Some say that the festive period is the most wonderful time of the year. I can only assume that these people have never visited a city center on a weekend in the run up to Christmas before. People battling through the high street, akin to when people are flooding back to their cars after a headliner finishes at Glastonbury, it’s absolute hell.
This is where anyone who has a daily commute to Birmingham kind of has it easy though…
With the new Grand Central shopping centre, just upstairs from New Street Station, you can literally do all of your Christmas shopping within about 20 minutes of getting off the train – avoiding the busy high street and rainy weather. Grand Central is not to be confused with the train station itself, or the Bullring, which are both short strolls away. Grand Central sits independently from each with its own lovely shops and eateries.
But what to get who and where from? Here’s a quick guide:
The Person Who Has Everything
For someone who pretty much has everything you need, you can get away with the quirkier things in life. There’s a cute little shop called Pylones in Grand Central that sells all the essentials, with a colourful twist. Whether it’s ceramic bowls with faces on, a dust pan and brush with a bird design or even a nail brush in the shape of a cat; Pylones have loads of choices to put a smile on anyone’s face. Most of the items are functional and useful too, so perfect for either the person who has everything or for a cute secret Santa option.
The Skincare Addict
Kiehl’s is one of those brands that whenever people try it they love it. Luckily, there’s a Kiehl’s shop in Grand Central too. It’s got nice open windows to have a quick window shop before you delve in and the straight talking packaging makes it easy to shop for anyone (including yourself). It’s also a great brand for both males and females, as the packaging is completely gender neutral. Not only that, but every guy I’ve ever introduced Kiehl’s too freakin’ loves it as well!
The Secret Santa
If you’re on a lower budget for your work Secret Santa, then head on over to Tiger. With loads of interesting little bits and bobs to choose from, you can also enjoy a pretty cheap price tag. I picked up a Paint Yourself Gnome and a miniature Drumkit for about £8! Whether the budget is a fiver or £20, there’s loads to pick up, including the actual wrapping paper and cards too.
The Food Lover
Not only does Grand Central now have a load of shops, but there’s also a pretty good selection of food places all in one location too now. With eateries such as Pho, Giraffe, Tortilla and more(!) you could treat the food lover in your life to a gift card for their favourite (and maybe hint at them to take you along too….). If there a little more health conscious, there’s also a Holland and Barrett where you could put together a hamper of nutritious treats for your healthy eating recipient.
And When All Else Fails….
Head to John Lewis in Grand Central and buy them a Gift Card. With everything from Homeware to Beauty treats in the store, you can’t really go wrong with that idea!
How are you avoiding the rush and push of the High Street this year?