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shopping made easy 

By Belinda Wilson


Don’t get stressed, Christmas shopping is supposed to be fun! Prepare for the onslaught by first allowing yourself plenty of time. Racing around on Christmas Eve will mean that you end up spending more and choosing less wisely, than if you had just taken a bit more time and care with your preparations. Make a list of who you have to buy for and possible ideas based on their likes, needs, habits and hobbies. This will cut down on the “headless chicken” routine.

Free gift wrapping service

Wear comfortable shoes, take a large shopper bag and also a notebook so you can jot down anything that you are undecided about and come back for it later. If you’re not great at present wrapping then look at some ways to cheat. Marks and Spencers (basement of Central Festival) has some very pretty toiletries already cellophane wrapped and beautifully presented in baskets. Also their famous hampers are now available from this new Pattaya branch. Or go up a couple of floors to the stationery store B2S where there is a free gift wrapping service situated right by their rather good gift card section. How it works is that you purchase your wrap, bow, and box – whatever you require, and the charming assistant will gift wrap your item for free. An excellent idea for anyone who is all fingers and thumbs at this.

Photo in key ring for the grandparents

If you have to think, not only of your own Christmas gift purchases but also for something for the kids to give, why not get some of your favourite photos and put them in frames. Choose from either silver plated or traditional wooden, silk varieties that you can find at many markets such as the Pattaya Night Time Market on 2nd Road. Or upload a selection on a digital photo frame such as the ones on offer at Tukcom. This is always a popular present for Grandparents. Or you can go along to the “etching” stall in Central Festival (2nd floor corridor) and hand your favourite photo over to the assistant to have it realised as a key ring or paperweight.

Christmas for kids and a latte

For the kids themselves Toys R Us is a godsend with many much loved brands such as Lego and Sylvanian Families. Take inspiration from a film that your children have enjoyed earlier in the year, with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle masks or Disney’s box set of Sleeping Beauty and Maleficent dolls.

As Christmas in Thailand may well be spent by the beach or pool you can get lovely variations on the “bucket and spade idea” such as these lovely sand digging sets. Or buy a Water Noodle to teach your child to swim during the school holidays.

Of course, as a reward for all this unselfish present giving, you may want to reward yourself with a treat from Starbucks. Their festive lattes can be enjoyed in three different flavours and a variety of sizes. Choose from Peppermint Mocha, Xmas Cookie or Toffee Nut Lattes.

It doesn’t hurt to stop for a coffee and reward yourself for a job well done!