5 ways to discover the best gifts and make the most of your holiday experiences this year.
Gabrielle Mueller, Tourism Oxford
Picture yourself in front of two doors.
When you open the first, you find the traditional holiday shopping experience: long lines, crowded stores and the same Christmas songs on loop as you walk aimlessly through the mall.
Through the second, you’re wandering the streets of a charming small town, sipping on a latte and munching on a freshly-baked cookie as you head into a few charming boutiques and discover the perfect gift for almost everyone on your list.
Which do you choose? If you chose the second, we have great news. You’re going to love holiday shopping in Oxford this festive season. It’s best to make a plan early so keep reading.
Discover the Fun and Ease of Shopping in Oxford this Holiday Season
There are soooo many reasons to shop locally (many of which we’re sure you’ve heard) but here are five more we think you’ll appreciate. What are you waiting for? It’s not like you have a long line to stand in. Read on!
Reason #1: Earn Brownie Points for Seriously Unique Items
Local partnerships are the name of the game in Oxford County and because of that, we have some seriously unique items being created by artisans, food producers and designers. Think everything from silkscreened shirts featuring the area’s agriculture scene to custom baseball bats, one-of-a-kind jewelry and unique, bookable experiences.
Whether you’re looking for something for the eco-warrior, the foodie or the fashionista, you’ll find something special to wrap up this season and chances are, they’ve never seen it before. Wow, look at you becoming the favourite.
Reason #2: Make it a Fun Outing
Why not make a little trip out of your holiday shopping outing? Since you’re not competing with the big crowds of a mall, and since lockdown has been lifted, you can really enjoy the experience this year.
All of Oxford’s small downtowns have bakeries and cafes serving up delicious hot drinks and holiday treats this time of year. Why not grab a friend, do a little retail therapy and wrap up your day with dinner at one of Oxford’s awesome restaurants.
While people play tug-o-war over the latest toys and brand name goods, you can kick back and seize the day. Who knew?
Reason #3: …Or Shop in Your Pajamas (we won’t judge)
That being said, if you really leaned into the whole online shopping thing last year, we totally get it. There is something so satisfying about checking items off your list with the click of the mouse all while staying cozy in your bunny slippers and binge watching Netflix.
Luckily, shopping online doesn’t mean you have to go right to the big box stores or compromise on uniqueness. Plenty of local retailers in Oxford have online shops and shipping options (or local pickup) available. From handcrafted chocolate and cheese gift baskets to locally-designed hats, you can shop it all from behind your keyboard. Don’t forget to plan ahead and shop early!
Reason #4: Skip the Lines, Avoid the Crowds
We’ve already alluded to this a few times but can you really go wrong with skipping the line? They really suck the fun out of the holiday season. Oxford’s small shops and retailers make shopping sans-crowd easy.
Even more importantly, you’ll appreciate the thought and care that these local retailers put in, particularly during the festive season. Think beautiful gift wrapping, suggestions you may not have thought of and specialty items that only come around once a year.
Reason #5: Keep Your Money in the Community
You’ve probably read this reason before but we really think it’s the best part of shopping locally. By supporting local artisans and retailers, your money stays in your community. After a tough few months, it’s easy to see how important community is. When you shop locally, you’re supporting your neighbours and that is pretty darn cool.
Most importantly, we hope you have fun this holiday season. We know it’s been a tough 18 months and you deserve to have a good time. Be sure to practice kindness and remember that re-opening doesn’t necessarily mean recovery. Our local retailers would love to see your smiling face this year and we’re sure they’ll have loads of awesome gift ideas on their shelves.