I'm finally comfortable writing about Christmas. It's the 1st December and with it (at least for me) the official start of the Christmas season. Anything earlier than this is in my mind just wrong. That doesn't mean that I actually have a tree up yet - oh no, that doesn't happen until Christmas eve - but it means that I'm thinking about baking, decorating the house a little and I'm also thinking about gifts.
Gifts can be tricky especially since we live in a world where we actually have everything we need and more. It is precisely because we have everything that a little more thought should be put into what we're gifting and where we buy it. Do we really want to order a whole lot of things from huge warehouses without much of a thought? Is giving something, anything, more important than the gift itself? Personally, I don't think so. I think one well chosen gift will always have more value than a mountain of "that will do" items which will potentially end up in the bin or the charity shop before the year is over.
I also believe that it's important to support small retailers. No, I'm not holier than thou and I do of course shop from some of the larger stores. However, wherever I can, I choose to support the small independent shops, the designers and the makers. Looking around at many British high streets, it's obvious that these shops need all the consumer support they can get. Driven out by chains, it's becoming increasingly difficult to tell one city centre from another. Is that really what we want? Identikit rows of shops resulting in everybody having the same things in their home? It certainly isn't what I like. So, with that in mind, here are some ideas and shops that might help you to find the perfect gift even for the most difficult person. I have even put a link up for you under each image. Happy shopping!