Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the North
Maia Flora
Features Writer
2:16 AM 11th November 2020

How To Christmas Shop In Two Days - Locally!

Tijana Drndarski
Tijana Drndarski
I managed to finish my Christmas shopping in only two days. A bold statement I know - and we’re not even in December yet. It wasn’t necessarily intentional either, but I found myself getting it all done because of how easy it was. And, I did all my shopping through small, local businesses this year.

I chose to shop small and local this Christmas because these businesses have faced so many difficulties over this past year due to the pandemic.

Many businesses had to close or completely reduce their stock and team, because they weren’t getting as many orders as they were pre-lockdown.

These businesses could be someone’s livelihood, and something they’ve had working well for years, which has been cut in half due to the lockdowns of this year.

Yulian Karadzhov
Yulian Karadzhov
I wanted to try and do my bit in supporting these small businesses by shopping from them this Christmas.

So, I took to various social platforms this past Saturday afternoon and began scrolling and searching whilst I waited for the only good thing now on a Saturday - Strictly Come Dancing. I stumbled across Etsy and Facebook Market Place but did the majority of my shopping on Instagram Shop, which is a new feature I discovered on the app.

At first, I typed in random things to see just how vast an array they had of small local businesses, and I was surprised at how many options of categories there are to choose from.

Homeware, clothing, accessories, beauty, food - the more I realised how many different types of shops were available to me, the easier it became to find gifts for the ones I love.

Marie Despeyroux
Marie Despeyroux
I had somewhat of an idea of what I wanted to get for each person but nothing definite, so simply typing in ‘men’s personalised t-shirt’ came up with loads of options of how you want it personalised, with colours, themes and ideas. You’re able to contact the businesses and have a conversation with them about what exactly you want the gift to be like, so the personalisation becomes even more personal.

I came across someone who does embroidery on t-shirts, and you can pick specific designs to suit the person you’re buying for, so this gift became something really personal and unique - you could never purchase the same thing in a store; and this certainly isn't mass produced.

By the time the evening rolled around, I’d completed over half of my Christmas list, so I stopped to grab a cup of tea and reflect on what I’d purchased so far, and make another list of what else I wanted to find.

It became a fun activity that I was taking part in which got me more excited and filled with festive emotions. This was only added to when I came across shops that did specific Christmas bundles and items. Festive themed boxes of cookies and brownies that can be tailored to specific dietary requirements, and then also gift wrapped so all the work is done for you. Bundles created of festive jewellery and candles shaped to look like snowflakes and baubles, items you can choose to form your own personalised bundle for that certain person.

All the ideas are already done for you through these small businesses, and all that is required from you is to add that little personal touch which makes the gift unique and special for the gift receiver.

Shopping small and local helps support a business which could have been struggling throughout this year to stay afloat but, it also adds to the festivities and Christmas joy of giving gifts that are heartfelt, specific to that person and wrapped perfectly with a crisp ribbon on top.

These small businesses aren’t only here for Christmas of course, and now I have come across shops that I will continue to purchase from in the future.

I’ve found shops that fit my own personality and style, what I’m interested in having, and what I enjoy.

There are so many different businesses out there, that you could stumble across that specific shop that speaks directly to you too.

So, why not have a little browse, you never know, you could end up having all the Christmas shopping done within the next couple days - without even realising it.