Christmas shopping. Heaven itself. The absolute highlight of the year. A legitimate excuse to wander down your local high street, spending money on wonderfully unique finds while drifting from shop to shop, bathed in the warming glow of pine forest and clove scented candles. Wait … what? You don’t feel that way? Too many carols on repeat and people invading your personal space? Come on Grinchy, it doesn’t have to be like this. You too can be the person with the shopping list written in colour-coded calligraphy, who has time to nip into the grocer’s store for a mulled wine and a mince pie, and a discussion of what a good job Tony has done with this year’s Christmas lights. So take a seat, breathe deeply, and let’s do this together.
For the last-minute panic buyer
You know it’s coming, you’ve seen the adverts, you’ve heard the heavy hinting from family members, but honestly, who has time to Christmas shop when there are so many parties to attend? This, my friend, is all about lists. We are absolutely non-negotiable on this point. Do not, I repeat, do not, set out for the shops without writing a list. If you do, your nephew’s going to get a cut-price shower set again. And your mum has been harbouring a secret sadness about that cookbook you bought her, when you know the last cake she baked caused a listeria outbreak at the committee meeting. So think. What do they love doing? What is an easy win? OK, so mum’s not a star baker, but she does love the garden. From this point onwards, write down every heavy hint you hear and shopping will be a pleasure. Fine, you can keep hitting the high street at the last minute if you really must, but start that list now and everybody wins.
For the Grinch
We’ve already talked about you, but we’re giving you some special attention, because we think you need a hug. So Christmas isn’t for you. It’s not your vibe. Fine. But you like some people, right? Some people are OK? Some people you wouldn’t mind seeing happy on one particular day of the year, even if you’d personally rather pull hair out of plugholes than pull another Christmas cracker? Well, that’s a start. The easiest way to make them happy, and possibly, maybe, give yourself a tiny warm glow of goodness, is to show you’ve thought about them. That doesn’t mean spending hours trawling around in a sea of gift sets – it means getting crafty. How about a photo album? That’s a nice thing to do. Go to your local photo shop and get some pictures printed up of all those special times when you weren’t a Grinch, and take them back home to where the Christmas lights aren’t blinding and you can have a cup of coffee that isn’t cinnamon scented. It’s really easy and it makes you look like a nice person. And you are a nice person really, aren’t you?
For the bargain hunter
Are you, by any chance, a Scorpio? You are, aren’t you? It’s the thrill of the chase, isn’t it? That feeling of finding something with the glorious discount sticker shining proud. This one’s all about timing, because you can’t hurry love or a good bargain. So if frugal is your middle name, let’s get some dates in the diary now, one day at least, but I’d go for two if I were you, to give your quest some space. Quick word of warning: don’t buy something just because it’s a bargain. That joy you feel by buying something with a healthy discount will be wiped right out when you give the gift on Christmas Day and Grandma’s face shows you exactly what she thinks of her new racing drone. Bargains are the best, but not every single one is your friend. Proceed with caution.
For those who have no idea what they’re doing
Of course you don’t, nobody really does, but this situation is exactly what the concept of research was invented for. Well, that and a few other things probably. Let’s start with a lunch hour. The next time you have one free, take a stroll down the high street. No pressure, you’re just looking, having a lovely little browse. It’s amazing what you’ll see when you don’t have panic lurking in your purse. Then the next day, go back. See that scarf? Still nice, isn’t it? And come to mention it, Uncle Ted was moaning about moths eating all his woollens last time you saw him – this could be perfect … And it’s got 20% off. Not so hard, was it? This one’s just about taking it slowly, remembering that Christmas shopping doesn’t always have to be about CHRISTMAS SHOPPING!!! (in shouty letters with lots of exclamation marks). Sometimes it’s just about seeing what happens when you go for a nice little stroll.
For the ‘one for you, one for me’ shoppers
It literally is the most wonderful time of the year. The shops are so beautifully decorated, there’s so much to look at, and so much to buy. It just seems so unfair that there shouldn’t be a little something for you along the way, though. Just a little treat to say well done on buying all your presents well in advance. Well, that’s OK, but just remember, Christmas is coming. We know you already know that, but let’s break it down; that means you’ll be getting your own presents. So do you really need that jumper that’s already on your list? How about a compromise? Leave the jumper, let’s look for a treat elsewhere. What about a nice artisan mince pie from the bakers, or a glass of wine in the bar that’s playing your favourite Christmas songs?
Show your high street some love
Why not seek out the personal touch with your Christmas shopping this year and join Visa in supporting local independent businesses across the country because #WhereYouShopMatters