Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Christmas shopping

I am one of those annoying people that loves Christmas shopping. Yes, I own up to the fact that I am one of those people that has all the gift purchasing done two weeks in advance. Sorry.

The main reasons being - I love shopping. I never, ever run out of ideas for people. I LOVE buying for others, I get a tingle of excitement when I think of the happy faces of my friends and family opening their gifts. Admittedly, I also have more time on my hands at the moment, not having full-time office job but instead freelancing at home.

Last year was a different story, I was living in Portugal up until Christmas Eve and I had the stress of packing everything up and leaving Portugal and my job. Christmas shopping was the last thing on my mind, for once.

I did a bad thing - I bought all my presents in the airport. I had to resort to buying bottles of liquor and toblerone for my dad and brothers and a floral scarf for my mum from Accessorize. No imagination required. I felt I had sinned against my expert shopping gene.

When you have the time, I personally believe Christmas is about buying gifts that people don't need but want. Gifts that people would never buy for themselves - a little indulgence goes a long way! If you're buying a present for someone, you hopefully should know them pretty well - what they love and what they hate.

I never go for the obvious choices, a CD, a DVD or a video game... they more likely will buy it for themselves or already have it! Using a little bit of imagination goes a long way. I always buy my mum a fancy dress, skirt or bag and jewellery. Something I know she would feel too guilty to buy for herself.

There is absolutely no excuse for leaving everything till Christmas Eve. Shudder. Not with internet shopping. I have done all of my Christmas shopping online this year. Easy, quick, great sales and no overcrowding or queues for the till. Perfect!

For the lady in your life Ebay is fantastic for vintage jewellery and clothing. Get something wth history and character, it'll show you have put some thought into it, instead of being from a tacky jewellery shop or even worse, Argos.

There are also some great online boutiques where you can find one-off pieces. The high-street is, of course, fantastic but women do worry about wearing the same dress to a party as someone else. This happens more and more now with the rise of bargain-buy shops such as Primark offering 'must-have' dresses. Do you rememeber the gold sequin shrug that EVERYONE had?

For the men in your life I always think clothes always work well. Unless a man enjoys shopping, he probably very rarely buys anything new. Christmas is the perfect time to style your men up! Buy them something they wouldn't normally think of to wear - men don't tend to like change and stick to what they know. Trow caution to the wind and buy them a jaunty hat or military style coat.

I have recently become an aunty for the first time so I am very much enjoying indulging my new niece. I know at two months old she won't have a clue what is going on but Very.co.uk has some amazing toys on offer (and for 2 for 1, who can resisit?)

Very.co.uk and Redoute.co.uk has great kids clothing, including cute Christmas pudding and Santa outfts! She won't forgive me when she's all grown up...