But it should be fun right? Picking up a gift for Aunty Sue from Boots should be a pleasure not a chore, surely? Rummaging around for a work party get up should be enjoyable- and finishing off your hard work with a slap up meal is totally obligatory too, correct? So why do we dread it? This year shopping centre extraordinaire Bluewater got in touch- kindly letting me know about their extended Christmas shopping hours (yup, you did indeed hear right in that they’re open from 9am ’til 11pm) and asked me to swing by to present to me a sincerely stress free experience- excited? Me? Absolutely.
Having held Bluewater as my ‘local’ shopping centre for the last ten years (that place has certainly seen some of my more ‘experimental’ sartorial sides), being able to embrace the festive countdown in such a relaxed, stress free environment was quite the luxury. Who’d have thought coming shopping after work would be a relaxing activity at Christmas? Not me, that’s for sure. With queues pretty much being a myth during a week night late session, Joe and I scoured the floor for a couple of festive gifts (and party looks) before making a dinner pit stop for my first ever Wagamama’s. Yes, my friends, miracles do come true…
So, on that note- I’m sure you’re all pretty keen to see what I picked up after some first class indecision! If like me you’re one to try and escape your PJs on Christmas Day, you’ll see that I took another comfortable (but still sparkly) approach to Christmas Day dressing. Okay, so something comfortable is absolutely obligatory for Turkey dinners and films, but if you fancy feeling a little more special this Topshop skirt paired with a subtle flecked knit are the absolute perfect pairing (plus, they’ll both get plenty of wear again which is an added bonus)…
What says dancing to Wham, endless cocktail sausages and Saturday Night Fever dancing better than an Amy Adams inspired jumpsuit and some uber comfortable disco shoes? This jumpsuit from Urban Outfitters is the perfect balance of subtle sass and timeless glamour, and paired with some fun seventies inspired accessories- makes for something a little more interesting than a LBD!
Plan ahead: There’s nothing more frustrating than traipsing around for hours aimlessly, so before you go think about what you need, who you’re buying for and where you need to go- lists are key!
Use your time well: When I Christmas shop I tend to scout out where I want to go, pay initial visits if I’m not entirely sure what I want, and then revisit shortly after. I try to work efficiently, allowing myself time to think about things without hanging about in each place for too long- and then going back to make decisions later!
Stop for fuel: When you’re torn between Bills, Joe & The Juice as well as Jamie’s Italian, it’d be rude to not refuel and treat yourself to a ‘well done me for Christmas shopping!’ treat, wouldn’t it?
Budget accordingly: One of my biggest Christmas faux-pas is overspending. I buy someone one thing, and then see another three ‘totally perfect’ gifts, and then end up with a whole heap of things I shouldn’t have bought. Budget appropriately beforehand and stick to it- otherwise it’s very easy to get carried away.
Explore!: With places like Bluewater there’s so much more to see than just the shops. This year Joe and I paid a visit to their ‘Giving Tree’, which aims to gift disadvantaged local children a present on Christmas day. When walking about, shoppers are given the option to select a name and buy a gift from the centre before returning it to the tree to be donated to a charity on Christmas Day- such a lovely idea!