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Thursday 19th September 2019

Shop small this Christmas

Independent Shopping
Shop small. Shop unique.

It’s heading into that time of year again – I have my Christmas sweater at the ready! If you’re yet to do your Christmas shopping, perhaps you should try getting your friends and family something a little bit different this year; try shopping with small businesses. Don’t get me wrong, if you know exactly what to get people, Amazon seems to have everything, and with their Prime service you can expect to receive your shopping the very next day. But if you have a relative, that one in-law perhaps, and have no idea what to get for them, then Christmas shopping can be quite a challenge. Here are a couple of ideas for you:

Hit the markets

Christmas markets offer a wide and unique selection of gifts that you often can’t find anywhere else. Not only that, but they can be rather effective in getting you into the Christmas spirit – I find that nothing adds seasonal cheer to a cold winter’s day quite like sipping on a warm cup of mulled wine whilst you browse the markets.

You may also be surprised by what you can find at the markets; giving you new ideas that you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise. Last Christmas, my boyfriend and I were struggling with what to get his grandma. Then we found Tea Geeks at the Little Bird’s Market in Glasgow, and decided to get her a selection of teas – quite a simple idea, but we hadn’t thought of it before. She loved them!

Search small online shops

Whether or not you see them in person (like at an aforementioned market), you know that shops like mine on sites like Etsy and its British cousin Folksy, have a real person behind them who is pouring their creativity into the business and trying to make it work. Not only will the gift that you purchase from them be unique, but every sale matters and is important to the shop owner.

Etsy and Folksy also have ‘random’ features on their home pages, helping you to stumble across something new that you’ll love. I found this; a beautiful paper fox mask from Winter Croft.

Support the high street

Alternatively, choose to get some retail therapy on the high street and support our struggling independent shops. In this world of eBay and Amazon, it’s quite easy to forget the simple pleasures of a good browse. It’s also important to remember that it doesn’t have to be a chore – gift shopping is fun!

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Maddy Sutherland

Maddy Sutherland

Maddy is a freelance illustrator who lives in Glasgow. She's recently graduated and is working hard to make ends meet. Self-employed? Read Maddy's experiences here.

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