Christmas shopping needn’t be stressful. Make a magical day of it by taking your list to a department store, quaint town or festive market
Christmas is the one time of the year that’s all about sensory experience, so we’re bound to feel short-changed by virtual shopping and the lack of satisfaction in handing over the ill-gotten goods to members of our families. We're not saying that online shopping is the devil’s work – sometimes, it comes in pretty handy – but it’s also time to celebrate bricks and mortar shops and buy gifts from actual people rather than online marketplaces when we’re in search of not only the perfect presents but our own Christmas spirit. Not just anywhere, though – a run-down high street littered with pound shops and mobile phone sellers is unlikely to fill you with joy. Instead, seek out inspirational places, true artisans and the best Yuletide events to ensure that you jingle all the way.
Try some of the following:
- Window shopping - try London’s Liberty and Fortnum & Mason, Newcastle’s Fenwick and Leeds and Edinburgh’s Harvey Nichols. Further afield, there’s Paris’s Galeries Lafayette and New York’s Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy’s
- Markets - the best this year are at Bath, Edinburgh, York and Birmingham
- Independent shops - try towns renowned for their lack of chain stores such as Ledbury, Hebden Bridge, Totnes or Dartington
- Craft fairs and open studios - try London’s Contemporary Applied Arts’ Present & Collect, Oxford Botanic Garden Christmas Fair or Cardiff’s Craft in the Bay
- Make your own! Plenty of ideas in our monthly Weekend Project series.
Turn to page 79 of December's The Simple Things for more alternative ways to shop.