The clock ticked over last Saturday, and I awoke to find myself covered in light sprinkling of gold dust. Christmas Magic
(I refuse to believe it was the highlighter I forgot take off before going to bed.) Usually, on the 1st of December I’d wake up in pool of my own sweat. No, Christmas doesn’t make me exceptionally nervous. I lived in Australia.
I shut my eyes to the comforting thought that this Christmas will be exceptionally beautiful. Snuggling into my blankets I thought about skating with my friends (mulled wine in hand), humming White Christmas as I walk under the lights in Covent Garden and funneling the melted cheese from the Raclette at the markets down the road, straight into my mouth.
Then it hits me.
I have a work party to attend and my family back home to buy gifts for. I clench my eyes tighter at the thought that crosses my mind. Without a doubt the most traumatic part of the festive season.
To make matters worse, in a city of 8 million people,1 million will choose to do it on the same day as you!
So, we’ve come up with the best survival tips for Christmas shopping in London (or anywhere really).
Formulate a plan
I’m talking price comparisons, lists and most efficient shopping route mapped. Do allow time for diversions because if you’re like me you’ll see any beautifully tailored coat and completely forget all your responsibilities, lifelong goals and your sassy Monzo account (yes, I know I’ve gone over my budget by £283. STOP TELLING ME!) In all seriousness – I’m an introvert so prolonged social outings exhaust me! I need to know exactly where I’m going, what I’m getting there and sometimes I even call ahead and make sure that particular store has whatever I want in stock.
Bring your backpack
It goes without saying that it’s convenient to have backpack to chuck your purchases in while also being environmentally conscious. It reduces the risk of putting it down and having it stolen. This cute Gucci bag will keep you looking on trend!
Make sure you’ve packed a water bottle and deodorant because chasing bargains can be considered mild to vigorous cardio.
Utilize your umbrella
Whether you opt for a smaller more compact model or long and all-encompassing is entirely up to you but not only is this important to keep your newly bought items dry, it also doubles as a sabre.Pardon?A sabre. If people get too close to you then…
And now you’ve reclaimed your person space because they are never coming near you again.**
Cosy up in a coat
Having layers is super important in winter and walking in and out of shops and tube stations is super frustrating if you’re prone to overheating. Having a jacket which zips or a coat that ties at the waist allows for central heat regulation so that you don’t break a sweat.
Lace up your trainers
They can be styled with pretty much anything these days, from patterned trousers to tight knit dresses so there is really no excuse not to wear them.
The humble scarf
Not only a staple for the colder months but also super handful in several situations. Fitting room curtain doesn’t close properly? Then swing your scarf over the part of the rail that doesn’t close. That hair getting in your face and driving you nuts? Make a wee head scarf. And if you have yourself a square shaped scarf you can make these into temporary bags to carry your extra presents. You might even look like Santa.
Pack some pain killers
This applies to anyone wherever you are in the world. Walking in and out of heated rooms to cold or humid conditions or vice versa is going to cause your sinuses to get all cranky and potentially give you a headache. I’m also convinced that prolonged internal swearing at slow walkers and other irritants presents itself as a thumping head
When the sound of chatter and traffic becomes too much, and you feel the panic rising in your body, pop your headphones in listen so some calming tunes. And don’t forget to breathe.
Lifesaving battery pack
If your phone dies, your sanity goes with it.
Take off your jewellery – there is nothing worse than losing your favourite piece in the rush of it all. Unless you’re trying to give Santa hints of what to get you for Christmas, then go ahead and be my guest!
If worse comes to worse and you pack it early or can’t even be bothered to leave your house, then you can always rent a dress from Our Closet for your Christmas party and just tell your friends about us! Renting a dress will save them plenty of money in the future – consider it your gift to them!
Bad Christmas shopping experience? Tell us about it! We’ve all had them!
**Disclaimer: Our Closet doesn’t condone violence, so please ensure your poking is gentle and infrequent. We don’t want to hear about a serial umbrella poker stalking the streets of London.
Until next time,