Christmas….a time for giving. Lovely, yes….but, oh so stressful. But it doesn’t actually have to be. There are plenty of ways to make it a less daunting prospect. It’s obvious I know, but make a list of the people you need to buy for. Why not take that list a bit further? Add some ideas next to their names to give yourself some focus when you enter the shopping centre. I turned to the trusty Brent Cross PLUS app (download on itunes or Google Play) Discover tab to work out what shops I would need to hit to ensure I investigated all suitable options for each person on my list. I know it all sounds a bit regimented, but when it comes to Xmas shopping being organised is key to getting the job done!
If you are still feeling a bit unprepared for your shopping expedition then I hope my discoveries below will give you a few ideas…
We all have those people in our lives that believe Christmas should be all about indulgence, being treated to things that come under the banner or special or luxurious. They believe the words useful or practical shouldn’t really come into it, unless it’s just an added bonus. The priority is most definitely the ‘wow’ factor.
Some fancy shoes could be a nice choice, but humans can be very particular about what they put on their feet. However, if you’re clued up on their favoured brand/style/colour then Brent Cross has a plethora of options. For greater budgets Russell and Bromley, Dune, and Kurt Geiger should be on your list, as should the high end concessions within Fenwick. If you are managing a stricter budget then New Look, River Island and Topshop have you more than covered.
Feeling flush and want to treat your loved one to a forever time pieces then you’ll need plenty of time to browse the huge amount of options at Tissot, Ernest Jones and Goldsmiths. If the receiver of the watch is more into fashion designers than renowned watch-makers, then newly refurbished accessories area within Fenwick is a must-see. You can’t go wrong with Marc by Marc, but I’m also incredibly fond of Olivia Burton’s nature inspired watches. Within this area there are also beautiful silk scarves by Missoni and Versace, as well as luxury gloves by the likes of Dent.
Okay, so sometimes underwear can be gifted for purely selfish reasons (you know what I’m getting at), but if chosen wisely it is still a lovely way to go. Intimissimi had some very beautiful delicate lace underwear sets, as well as some stunning silk slips and nightwear. If she’s more sporty or ‘street’ in style, she may prefer a Calvin Klein set from Fenwick. If she’s rather blessed in the chest department John Lewis caters for her needs by hosting the brand Freya.
If you’re shopping for a beauty lover, then the glistening rose gold Charlotte Tilbury concession, at the entrance of Fenwick, is the obvious choice. The make up guru is renowned for putting an incredible amount of thought and research into each product. More than just make up, every item a stunning accessory too.
As soon as a member of staff pointed out the new Kate Spade New York area within Fenwick a new obsession began. Every object displayed was the perfect Christmas gift. Chic but fun, useful but quirky, this brand is sure to be a big seller this Xmas. After much inner turmoil I settled on this polka dot agenda….which may end up being a gift to myself.
Kate Spade New York Agenda at Fenwick £25
For girls nearing or in their teenage years, beauty and trend-lead items are a good bet, but knowing their style is integral to buying a winning gift. If you dare to make a fashion purchase Zoe Karssen (within Fenwick) would be a fab choice, there was a particularly cool gold print jogging set that many shoppers were coveting. Right next door, Wildfox delivers sass with their selection of slogan pieces. Topshop is also failsafe destination, with oodles of pyjama sets, jewellery and accessories. I decided to purchase a must-have of the moment – a furry pom pom to add some quirk and glamour to to any bag you choose to clip it too. I opted for the dark emerald one, as jewel tones are always big come Winter. Alternative kids might prefer some Dr. Marten boots from Office, or Converse/Vans from JD Sports.
Oversized Faux Fur Pom Keyring from Topshop £10
Little Princesses would love Monsoon’s tulle and glittery dresses, but fashionista parents would love to dress their girls in the chic and bold Etre Petite (Fenwick).
For kids to young to realise what a gift is, Mothercare offers a beautiful service of getting moulds of baby feet and hands that is a lovely keep-sake for parents. If they are old enough to know In the Night Garden’s from their Peppa Pigs, then John Lewis and Fenwick have particularly impressive amount of toys, games and cuddlies. Claire’s Accessories was my saviour, who delivered a lot of TheVamps and 5SOS merch, perfect for hormonal girl’s immersed in their first band crushes.
The Vamps fleece blanket from Claire’s Accessories £5
Teen boys are laregly obsessed with anything that has a screen. If you’re not au faix enough on the specifications of technical stuff, you may not want to fork out on the larger or more expensive computer, photography or entertainment items from Curry’s and PC World, but the little accessories may work as great stocking fillers. If you have the budget to buy a new top of the range TV (to enhance their gaming sessions) for example, then John Lewis is your port of call, but they also house wearable tech and affordable options like headphones.
Fury DVD from WHSMITHS £4.99
In the end I got a Fury on DVD from WHSMITHS for a teenage cousin on my Xmas list, knowing that he’s a big fan of action packed films and a good bit of gore. While I was in there, an author was signing some of his books, which I thought would make a nice bonus gift for a certain bookworm in my family.
If the person you have in mind is an Indiana jones type, and is more about function than fashion, then Blacks is the destination for you. Perhaps your using Christmas as a good excuse to swap his ugly walking boots for some trendier versions. Clarks, Timberland, Office and Russel Bromley, and the concessions within John Lewis and Fenwick, all have outdoor boots that are as attractive as they are useful.
Sporty girls that like to look chic while they sweat Superdry (Fenwick) have some very attractive fitness gear. I love the the freshness of mint and grey combo’s, and if it’s good enough for Khloe Kardashian it’s good enough for me. Victoria Secret also have a vast selection, some featuring cheeky slogans, but perhaps keep in mind they are largly aimed fat twenty somethings.
JD has allt he big name brand’s you could need, with a generous selection of apparel, team merchandise and trainers.
If you’d prefer to veer away from heavily branded outerwear and wintery accessories, then head to stores like Zara, where I found this classic and ultra wearable slate beanie.
Beanie from Zara £7.99
However career minded you are, you usually have a few days at home to enjoy the Christmas period. Couples should be encouraged to make the most of this time together. I decided this Lush set, filled predominantly with their famous bath bombs would be perfect for a particular couple I know.
Merry Christmas set from Lush £19.95
A classic christmas gift is the slipper, but it doesn’t have to be dull, nor lack luxury. There are some gloriously snuggly fur and sheepskin lined Ugg ones in Office, and predictably Marks and Spencer have every slipper style preference covered. My brother, and all the males in my family actually, are incredibly hard to buy for, so I tend to just settle for the classic/unimaginitive gifts. I think these rather fetching snowflake patterned slipper socks will be extremely proficient at keeping his feet warm in his new flat with it’s chilly exposed wood floors.
Slipper Socks from Marks and Spencer £15
For the foodies, Fenwick and John Lewis have every sort of kitchen tool and gadget imaginable. For For kitchen inspriation WHSMITHS has a number of cook books, great for loved ones looking to advance their skills, or for inexperienced chefs learning the basics. Perhaps it could be given as a oh so subtle hint that someone needs to up their domestic game. For interior design fans or lovers of pretty things, you MUST visit The Home Emporium, the most wonderful trinkets, wall hangings and home accessories imaginable.
Polaroid 2 in One Camera lens from River Island £15
It feels like Menkind has every gadget ever invented, from the time-saving, stress-relieving, function- enhancing, to the ridiculous and gimmicky.
River Island men had a concise but strong selection of gadgets, perfect for blokes who are glued to their phones, with various tools to to enhance the capabilities of their camera, in turn upping their Instragram game. I was torn, but ended up choosing the wide angle lense, over the Panoramic aid.
So if you’re heading to Brent Cross shopping centre to make a
start on your Christmas shopping, you may as well see if you can make
the experience less expensive by downloading the Brent Cross PLUS app
available on iTunes or Google Play . You can navigate around the centre with ease, and be as
efficient as possible while ticking off your Xmas gift list.
P.S Whenever I go to Brent Cross I treat myself to lunch, as within the centre are some of my favourite restaurant chains. I really fancied a Wagamama’s Katsu Curry during this visit, but if you’re less rigid about where you get your Katsu, there was a great deal at Yo Sushi on the PLUS App.
And don’t miss out on any opportunities to treat yourself. The Brent Cross PLUS app has got loads of little goodies to help you recharge during your Christmas shop like –
15% off at Toni & Guy
£2 off photo merchandise at Santa’s Grotto