How to shop stress-free and well this Christmas

Christmas is likely to be even more special for so many of us this year. We might be seeing family and friends we haven't seen for such a long time. Or, if we can't be with them, we’re thinking of special gifts, cards and tokens to send them.

Because we’ve really missed the people we care about.

And if anything, this pandemic has taught or reminded us one thing. Our relationships with the people around us aren't about money, or glitzy presents or the latest trending must-have ‘thing’. Our relationships are about thought, care, time, a good chat, smiles and hugs.

A family group of old and young people meeting and hugging each other

Whether it's a close family member, a best friend or an elderly neighbour, the time separated from people around us has maybe encouraged us all to be a little kinder, and have a little more care and thought. And perhaps, it has helped us change the way we think about big events, like Christmas.

The new, stress free Christmas?

We don’t know about you, but memories of stressful, crowded, panicked Christmas gift shopping are starting to make us shudder. It’s just not how we want to play things this year.

Maybe we all want an end of year festive period that is somehow calmer, warmer, stress free, thoughtful and peaceful. Time to spend with people we love without the anxiety-inducing run up - caught up in a frenzied whirlwind of lists, shops selling out, frantic food buying, last minute panics …. STOP ALREADY! .. and breathe. 

Our top tips for a thoughtful, stress free Christmas

It REALLY IS the thought that counts!

Never let yourself forget what we’ve all been through. And that it really is the thought that counts. It is enough to let someone know you are thinking about them. You don’t need to prove that with the biggest, most exclusive, most expensive gift giving. 

Plan buying now

Think ahead. Order what you want to give now, and stick to it. You’ll avoid the pre Christmas rush. And because you’ve given it thought, you won't be tempted to rush out and over buy in a panic.

Think more about the time spent than the money spent!

Of course you’ll buy gifts. But rather than pour all your energy into what you have to ‘buy’, shift your energy and thinking into what you’ll do on the days you have loved ones with you. The joy of a gift will last moments, but the atmosphere you create on special days will last forever. 

Four candles sit in dim Christmas atmosphere

What you do together matters

Think through the days, and what you’ll do together, so everyone feels involved and loved. 

Plan a lovely afternoon walk. Play word games over lunch. Make your own special Christmas chutney, make little name cards for each person around the table with a personal Christmas message. Ditch the TV and play a game of Charades instead. Let everyone contribute, whether it’s bringing a side dish along for dinner, or letting the kids concoct their own special Christmas breakfast. Let everyone bring ‘their thing’!

In fact, give up the ‘picture perfect’ Christmas. Let it be messy, fun and just joyful !

Family are walking through snow covered trees having fun

Make your home festive and memorable 

Gift giving is a small moment. Your family, friends, kids and visitors will really remember how it felt - not what they got.

Spend your energy (and not your money) collecting natural decorations - beautiful pine cones, fir tree or holly branches to fill vases and bowls, and they smell gorgeous.

Christmas arrangementon white background with holly, pine cones, cinnamon sticks

Get kids to make some tree decorations and paper hoop garlands. There are endless tips and ‘how-to’ videos to help make beautiful home decorations (and slightly messier kids ones!). Which is time spent with the kids doing fun stuff, and they get to contribute!

Burn scented candles and use natural room sprays. There is nothing like coming into a candlelit room with a beautiful festive scent of pine, cinnamon, vanilla and orange. Make your home a festive treat for the senses.

two images side by side of 'Hoof And Paw' scented candle and 'Made By Coopers' natural room spray

Handmade Christmas Gifts

If you’re a keen crafter, why not make gifts for everyone. We all love receiving something personal that someone has spent time and care making. Give handmade Christmas decorations, or cards. If you knit, give scarves or mitts. If you bake, give cakes and shortbread. It means so much to give something personal.

Knitting needles sit on beige knitting with wool ball and cup of tea

If you’re not so hot on the crafting or baking .. search for handmade gifts from small, local makers and shops. Garden centres or local farms are usually great for really unique local crafts, jams, fudge or Christmas wreaths or plant and flower arrangements.

Shop small and shop local

Support small or local businesses or traders. It’s been a tough couple of years. While online giants boomed, the smaller independent traders had a hard time. Dig a little deeper than the usual online giants, and discover the real gems and gift ideas that smaller businesses can offer. 

Amelie Hope handmade Crystal bracelet sits on white background

Places to find unique, beautiful gifts

Local Artisan markets

These have become so much more popular, and you’re bound to find one within a car journey to you if not closer. A fab day out and packed with great, unique gifts. Artists, crafters, vintage and artisan food all in one place. Look for special Christmas markets. They really are a wonderful festive treat!

Close up of market stall with chalk board signs, natural goods - multi coloured fruits, heather bunches

Artists Studios

Studios often have open days, where you can visit the studios and browse local artists' work. And don’t worry, it’s not a fine art auction! There’s often very affordable items for sale. Small paintings and drawings, prints, jewellry, photos, ceramics, quilting, postcards to name a few. Unique, thoughtful and supporting local artists. 

hands working on a clay pot on a potters wheel

Vintage Shops and fairs

Find one near you before Christmas and you never know what you’ll find! From clothes to comics to record fairs, retro homeware, books, toys - vintage fairs, shops and online sites are a joy to browse. Like Aladdins cave. You’ll find something someone you know will just love!

View of a Vintage emporium with blurred people coming and going and neon sign saying vintage shop

Independent brands and sellers

As people move away from the high street or online giants, there are more and more independent brands and sellers to choose from. All sellers are independent, making or supplying their own brand natural and organic products. Take a little time to look beyond the big stores and support the little guy. It just feels better. 

Rock and Rose brand mens shaving gifts set. Black box and two bottles of product on white background

 Local farm shops

A lush stock of homemade food and larder products, veg and meats, baking, cheeses and often gifts, crafts and decorations from local makers

Independent Garden Centres and florists.

Beautiful arranged pots with festive plants and flowers, gorgeous handmade festive wreaths, perfect pot plants for the season. Seeds, cute garden ornaments .. the local independent garden centre or florist is definitely worth a visit for gifts.

hand made red coloured christmas wreath hangs on dark wooden door

Stay stress free this Christmas by remembering what really matters.

Give yourself a break this Christmas. Don’t buy into the stress. There are so many small ways to show a loved one you are thinking of them. And this year more than ever, it's less and less about the amount of money you spend, or the quantity. It's the time, thought and connection.

Make that plan now for your 2021 thoughtful gifts and festive home. Browse all our natural gift ideas here

Christmas 2021Christmas giftsCrystal candlesEco homeGifts ideasKids gamesNatural giftsNatural productsNatural room sprayOrganicStress free

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