With the autumn weather still lingering, it’s hard to feel festive. The thought of Christmas shopping, minced pies and (endlessly) hearing Do They Know It’s Christmas just feels, well, wrong. It’s mid-November, however, which means that in just over a month we’ll all be overindulging in Christmas dinner, Quality Streets and arguing over which films to watch. It also means that if you haven’t started, it’s time to think about your gift buying.
I’m a bit of an expert on Christmas shopping; my presents are all bought and wrapped up – some even delivered – weeks before the big day. There are often raised eyebrows and a faint look of horror when I admit that, in October, I’ve completed my Christmas shopping. For me, it takes away all the stress and I actually enjoy the process. So, here are my top tips for making Christmas shopping fun and not a chore:
1. Make yourself a nice cuppa. Relax yourself, sit down with a pen and paper and start listing all the people you need to buy for. I list children first, followed by men and then women. This gives a structure to the planning process.
2. Choose your venue. Think about where you’d like to buy your gifts. Do you want to purchase online, attend a Christmas sale or visit a town or city for the day? Exhibiting at a Christmas show one year, I met a woman who bought twenty five gifts from Tales From The Earth. She explained that each year she picks one company and buys her entire Christmas list from them. I decided to try it and last year all my gifts came from Liberty, which has a wonderful Christmas floor. Another year I went to a local independent book store and everyone received an inspiring and individually selected book.
3. Once you’ve worked out where you’ll make your purchases, set aside a specific time – a day off during the week, a weekend, an evening on the internet.
4. Once you’ve done your buying, indulge in the wrapping process. There are lots of gorgeous wrapping papers out there. Or be creative; one year I used brown paper with string, another I brought newspaper back from a trip to Thailand. Photos of the recipient make interesting gift tags or cut up old Christmas cards. Use brightly coloured ribbons and bows. I also love using a silver or gold pen.
And remember: the later you leave it, the more stressful it becomes. Shops get crowded and start selling out (Liberty had already run out of its best selling baubles in early October last year).
We start designing our Christmas collection in February, receive it into our warehouse from July and started sending it out to shops in September. We place our jewellery into luxurious boxes with satin pouches and ribbons to make the experience of receiving a Tales From The Earth Christmas gift a delicious and exciting one. Take a peek: talesfromtheearth.com.