Top Tips for Starting your Christmas Shopping early… and why it’s important to do so!

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I’m going to start this weeks blog post with an admission. I’m a bit of a grinch. I’m not the biggest fan of Christmas… quite possibly due to being a December baby! Having your birthday overshadowed by the biggest celebration in the country every year goes one of two ways… but I’m slowly thawing out!
It also means I can be a bit last minute with some parts of Christmas sometimes.
However, I LOVE giving presents. I love thinking about what people like, what they need and what will make them smile. This has evolved over recent years into shopping small as much as I can for gifts, making both the recipients and small business owners smile is a double whammy!
So, for those of you like me who love lists, but can be a bit lax on actually getting the shopping done… here’s my top tips for shopping early!

  1. Make a list. Seems obvious, but make a list of WHO you want to gift to, and a few bits about them. What they like, any allergies etc and something you like about them. Start browsing with a general idea in mind.
  2. Set a budget. It can be really easy to go overboard, especially at Christmas. Set yourself a budget, either per person or overall, and stick to it. Shopping early not only means that you are prepared, it also gives you longer to pay for your shopping – no-one loves that December rush to pay out for all Christmas presents in one go.
  3. Use google. Most peoples first point of call for searching is google. Use it to your advantage – once you have an idea of what you want pop it in google with ‘UK’ on the end or ‘small business’! It will open up your search to be more specifically in the UK, and will help you to stay away from Amazon! If you’re shopping early then there’s no need to rely on Prime to get your delivery next day! (I’m so guilty of this at times!!)
  4. Check your Socials. There are SO MANY small businesses on Facebook and Instagram – and a lot of them have already started their Christmas launches – some as early as September! It’s a great place to find new business, and like minded people. One really good hashtag to follow is #shopsmallchristmascampaign – it’s like a directory for small businesses! A simple search for ‘handmade christmas uk’ brings you to various groups where you will see a plentitude of businesses – we’re in a few of them!

Why is it important though?
If your aim is to shop small, shopping early is key. Small businesses don’t have the ability to ‘magic’ orders to you with next day delivery, as much as we would like to. Most handmade businesses don’t hold ready made stock, so when you place an order, you have to wait for it to be made on top of shipping times. Most of the year this isn’t too much of an issue, but if you choose to buy in the second week of December, the chances of getting your order before Christmas could be slim, even if it’s dispatched quickly. Covid + Christmas can equal longer delays than standard, as we saw in 2020.
Buying small this Christmas is going to support thousands of small businesses, meaning they can afford the Christmas that they want too – passing it on by also shopping small!

Speaking of shopping small… come back next week to read exactly why shopping small is so important – especially at Christmas! I’ll even share a few of my favourite small businesses to shop with,

Until next time, A x

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