Black Friday has been and gone but you still haven’t got everyone of your Secret Santa’s covered. You’re panicked that you’ll forget about the most obvious ones, like your parents’ gifts, until the last minute, like last year. It happens, but don’t fret – Christmas shopping need not be a hair-pulling, head-wreckingly stressful ordeal. I’m here to offer what little bit of, hopefully, helpful advice I have, and to assure you that there’s still plenty of time.
I love preparing presents and getting gifts for my family and friends. It can be really tough though, trying to come up with the perfect gift, especially when the person whose name you pulled out of the Kris Kringle this year is particularly difficult to buy for. There are two ways to do gift buying: getting the perfectly unique and specially-picked-out-for-that-person-only gift based on their interests and the niche things they’re into, or you can go for what I call the Medley Pressie, which is basically a selection of littler gifts presented together in a sort of hamper style.
The Medley Pressie, is, in my experience, always a crowd pleaser. All you need do is get a few little bits and pieces; a vague description, I know, so here’s a few ideas for the kinds of knick-knacks you could include:
- a framed picture of yourself and the family member or friend you’re getting the present for, or a picture that you know they like (that selfie you took with them that they posted on their Instagram, cause if it’s on the ‘gram you know they’re cool with it)
- a nice, big, Christmassy mug because whoever says Christmas mugs are only for Christmas time is lying
- chocolate – you can’t go wrong with this (if you know they don’t like chocolate, poor creatures, you can opt for their favourite treat-snack, or at least one you’re aware of and know they eat)
- jewelry; a cute necklace or ring for the gals, and a nice leather bracelet or ring for the lads.
- A purse or wallet, because it’s apparently bad luck to buy one’s own? Save them the however-many years of bad luck that buying their own would bring
- Candles & incense holders and/or sticks for the family and friends you know cherish their me-time, or those you feel could do with some – encourage self-care!
- A book – perhaps a beautiful fiction you’ve read and think they’ll love to, or some cool non-fiction science or psychology book – a notebook, or 2019 diary. You know the main places (Easons & Waterstones), but check out Vibes & Scribes on Lavitt’s Quay for a great selection of new and second-hand books.
- A CD or, funnily enough more popular now, a record – there are some great record stores in the city where you can pick up some old classics for real cheap. Check out Records & Relics on Lancaster Quay, plugd records on the upstairs floor of The Roundy bar (shop hours Wednesday – Saturday 11am to 6pm), and Bunker Vinyl and Studio on Camden Quay.
Christmas markets, another aspect of the holiday I love so much, are always a great place to find cool gifts that you wouldn’t be able to get in most stores. Often handmade, you can find the most beautiful and unique jewelry, accessories and artwork. If you’re thinking of checking out some of the Christmas markets around the city, be sure to call to the following:
- Although mostly food stalls, you might find some foodie-treats in the Food & Craft Market for GLOW Christmas Celebration on Grand Parade which takes place every weekend (Friday – Sunday) from now until Saturday 22nd December.
- Not actually a market, but the Glucksman Art Gallery, on our very own beautiful UCC campus, has a great selection of cool gifts and great cards (who doesn’t love a good punny card?) for all occasions, including Christmas
- There is a Vegan Christmas Market taking place in The Kino on Sunday 16th December (you need to register for this one through Eventbrite!)
- St. Peter’s on North Main Street host a great craft Christmas market every year, the dates this year are Saturday 1st, 15th and 22nd December from 10am – 6pm.
- Every day this week (from Monday 26th November to Friday 30th November) there will be a Christmas Craft Market in Café Oasis in the Student Centre from 10am to 3pm. Why not pop over during your study break to see if there’s anything that catches your eye for someone?
- There will also be a Farmers Market in Honan Plaza every day that week also.
Get creative with the presentation of your assortment of gifts; a nice gift bag, or even better a box that can be reused by whoever you give the gift to, to keep hairclips or jewelry in, whatever; boxes are so handy for keeping one’s room decluttered (or rather, for hiding the clutter in a pretty little box). Places like Tiger and Søstrene Grene, St Patrick’s Street, are great for nice gift bags and storage boxes. These stores also have lovely, and very reasonably priced, photo frames, candles, little notebooks and other cute knick-knacks you can add to your Medley Pressie to bulk it up.
I hope this helps anyone that’s dreading Christmas shopping and has at least sparked an idea or two. Wishing everyone fun shopping, and of course, a wonderful and happy Christmas.