by Emma Gilboy

All I want for Christmas…


Well, it’s October half-term and the time has come for the new me to start buying Christmas presents. For the me of 2017 this would have been unheard of. Christmas present buying was relegated to week 2 of December after ‘School Christmas’ had taken place. Working as a Reception teacher involved planning, preparing and rehearsing a Christmas performance with ninety 4 and 5 year olds as well as managing exhaustive amounts of glitter and PVA glue involved in the production of Christmas cards, calendars, crafts. By the time we had partied hard with both children and staff and packed up Santa’s Grotto in preparation for the following term my festive cheer was waning.

Fast forward to 2020 and having swapped teaching for motherhood I don’t actually have any more time to prepare for Christmas but I do have the enthusiasm. And what I want this Christmas season is to buy thoughtful, personal, useful gifts. I want family and friends to know that as well as spending my (well actually Simon’s) money, that I have invested time in thinking about, researching and purchasing gifts which will be appreciated by and personal to them as individuals.

gilboys beeswax polish as a Christmas present
This is what I start to think about when Simon asks me to write a blog to promote our range of Gilboy’s products as Christmas gifts. I can only get excited about blog writing if I feel a personal connection and so I start to wonder why I would want to buy Gilboy’s Beeswax Polish or Gilboy’s Leather Balsam as a Christmas gift. My gift buying habits and priorities have certainly changed over the years and as I reflect upon this I compile a list of things which are important to me as I begin.

  • Excellent quality
  • Purposeful; either by function or aesthetics
  • UK or, if possible, locally made
  • Personalised
  • Low or no negative environmental impact
  • Positive environmental or community impact

Thankfully, I realise that every purchase at Gilboy’s can put a tick into each of these boxes. From the smallest, individually wrapped, hand gilded Beeswax Scratch cube to the 1 litre tins of Beeswax Polish, every purchase reflects a rewarding buy either for yourself or as a gift for others.

Excellent quality gifts

Simon has spent many hours researching and sourcing natural ingredients of the finest quality in order to produce his range of Gilboy’s Beeswax Polishes and Leather Balsam. The local beeswax is organically produced and the lanolin is cosmetic-grade. The ingredients are of the highest quality in order to produce the kindest and most restorative products for wood and leather. Currently, 97% (957) of our website reviews are 5 star. Our customers are delighted with the quality of finish created by our products.

Purposeful gifts

Gilboy’s products are perfect for gift giving. The attention to detail within the product packaging makes the opening experience a delight. However, this is soon replaced by the sense of achievement that people feel once they have restored a beloved piece of furniture or item of leather to its former glory. Having used the beeswax polish myself I can assure you that it is very simple and quick to apply. For those wishing to complete a more complex restoration there are blogs and Youtube videos which will demonstrate the steps needed to strip and refinish items of furniture. In addition to this, Simon is always happy to email or speak to customers undertaking more complex projects. Simon is passionate about his business and as a furniture restorer of 34 years he has a wealth of knowledge which he is always happy to share.

A small, family-run business based in the UK

Gilboy’s is based in Staverton, a small village in rural Devon. Simon started to develop his beeswax polishes in 2016, born out of a refusal to accept poor quality products created using cheap ingredients in the name of profit. In addition to Simon, we currently employ one full-time and two part-time members of staff. Simon’s parents live 2 miles away; his Dad pops in most days for a chat and progress report on ‘how many orders today then?’ ‘Mother Gilboy’ is our resident horticulturist and expert on the best way to grow sweet peas (a free box of seeds is enclosed with every purchase). She also comes in each week to individually wrap the hand gilded Beeswax Scratch Cubes
mum wrapping scratch repair cubes

In turn, we try to source locally. Our beeswax travels 4 miles from Buckfast Abbey and our main suppliers of ingredients and packaging are based in the UK, many in the South West.

A personalised gift

Each and every purchase includes a personalised, hand-written note. This is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to every customer who chooses to shop with us. A gift wrapping service is also available for those wanting to send one of our products directly to a friend or family member.

Christmas gift pack of beeswax polish and leather conditioning balsam

A gift produced with low or no environmental impact

Our jars of beeswax furniture polish and our wood polishing kits come in 100% plastic-free, recyclable packaging and are made with recycled materials from FSC-approved mixed sources. The 100% recyclable paper and cotton based packing tape with a water-based natural gum can be recycled along with the cardboard and we only use biodegradable raffia twine as opposed to plastic sticking tape.
The clip-top, glass Le Parfait jars containing our polishes and balsam are reusable. We also have a Return & Refill scheme offering 25% off refill & returns on UK purchases.
The solar panels installed on our workshop roof enable our business to be 100% solar-powered and carbon negative.

Positive environmental or community impact

With every UK purchase, a complimentary box of sweet pea seeds is included for our customers to plant and grow as a 'Thank You' to the bees. The sweet pea blossoms are a great source of nectar and pollen.

This year we have also decided to send a free polishing kit to a different UK heritage property every month. We know that national and regional lockdowns have put enormous financial pressure upon organisations such as The National Trust and English Heritage and this is our small way of showing our support.

This Christmas we are also hoping to work with ‘The Silver Line’ who have a call centre based locally to our workshop. We would like to be able to offer our customers the option to donate up to £2 with each purchase which we will match fund. We would like to use this money to create personalised gift hampers for some of the vulnerable elderly people that The Silver Line support within the local area.

So, if you are looking to buy a responsibly sourced and produced, good quality gift which would be enjoyed by a friend or family member, then shop with confidence at We have a range of products suitable for people who appreciate and enjoy caring for their wooden furniture which would make an unusual but valued gift this Christmas. Or maybe just treat yourself!

gift wrapped furniture polishing kit as an xmas gift



 Beeswax Polish in Jars Complete Polishing Kits Tins for Professionals Leather Balsam

beeswax wood polishes

wood polishing kits 1L beeswax wood polish all natural beeswax leather conditioner balsam

Emma Gilboy
Emma Gilboy


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Waxing Lyrical

How To Restore Nathan Teak Furniture (Step-by-Step Guide)
How To Restore Nathan Teak Furniture (Step-by-Step Guide)

by Simon Gilboy

Step-by-Step How-To Guide for restoring the worn-out finish on teak furniture. In this guide, I restore a set of Nathan nested tables.

Read More

buckfast abbey honey bees
Be more 'Queen Bee' this Mothering Sunday

by Emma Gilboy

The more Simon tells me, the more intrigued I am to find out more about these intelligent, efficient and productive creatures. It seems to me that there may be some practical applications to my own life. So begins my research and I soon discover that there are three types of honey bee...

Read More


by Emma Gilboy 1 Comment

So the time has come to dust off the jar of Gilboy's Leather Balsam which has been in the cupboard for many months. 
"Bring me back some of that shoe polish," I kept saying to Simon. 
"It's not polish, it's a balsam," would come the correction. I refrained from asking what the difference was. For many months Simon has been excitedly coming home and telling me about the new product he has been creating and how he had finally worked out that he needed to add more lanolin in order to perfect a balsam made from the highest quality of ingredients, the purest of components and that it would revolutionise the way that people cared for their leather.

Read More