We’re used to hearing how many “shopping days are left till Christmas”. During lockdown, with non-essential stores closed, it’s more of a “non-shopping days” countdown. But high streets should reopen from 2 December, and the race is on to get all the gifts, foods and decorations we need (and many we don’t). How are you doing the Christmas shopping?
Online shopping has been growing steadily for years but has seen a boom this year. So much so that delivery firms are struggling to cope with the demand. You may have noticed your parcels taking a little longer to reach you, as couriers are stretched thin. The system may buckle further with Black Friday leading us into the peak shopping season of December.
If you are ordering online, it’ll pay to do so as early as possible to take account of delays. And think beyond a certain company named after a major river. Consider ordering from smaller shops and local businesses, who sorely need our support after the devastating effects of lockdown. “Lots of shops [are] doing click and collect now,” says Kidadlr Judy. “Seems [to be the] best of both worlds -- supporting local shops but avoiding crowds.” Sites like Etsy are a great place to find unique gifts from talented, independent makers. For books, the recently launched Bookshop.org offers millions of titles, with profits going to small independent booksellers rather than a multinational.
Try Kidadl’s Gift Guides
While you’re shopping online, take a look at our handpicked gift-guides. We’ve got recommended gifts for all ages, as well as handy Christmas lists (santa hats, jumpers, stocking fillers, decorations… you name it).
Down The Supermarket
While the high street has remained closed, shops selling food have been permitted to stay open. Many of us have been relying more on the big supermarkets for our Christmas shopping. We should do so with caution, however. Part of the point of lockdown is that we minimise time spent in indoor public spaces, and that includes supermarkets. Lingering in the book aisle, handling toys and perusing the perfumes all add to the collective risk. Garden centres are also allowed to continue trading during lockdown, and can be excellent places to find gifts.
Wait Until The High Street Reopens
Many people prefer to shop in person rather than ordering online. The reopening of non-essential shops in England from 2 December will be a welcome development, both to the retailers themselves and to their patient customers. But it also comes with a risk. Christmas shopping is always a busy, bustling affair. It attracts crowds, and crowds are dangerous right now. Expect long, socially distanced queues to form outside the more popular retailers so that numbers inside can be restricted. Try to shop during weekdays rather than the busier weekends. And shop alone if you can, rather than taking the family en masse.
How Will You Shop?
We asked the Kidadl Facebook group how they were planning on doing the Christmas shopping. The results were interesting (though not scientific). The overwhelming majority of responders to the poll said they’d be doing all their shopping online (64 votes). Just 9 people said they were relying on supermarkets and other shops that stayed open during lockdown, and only 2 are waiting for the high streets and retail parks to reopen. Nobody ticked the fourth option, which was “Leave it till the last minute, panic, then give them vouchers or something”.
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