Did Black Friday make you feel just a little bit sick? I have never, until this year, heard the term and now that I write copy for a major high street furniture and homeware retailer, I was hearing it all week before the actual day arrived.
But I can honestly say I went nowhere near a shop and was totally put off by all the screaming discounts online – so I didn’t buy anything in the end. I heard people were almost killing each other over cheap Clarisonics and the like in London. Gross.
Well really, what is Christmas supposed to be about anyway? Is it about bargains and discounts and breaking each other’s arms in the race for the till? Not sure it is! For a few years I’ve wondered what exactly we’re congratulating each other for anyway, with this buying of presents. But then I remember that I enjoy the thoughtfulness that goes into finding things my nearest and dearest would like – and in watching them open them.
There is no better feeling too than doing this while knowing you’re helping a small business – and in Lewes we’re so lucky to be blessed with a high street full of creativity, cleverness and independence.
So when Chloe Edwards of Seven Sisters Spices (you may have read about her in this month’s Viva Lewes – she makes delicious, nutritious lunches to order on Fridays and delivers them to Lewes offices in a pram!) contacted me on Twitter to point out a simple initiative for helping people discover the best of what Lewes has to offer this Christmas, I thought YES to doing a post on that.
Chloe says she has always wondered about the usefulness of hashtags, but that, inspired by Josie from The Patchwork Dog & Basket, who does something similar with #MadeinLewes, thought it would be a good way to create a sort of online catalogue of what is available in Lewes to buy for Christmas. On her deliveries around Lewes, she had seen the lovely stock and great environments that Lewes people work so hard to create.
Businesses contacted so far by Chloe about #lewes4xmas include: Popsicle, VRAC Tea Shop, Rosehip Sussex, Laportes, Wickle, Symposium, Equilibrium, Lewes Map, Pestle and Mortar, AS.AP, Yohka, The Patchwork Dog & Basket, Mary’s, and Cheese Please. Others are most definitely following suit – see some of the images that I grabbed from Instagram with their owners’ permission…
We’re all time-pushed and stressed out (by life, let alone Christmas), so exploring Twitter and Instagram (sorry, I can’t tell you anything about Facebook as I don’t know!) by using the hashtag #lewes4xmas is a great way to get ideas about what to buy for Christmas – less physical browsing with whiney kids, more being able to make decisions online but then go out and buy in person.
It’s the convenience of the Internet, blended with the sense of community that being physically present in a shop creates, as well as the financial support for small, local businesses.
To browse the virtual Christmas buying guide, go to Twitter or Instagram and plug #lewes4xmas into the search field to see more images and details of perfect presents available from Lewes shops and businesses this Christmas.
Disclosure: No compensation, financial or otherwise, was offered or accepted for the writing of this post. I was contacted by Chloe Edwards to ask what I thought of the hashtag catalogue – I think it’s great, so I wrote a post about it for you!
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