyone bakes goodies to share.