Just when we were just settling into a new normality, Lockdown 2.0 was sprung upon England, affecting everything from the closure of gyms and leisure centres to the inability of visiting our loved ones in care homes. The biggest obstacle people are facing at the minute is the closure of unessential shops, meaning that the way we buy our Christmas presents this year will be a completely new and different experience for all.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is determined to open up the country by Christmas but with over two weeks until the big day, will we have enough time to shop for Christmas essentials?
I put a number of questions to my followers on my Instagramabout the upcoming festive period, and here’s what they said:
Have you started Christmas shopping yet?
I received an even display of results – 57 of my followers told me they had started their shopping, whereas 53 hadn’t begun yet.
Following the lockdown earlier this year, people have been more aware of what to expect this November and have adapted to lockdown restrictions ensuring they’re moreprepared for Christmas.
Are you waiting until the shops open again or will you be shopping online?
An overwhelming number of people said that they will be shopping online this year. The closure of retail shops means that online shopping is a more convenient way of buying gifts.
Only 19 people told me they felt more comfortable physically shopping in stores due to the ability to browse the shelves, picking up gifts as they go.
Are you worried that you’re not going to get all your shopping done before Christmas due to the lockdown?
47 of my followers were worried that they wouldn’t be able to buy all their gifts before Christmas. Lockdown restrictions have hindered people from going about their annual Christmas routines. The severe restrictions have created a lot of uncertainty to whether the shops will fully re-open in December and if it will allow people to continue their shopping in person.
More positively, 63 people told me they weren’t worried at allwhich offers a more optimistic outlook on the government’s plans to lift restrictions on 2nd December.
Do you usually buy your gifts from large retailers or smaller, independent shops?
58 of people prefer to shop at retailers as they’re extremely reliable and people know what to expect from large stores.
Becoming increasingly popular, 46 of my followers told me they are shopping with smaller, independent businesses. During the first lockdown, many people set up their own businesses and this time round, a greater majority are supporting these businesses through a difficult financial year.
Finally, I asked what independent shops my followers are using this year. Here are a few small shops that were suggested:
Etsy is the perfect place to start finding small businesses as it’s an easy and popular platform for people to sell their handmade products.
BagsByChloe – Individually hand-drawn totes, makeup bags, drawstring bags etc.
Novel Adornment – Recycle old books into keepsake baublesand ornaments
Pepper & Ivy Wax – Handmade soy wax melts
FanCandlesUK – Pop culture inspired scented candles
LouStitchesShop – Hand-stitched embroidery art
Instagram has also become a convenient and popular place for small businesses to promote their products.
@crybabybuntings – Handmade buntings, scrunchies and pom pom earrings
@cb.creations_ – Bespoke handmade earrings and floral resin coasters
@magicmoonclubuk – Disney and pop culture clothing brand
@spiltmilkpress – Various prints and stickers
@retwistjewellery – Wire earrings and other upcycled vintage pieces
Lockdown 2.0 has already presented many challenges for people living in England, but we are constantly adapting to a new way of living. The amount of positivity that people have about celebrating Christmas ‘normally’ and with their familiesis reflected in their attitudes towards Christmas shopping – a time that is hectic at the best of times.
Is this the start of a new way of celebrating and getting geared up for Christmas? Only time will tell.