what christmas means to small businesses


Whether it’s encouraging customers to shop local, withstanding pressures of panic-driven last minute shoppers or closing-shop for festivities with the family, we caught up with a couple of our indies to find out what Christmas means to them.

First in the limelight is Penfold’s Kitchen, situated on Upper Maudlin St opposite the Bristol Children’s Hospital. This year, Simon and his family will be open on Christmas Day serving up complementary food and drinks to families of patients at Bristol Children’s Hospital. (Penfold’s, we salute you! ⭐️)

Next up is Josh from Portland Square gem, Milk Teeth. We managed to grab a quick chat with Josh before he signed out of 2018 and closed for Christmas. Milk Teeth is described by Josh as my baby – an extension of me – and as such embodies some of my favourite things: really good coffee, naughty cakes and good vibes. Read on to see what Christmas means to Josh.👇

Are you open or closed over Christmas and why?

I’m closed from the 22 December – 3 Jan, which is the longest I’ve had off since I opened the cafe – I’m intensely excited! Last Christmas I was open almost all the way through, but we were stood around twiddling our thumbs, so this year I thought I’d actually give myself a break and close up.

What does Christmas mean to Milk Teeth?

Christmas at Milk Teeth means much the same as it does all the way through the year: being nice to people, keeping the hot drinks flowing and making sure people are seen, known and given some hope for the day ahead! Aside from all that, I’ve got a very bare Christmas tree in the corner – a monument to good intentions! 😉

What does Christmas mean to you?

Christmas to me means lots of things. As a Christian, I really get into the spiritual element of Christmas, celebrating Jesus and the message of unconditional love that he brought to the world. I try and bring a bit of that love into all that I do, especially at Christmas. But real love isn’t something airy fairy and super feely; it’s hard work! So Christmas means reminding myself to love when it’s hard work, as well as reminding myself how much I just love the people closest to me by making time for family. I’m also one for nostalgic feels, so get really into old school carols, crooner Christmas songs, Christmas traditions and all that jazz. Aside from anything else, it just makes me feel warm and fuzzy, which is important when it’s so cold outside! Plus I’m a sucker for old school RnB Christmas albums like Luther Vandross’ – I’ve been subjecting my customers to it this week; no regrets!

If you could ask the people of Bristol to do one thing this Christmas, what would it be?

If I could ask the people of Bristol to do one thing this Christmas it would be to either volunteer or donate to one of the amazing homeless projects around Bristol at this time of year.

My neighbours, Caring in Bristol, have an amazing project called Caring at Christmas, which is basically a super-powered shelter that operates all through Christmas and where amazing volunteers give their time to help the homeless community feel safe, loved and seen in a season which can be very hard for all sorts of reasons. I’d recommend looking them up online, as they also have loads of resources to help people be more active in engaging with the homeless. Even stopping to talk to someone who is homeless at this time of year can be a bit of magic in someone’s day; do it! (Yes Josh! You are amazing ⭐️)

What does Christmas mean to you? Tag us @huggg_uk or join the community.

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