Culture

The aftermath of Christmas shopping

When Summer holidays end we can already hear people counting down to Christmas – then, some shops get some decorations on their shelves. Marks and Spencer even sell mince pies in October with a “used by 1st December“. Today, the festive food is totally ready to go. However here again, there are “Christmas mini sausage rolls” for sale but “used by 12th December“?

So, what is it with all this shopping? A kind of need to shop & buy expensive and big gifts? But, should we question whether people are misunderstanding what Christmas is about?

The size and price of the present(s) should be irrelevant – it should be all about the thoughts. A book or a scarf are and should be sufficient to please the other person. However, for some unknown reasons individuals seem to make their own lives more difficult by going to town centres many times… and at the busiest times too. Saturdays and Sundays should be avoided. It is ├╝ber busy and the stress and tension are very high. It all looks like an assault course, with a lot of angry faces when it comes to queue (patiently) to reach the till.

Christmas shopping Covent Garden by night London

Christmas shopping Covent Garden by night London

The craze is in full swing. When you think that we all have 11 months to think of what to buy for family members, sadly and maybe because of our busy urban lifestyle, it happens that we run out of time.

Also, it is not just about gifts but the food seems to be important as well… maybe too important? Is December the month where we should spend all our savings – just for a couple of days of celebrations during the festive season?

Some of us faced the incredible “black Friday“! Buying because products are reduced: why not as long as we actually need it. Others decided to queue outside some stores from midnight because the aim was to buy to re-sell online for the second wave a few days later – that was “cyber Monday“.

Cyber Monday Vs Black Friday infographic

Usually, after this mad rush to High Streets (wherever you are in the UK), there is the aftermath and spiral of depression. In other terms, after the euphoria comes the massive drop because financial resources are thin(ner) – but life continues with the regular bills to pay. It can be a struggle for some households.

The other potential situation is the rubbish collection. A few years back, some cities were knee-deep in refuse black bags. Exeter was one of them but according to Exeter City Council this was NOT a major issue! In recent news, Newton Abbot recycling centre won’t accept waste from Torbay and this is all due to budget! This doesn’t mean that it will be closed – it is simply the fact that Torbay residents HAVE to use their own recycling plant they have contributed for, rather than the one from their neighbours! Alternatively, some streets and neighbourhood communities could decide to hire a skip from Devon experts – this would avoid all inconvenience. Should this be the way forward?

The aftermath of Christmas can truly cause mayhem in streets of certain cities/towns. Here again, all councils have eleven months to plan and deal with the exceptional excess of cardboards and other packaging from these few festive days.

Why in the twenty first century, are we still facing such predictable and obvious chaos?!

Christmas aftermath dinner

Christmas aftermath dinner

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Design

Floors, Windows and Lights

Industrial modern chic is moving out from the factories into our homes. It works well with modern and traditional architecture.

Remember the times of thick and comfortable carpets, frames all over the walls, soft sofas. All this has changed. A few years back stainless steel kitchen units appeared with semi-industrial cookers.

Then the carpet came off to leave the stripped floorboards visible, to give this cachet of unfinished cosy feeling.

Trend is nowadays also reflecting on your interior design.

Not always easy to spend cash to constantly renew the look of your “home sweet home“. Actually, no real need to go over the top and splash a lot of money to refresh that living space.

Some people like to take risks, and being controversial can be a different approach: what about yellow floors?

yellow floors lounge

This modern and cheerful option can work if the furniture is matching as well. A few years ago, some property owners chose black or brown for their entire floorings.

But now, it is all very minimalistic and almost art gallery like; nearly empty with great little details which transform the room – forget the clutter of the 80s and 90s. The 21st century is about “less is more“.

Lampshades are way smaller than before. The patterns have gone too. It is back to basics.

Minimal living space interior design

You can see such changes all over the place: shops and restaurants go for regular transformations to keep this trendy VIP expectation from clients. Some stores like the aluminium warehouse style ceiling lamps when others opt for garden trading Paris lights, slightly smaller but rather distinguished.

Aluminium industrial warehouse lamp

Both styles can be seen if you look up whether in Shoreditch or Mayfair. New shops such as Urban Outfitters (http://www.urbanoutfitters.co.uk/) adore the rough fake unfinished walls and factory bare look.

Urban Outfitters interior design

All this may change in the years to come. But, for the time being think that by visiting a recycle centre (not very glamorous…but) you could certainly find what you have been after for months.

Even with the economic downturn (or recession if you like to call it so) it is possible to revamp an old fashioned house to something unique without breaking the initial budget and maybe with some change leftover as well.

However, if you aren’t financially limited, direction 85 Redchurch St – London E2 7DJ where Labour And Wait will supply quaint objects – giving that final touch to your interior.

Labour And Wait East London

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