Just before 8am, Waitrose car park was filling up. And why not? A large proportion of the shoppers disgorged from the cars will be heading into the town centre and THAT is a good thing.
Christmas is NOT all about shopping, but it's always nice to bring a smile to someone's face with a carefully-chosen gift.
Even shopping at Waitrose brings money into our community. All the big names owned outside our town employ people who live and spend here. So I am not suggesting for one moment that we should avoid Waitrose (or Sainsbury's, or Asda, or Wilkinson's). Nor Starbucks and Cafe Rouge.
But what we should all be doing is spending with our local independent retailers today, on what is predicted to be the busiest shopping day of the year.
I defy anyone to fail to find a present for everyone in the great shops within our town. In fact, I can't possibly list them all here. But, if you're still looking for gifts, I can name a few - and this is dropping massive hints to my own loved ones.
Start at Moore's bookshop - www.erictmoore.co.uk - and I guarantee you'll find something that someone will love to open on Christmas Day. Similarly at Hawkin's - www.hawkinsofhitchin.co.uk - which even has a tea and coffee shop if you're flagging a bit. The woman in your life will love opening something from What Sarah Did - www.whatsarahdid.com - and you can encourage good new year habits with one of her pretty piggy banks, if there are any left.
I apologise for everyone I've left out. We are truly fortunate in having an amazing array of shops in Hitchin and now's a good time to take a proper look.
So, if shopping has to be done, do it locally!
Member since: 31st May 2012
Writer and sax player. Brought up in Hitchin and - apart from uni and some ensuing madness of life in London - I've always lived here.