I had a firm upbringing when it came to birthday and Christmas cards.
One cannot simply rock up at a card shop and pick the first card one sees. Neither can you select a card based purely on how it looks, one must inspect the verse and make sure it is thoroughly appropriate for the person (or persons) who are to receive it. Due care and consideration simply HAS to be considered when purchasing the card for the occasion.
You also had to spend time to construct the right message to write inside. Woe betide anyone who presented a card that simply stated Happy Birthday or Merry Christmas, the card had to be constructed with meticulous attention to detail and for whom it was intended.
This extended to writing casual cards …. You know the sort …. The box of identical cards you purchase at Poundland for the colleagues at work you barely speak to but are still fond enough to wish Merry Christmas. You may have purchased identical cards but if you wish one colleague “A Merry Christmas” then you would wish the next a “Really Jolly Xmas Time” and so on and so forth until each of the hundred or so you wrote for the whole office smacked of at least a smidgeon of originality.
The most important thing was to show the genuine desire that the recipient should actually have a merry Christmas was by individuality in the message.
Which is probably why “Chris, (standard card verse), Merry Xmas, (person or family names) x” gets me annoyed. I find myself genuinely doubting they will be eating Christmas dinner with a real concern that I may not be having a merry one.
Of course …. There is the fact that they have a hundred cards to write and genuinely care but do not have the time to be individual … So perhaps I should blame my family for raising me with this paranoia.
Just in case you have any doubt or have failed to detect where I am going with this …. I am going to be selling this idea of individual gifts with an Antiques Quarter and shop local twist. That the Antiques Quarter is a great destination and place to scour the unique, original and even the ethical choice …. But more than that … I am hoping to encourage to do something else ….
But first …..
A much beloved family member is quite possibly the most difficult person to buy a present for that I know. His philosophy of “if I wanted something, I would already have got it” makes selection of the gift rather tricky. My solution a few years ago was to buy him a new vacuum cleaner for his workshop. This most unusual thing to unwrap on Christmas morning was initially baffling … But it now does sterling service and is appreciated … I am struggling to match that high point in his Christmas purchases ….
This year though I believe I have topped it with an equally unusual purchase (which I cannot reveal here obviously) but it is coming straight from one of the Antique Centres in the Quarter. I predict there will be equal initial confusion in its unwrapping, but many year’s service shall be had out of it. I shall keep you posted.
The Antiques Quarter has a host of Antiques (obviously), Retro and Vintage delights to fill the space beneath the Christmas tree. It also has the range of independent shops selling everything from speciality produce to unique stylish items. Just have a glance at the website. And there is always the Vintage and Artisan Christmas Fayre on Sunday 10th December to pick up something great.
The point I am trying to sledge hammer home is that there is a genuine pleasure in selecting something which has been tailored to the individual which is not expected or asked for .... And sure there are other places you can do this. I am obviously going to suggest the Sheffield Antiques Quarter (Or SAQ as the cool kids call it), but the truth is that if you have not before, then spend some time anywhere looking for something unique for the person you are buying the present for.
It is a little early to wish you a Merry Christmas, but it is the perfect time to encourage you to buy local and buy individual.
I should of course have emailed you all individually as I was brought up to do .... Which is difficult in this case ....
So imagine I say something kind and unique here ... But I do wish you all a very pleasant Christmas shopping experience for those you love.
We are on the count down folks ... Lets hope Santa gets creative this year.
Catch you later guys!!