Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from goo.gl/Ta4oAX.
Published November 12th 2014
If you are in search of Christmas, your destination is Selfridges. Their Christmas Emporium on the fourth floor is filled to the gills with toys, gadgets, and decorations.
And if you and wrapping paper don't get on, they also have a gift wrapping service, so there is no excuse for messy dressed presents and wonky bows this year.
You can't have Christmas without a Christmas tree, and it saves a lot of bother cleaning up pine needles if you get an artificial one. It is also more economic. An artificial tree might be more expensive than a real one, but will save you money in the long run because it lasts a lot longer. Our tree is twenty-two years old.
My point could be made more aptly than with one of the Christmas cards available. It depicted a couple choosing between a big tree and a little tree, and the wife asks 'Do you want to get the same size as last year, or the same price?'
After the tree, I think the most important thing is decorating the table, specifically with Christmas crackers. Long gone are the days where all you can get is crackers with rubbish key rings, pens, and plastic toys; now, instead of gifts, you can get fun games to keep the family entertained. For example, Selfridges has crackers with Twister, Monopoly, Cluedo, and racing reindeer.
Toys and Games
Be warned: taking children with you into Selfridges Christmas Emporium is dangerous. Just look at the photo above if you want confirmation. What child can resist giant teddy bears, emperor penguins, and a near life-sized giraffe?
Unless your kids have very strong will power or are very well behaved when they can't get what they want, you might be best advised to do your Christmas shopping here, without them. If you are planning on spoiling them with an extra special treat, I still think it better not to bring the kids along, that way when they open their presents on Christmas morning, it will be a bigger and more special surprise.
Of course, there are more affordable items than oversized toys. Children can get just as much enjoyment out of Play-Doh, Duplo, and LEGO.
Or how about something more personalised? With My Makie, you can design your own doll from the outfit, right down to facia features. At Selfridges, you can buy pre-made dolls, or have a go on an interactive tablet, making your own.
Other sections in the toy department include remote control cars, and miniature model cars that children can drive. There is also an area for Barbie, punk rock chicks, and Furbies.
You also have your traditional family games, such as Monopoly, Dominoes, Twister, Operation, Hungry Hippos, and Scrabble, which is available in large print for those with bad eye sight. There is Game Show board Games, card games, and a Where's Wally Board Game, where you have to look for objects within a scene, while on a timer.
For those on a nostalgia trip, why not go for some retro designed packaging, and old games from the 1930s-1950s, such as The Magical Amazing Robot?
There are some quite fun gadgets available for both kids and adults. You can give your room a funky atmosphere with some mood coloured cubes, LED candles, and a volcano type lava lamp.
If you have ever felt like pulling your hair out at a seaside peer, trying to grab a toy or sweet with the claw machine, now you can waste as much time as you like without wasting your pounds and pennies in the process. Get your own grappler machine and fill it with the sweets of your choosing. Before you do buy it from Selfridges, however, I recommend you go to Hamleys, as they sell it (and a number of other items cheaper).
Now that the kids and grown ups are covered, don't forget about man's best friend. Selfridges also have gifts for pets too: Hay houses for hamster, play things for cats, and winter jumpers and shampoo for dogs.