Category: shoppingChristmas

Shop4Plymouth's resident blogger Lucy Young @_Oceancityliving gets a start on her Christmas shopping.

I think it’s true to say that last Christmas was a pretty low-key affair. With restrictions in place and no guests to host, most of us felt fairly uninspired to dig out the decorations or lay the perfect festive table. But flash forward to 2021 and Christmas is on track to go with a cracker-style bang. So who could blame you if you want to deck to the halls early and add a little extra sparkle to make this Christmas a special one?

And the shops and markets are piled high with seasonal trees and trim, beautiful wreaths and wrap to get a head start on the festive prep. But whilst it’s easy to get carried away, I’m not advocating unnecessary spending or overdoing the consumerism. A few well-chosen decorations that you’ll love for years to come and some environmentally friendly swaps will make for a more planet and purse-friendly Christmas this year.

All the major High Street stores in the city centre have a great selection of decorations whatever your seasonal style. So whether you like your baubles with a bit of bling or you prefer things more natural and Nordic, there’s something to suit all tastes. On browsing the shops recently, I was also impressed that most retailers seem to have upped their sustainability game. There were far less plastic ornaments and packaging and a lot more recyclable wrapping paper or, better still, reusable gift bags or alternative wrapping solutions.

Far be it from me to dull the shiny appeal of Christmas shopping, but we all need to try and make our purchases more considered these days. Not least of all when Christmas creates a mountain of extra and often avoidable waste. So try to buy just what you need or what you intend to keep, reuse or recycle properly. Better to invest in well-made and classic than splurge on cheap and throwaway.

Ok, back to the sparkly stuff…

For the traditionalists out there, you can’t go wrong with a stop at Marks and Spencer in Drake Circus. They have a great selection of decorations in classic red and green or frosted silver glamour as well as some quality heirloom pieces you’ll want to keep forever. And if you want to go all out with your Christmas table this year, they have some beautiful crockery, candle holders, napkins and runners with snowflake sparkles or cosy homewares to treat your guests to a luxurious stay.

House of Fraser always does glamour and opulence so well and this year they have decorative themes including Ballerina and Exotique across their ranges of tinsel, tree toppers, baubles and garlands as well as wreaths, wrapping paper and cards with designer styles as well from the likes of Biba, Wedgewood, Gisela Graham and Kurt Adler.

If you prefer Scandi simplicity then Flying Tiger has some lovely, affordable items across its range including traditional Danish decorations, great gift bags and tags in printed brown craft paper that is stylish and sustainable. If you’re seating more guests for Christmas dinner this year then they also have good value dinnerware, glasses and cutlery plus seasonal inspired cake tins and containers to store all those extra mince pies or stollen bites.

Paperchase should be your go-to for quirky, retro baubles and kitsch future classics. Dinosaur, avocado or taco tree decs anyone? Or how about a pink Bambi-style reindeer? Paperchase’s sartorial style spills over into its fab card selection and wrapping paper too and with its 3 for 2 Pick and Mix deal you certainly get more for your money as well.

Kids big and small will love Primark’s Christmas collections featuring Disney favourites, cartoon characters, wooden Nutcrackers and traditional toy decorations. Primark also has a lot of products without plastic packaging, featuring recycled materials and you can even reuse their Christmas candy stripe shopping bags as wrapping paper and gift tags, which is a great idea to cut down on waste.

If you’re looking for big brand names or the unique and unusual then TK Maxx always comes up trumps. They have plenty of seasonal stock that is just a little bit different, plus a huge range of wreaths, wooden ornaments, garlands and gift boxes. And if you’re a fan of switching up all your home accessories over the festive period then you can find Christmas cushions, door mats, bedding, tablecloths, heck, even pet bowls to adorn your house with.

High Street fashion shops including AccessorizeFat Face and White Stuff also have some lovely, handcrafted tree decorations including cute felt animals, beaded and bejewelled ornaments and glass, hand-painted pieces. Not forgetting Plymouth’s wealth of independent shops in areas such as the Barbican, Mutley Plain, Stoke Village and the Royal William Yard, that have some beautiful, locally-made cards, decorations and homewares, so you can shop at and support both the High Street stores and indie businesses that make up the range of retailers across our city centre.

Plus, with Plymouth Christmas Market arriving in the Piazza this week from Thursday 2 to Sunday 19 December and the Royal William Yard hosting Late Night Shopping Markets on Wednesdays 1, 8 and 15 December between 5pm and 9pm, Good Food and Craft Markets on Sunday 5, 12 and 19 December and another Native Makers taking place on Saturday 11 December, there are also plenty of opportunities to shop for individual, crafty Christmas fair and support local makers at the same time.

Tis the season to be jolly after all, so get a head start on shopping for all the festive fripperies we had to make do without last year and bring on the bling!

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