I can already hear you crying, “too soon!”, but I just don’t care. Christmas is coming and there’s nothing anybody can do about it but prepare, or run and hide under a rock. I’ll give those of you wishing to do the latter a few seconds… and now I can begin.
I’m in no way religious, but I am a huge fan of festivities. Anyone who knows me well is aware of my enthusiasm for embracing anything sparkly – often the tackier the better. When I was a student, one of my housemates returned home following one of the other girls and me getting busy with my tinsel collection and commented that, “it looks like Christmas threw up in here” – which I took as a compliment.
And the retail world gets just as excited as I do about the festive season. To the point that, prior to my return from the US on 26 September, my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds were already showing glimmers of Christmas, usually accompanied by disgusted comments that it’s too early and that they should put Christmas items away until November. As much as I enjoy hauling decorations out each year and reminding myself of the story behind them – I collect Christmas ornaments on my travels, having brought three home from my trip this summer – it’s also fun to see what new delights the retailers can come up with in an undoubtedly saturated market. Here’s my pick of the best so far:
Fortnum and Mason – Twelve Days of Christmas Merry Go Round
Make no mistake, Fortnums is a classy place. One of the iconic landmarks of London’s Piccadilly, I’ve spent many hours oohing and aahing over their famous displays year-round. And when they unveil their Christmas windows each year? Always a treat. The store launched their Musical Birthday Biscuit Tin to great success (also available in blue, plus nursery rhyme versions for children) – and, yes, I do possess a pink tin – and followed up with a festive edition. Not only are there three carols to choose from (or collect!), but the tin is beautifully decorated to look like the famous storefront.
This year, there’s a new kid on the block in the musical tin department: macadamia nut and chocolate biscuits covered in spiced chocolate with stem ginger and citrus peel? Tick. Cylindrical tin with carousel design featuring the twelve days of Christmas? Tick. Key in the base to wind and play the accompanying song? Tick. I’ll take several, please and thank you.
New Look – Reindeer Light Up Christmas Jumper
New Look have a great array of novelty outfits and items this year (I will note at this point though, that I draw the line at onesies for anyone over the age of five) but this one instantly got my attention. I’ve yet to see it lit up, and the website doesn’t mention care instructions other than that the product is man made, but this is on my must-buy list for this season regardless.
It has a reindeer on it! Which lights up! Sold. If I can find a time when it’s in stock.
Pamela Mann courtesy of The Pea’s Knees – selection of festive tights
Last year, I was sad to see that a certain type of tights and leggings became as ubiquitous as the onesie on the high street (ladies – fairisle is lovely. However, please ensure you wear your tights and leggings with appropriate accompanying dress or skirt), and I fear the same will happen this year. I am far from against novelty legwear, more the manner in which it is worn.
Behold, my pick of the seasonal tights department – I’m not particularly enamoured with the leaves and berries design offered here, but the Seasons Greetings and Santa Print are more than worth a mention. I’m hoping these get re-stocked in the coming weeks.
Pets at home – Reindeer hoodie
Let’s not leave the animals in our lives out. Fancy dress competitions were always a feature of the final horse show of the season when I was little, and I blame that for my continuing fascination with pet sweaters and antlers for cats and dogs. There are too many gems out there to mention – and that’s without Christmas really going mainstream yet – but I couldn’t let this one go unnoticed.
A reindeer hoodie. For your dog. What more could your pet want?
Take a seat, pumpkin spiced goods. Move over, fireworks. Christmas is coming and I can’t wait.
Let me know what your favourite festive items are – I’d love to see (and maybe buy) them!