We can’t all be Arthur Christmas and keep the spirit of Christmas alive all year around. What is more, it is difficult for some of us to think about Christmas shopping at the best of times, let alone in advance (although I am one of the few, admittedly, who starts in January). So it is around this time of year that panic strikes and you find yourself asking ‘where to start?’ But there is no need to! If we can make it out of the retail jungle this season, so can you!
Last week, we all heard that snow was forecast to hit Britain. And for those of you who either hate the cold weather, or are frightened that this will affect your Christmas shopping re. travel, delivery et cetera., don’t worry as we’ve got it covered. From zipping around the stores in a few hours to cutting corners by buying gifts online, all of your presents will be bought and wrapped in time for Father Christmas’ arrival. This is not a gift guide, but rather a remedy to staying calm during the busy shopping period. So while you start on your list, let us, the MFM elves, take care of the rest as there is nothing worse than a season of stressful shopping.
It’s time to embrace the festive frivolities and not stress out about shopping. And some of the best ways to do this is to plan ahead. We don’t necessarily mean to plan your entire shopping list now (which can help, admittedly), but to, in fact, decide what you’ll be wearing at the time. So here goes…
1) Dress sensibly – Pack a pair of comfortable shoes in your bag – perhaps something with soft soles (I got soft soles but I’m not a soldier!) You could potentially be covering a lot of miles (it’s always fun to download a pedometer application on your phone), but it also depends on the terrain. These Kurt Geiger ankle boots are great for indoor shopping but you might need something like these snow boots if you’re heading outdoors.
2) Go to work in smart-casual attire in preparation for the night ahead. Some of us will unfortunately have to hit the shops straight from work so this is a great way to save time and stay comfortable post-5pm.
3) Take a wallet with a coin pocket – while it is easy to do chip and pin these days, I keep track of my spendings better if I withdraw money beforehand; then I can see what I’m left with (which is usually nothing). The disadvantage of this, however, is that you can end up with a lot of loose change, so make sure your wallet has enough compartments to deal with this dilemma. Another problem is buying yourself an accessory like this so close to Christmas; if you’re worried you’re going to receive a wallet on Christmas morning, perhaps stick to using your credit card just this one time. Or, buy this stunning Alexander McQueen ribcage wallet and just keep it a secret – we won’t tell!
4) Plan your route and make time for coffee. If you don’t have time to sit, reflect and read for 20 minutes (this book from Mr Porter is definitely a new addition to the MFM Book Club), how about taking a thermos with you for shopping on-the-go? And it might be worth taking a hand cream or sanitizer as we don’t want you to do all of this shopping and getting ill before the big day.
5) Take a bag – we have seen an influx of bags this year from holdalls of all shapes and sizes, the resurgence of backpacks and, my favourite, the satchel. It might help if you take a bag with you, otherwise you might end up with countless shopping bags and not enough hands for them. So either take what you’d usually have at work, or something like this Hunter bag which could be handy if you’re switching between shoes and wellies.
We have recently been surrounded by an influx of Keep Calm and … slogans. The discovery of an original 1939 poster in Alnwick’s infamous Barter Books (possible my favourite place on Earth) has been, like most things now, commercialised, sensationalised and trivialised beyond belief, but it really does fit this article. Shopping should be an enjoyable task as, after all, your lovingly bought gifts are for those you cherish the most. So take a leaf out of the MFM Shopper’s Book and adopt some of our tips into your shopping routine for a stress-free season. Alternatively, there is always online shopping, when we find ourselves in times of trouble. But, be careful not to do your entire gift buying online as it’s a good idea to visit the shops at least once to get a feel for what you truly want to buy. Stay tuned for MFM’s 2013 gift guide – coming soon!