Christmas shopping can seem like an enormous task sometimes – with the minefield of who to buy for, how much to spend and what to buy. But it shouldn’t be stressful – gift buying, wrapping and giving should be a joy.
Begin with a list (and check it twice) with all those you want to buy for – and use out top tips below to plan your presents, before heading in to any shops. Many things can be purchased online, handcrafted in the warmth of your kitchen or purchased at a lovely local market – taking the stress (and crowds) out of your shopping experience.
So before you begin, here is our Scarlet guide to finding the perfect presents for your loved ones this Christmas:
Rather than buying physical items which end up cluttering up the house, choose an experience you can enjoy together later on in the year. Tickets to see a favourite band, gift vouchers for a spa treatment or a loved restaurant, membership to a charity or historical gardens – all make really thoughtful presents and memories that can be treasured forever. If you know any Scarlet lovers, we offer gift vouchers for any sum, from a Champagne Afternoon Tea for £35 to a Spend Time Together Spa Day.
If you have some time on your hands – crafty gifts are always appreciated for the time and effort that’s gone into them. You could make batches of chocolate truffles, cupcakes or Cornish fairings simply wrapped in paper bags or jars of chutney or pots of jam to use up a glut of autumn fruit and vegetables. Or make your own Christmas decorations to give to others – a Christmas wreath, a festival floral arrangement, or gingerbread to hang on the tree. For a really thoughtful gift, print some photos and arrange in a lovely photo frame that can then be enjoyed all year round.
Keep it simple and traditional. Gift giving shouldn’t be difficult and stressful – stick to basic items you know everyone will enjoy. The classics are classics for a reason: a bottle of wine, their favourite festive spirit, boxes of chocolates and biscuits, a beautiful scarf or gloves for the winter, or some lovely smelling soap.
Buy local to support your small local shops and community. It’s also a lovely idea if you live away from family and friends. Send hampers of local food and drink they wouldn’t be able to try otherwise, or jewellery, ceramics and textiles from local artisans seem so much more special that something picked up from the high street. If you’re in Cornwall, why not head to the Christmas Craft Fair held at Bedruthan for some beautiful local gifts.
Share something which has meant something to you over the past year: pass on your favourite book, CD, a cutting of a beautiful plant which you think the other person would also really love. Include a handwritten note in the card to explain why you think they’d enjoy it.
Make the gift giving season last longer with a subscription to something they’ll enjoy all year round. It can be something simple like a monthly magazine – there’s a huge number of exciting independent magazines available from Stack Magazines – choose something they love, whether it be gardening, cookery, music or literature. Almost anything can be bought on subscription now – from a monthly cake, wine, chocolate and flowers subscription, to beauty products, curry recipes and teas from around the world.