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SPONSORED: How to have fun while you do your Christmas shopping

© Shutterstock / Syda ProductionsChristmas Tree in the city. How to have fun while you do your Christmas shopping

It’s almost December, which means it’s almost time for the last-minute, panic-buying dizziness of Christmas shopping.

But here’s an idea – avoid the stress and start shopping now!

There are countless Scottish businesses to choose from when it comes to buying Christmas gifts for the special people in your life, from clothing and accessories to fabulous hotel experiences.

And many have pop-up events and markets which transform a day’s shopping into a fun experience for all of the family. You could even enjoy a panto in the evening!

Have a look at these businesses and organisations set to make your Christmas shopping experience all the more enjoyable this year…


Country Living Magazine

Christmas is coming…and so is the magical Country Living Magazine Christmas Fair, when it returns to the SEC, Glasgow from 2-5 December.

This is the perfect opportunity to celebrate Christmas in one fabulous festive day out, all while supporting small businesses.

What is it?

An exclusive shopping experience featuring hundreds of the UK’s finest designers, makers, and boutique businesses under one roof offering unique gifts, decorations, crafts, food, festive outfits, accessories, drinks and inspired interior ideas.

When is it?

Thursday 2 – Sunday 5 December 2021
10am-5pm from Thursday 2 – Saturday 4 December
10am – 4pm on Sunday 5 December

Country Living Magazine Christmas Fair

And for foodies, the temptations are endless.

There’s also lots to see and try at two informative theatres – The Country Living Kitchen, where culinary experts will offer advice and entertaining demos and The Country Living Crafting Workshops, your chance to make handmade decorations, festive gifts and learn a new skill.

And the perfect day out wouldn’t be complete without a glass of fizz at The Champagne Bar sponsored by Viking.

Tickets are available in advance from the Country Living website and on the-door, starting at £20 (subscriber discounts available).

Cardwell Garden Centre

You know Christmas is just around the corner when Cardwell Garden Centre gets all jingle bells and there’s a ho-ho-host of fun festive activities taking place.

The popular garden centre on the Clyde coast, at Lunderston Bay just outside Gourock, is the place to get your festive celebrations off to a cracker of a start.

Of course, Santa Claus will be at Cardwell in his Grotto to meet the children and hear what gifts they want to find round the Christmas tree on the big day.

And, talking of trees, Cardwell has a huge selection of artificial Christmas trees just now – and people will be able to get their hands on real fir trees at the end of November when they’re due in stock.

Santa Claus will be at Cardwell in his Grotto to meet the children

When it comes to decorations for the Christmas tree and around the home, Cardwell has enough bright, sparkly fairy lights to light up a whole town! The garden centre also has a huge selection of Christmas gifts, so you can get the perfect present from family and friends. And don’t forget the Christmas menu in the popular Patio Café!

As well as seeing Santa, youngsters can enjoy funfair rides that are part of the Carnival being held next to the Grotto.

Santa’s Grotto and Carnival is open every weekend between 10am and 4.30pm until the end of November, then every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday between 1.30pm to 4.30pm, and weekends 10am to 4.30pm, during December up to Christmas Eve.

There’s no need to pre-book a visit to Santa’s Grotto and Carnival. It’s first-come-first-served every day, though schools, nurseries and clubs can make group bookings to see Santa by calling 01475 521536.

Fairmont St Andrews

Celebrate Hogmanay with friends and family at Fairmont St Andrews and bring in 2022 with a magical evening of fantastical celebration, filled with delicious food, fireworks and champagne. Stay two nights in five-star accommodation with stunning views of St Andrews bay and the surrounding landscape.

Begin the evening with pre-dinner drinks in Kittocks Den, with a welcome from stilt walkers and a live performance from an up-close magician.

Keep the kids entertained with a variety of family activities, including a circus skill workshop, followed by glitter painting.

fireworks in Fairmont St Andrews

Dine underneath the glittering Zephyr lighting sculpture and enjoy a set menu of carefully selected culinary delights. Then take to the dancefloor for some traditional Ceilidh music and party covers after dinner.

To bring in the bells, gather in the Atrium to watch a spectacular fireworks display with a glass of Moët & Chandon in hand.

Continue the night of celebrations with a live DJ until 1am. Refuel on New Year’s Day with swim and sauna in our luxurious spa, then a hearty Scottish breakfast in The Squire restaurant.

Starting from £485 a night, with additional nights available from £249. Arriving from 31st December. Book now by calling 0133483700, or email standrews.scotland@fairmont.com.

Stobo Castle

When it comes to choosing the ultimate present, a voucher for a spa experience will always be received with joy. Spoil your loved one this Christmas with the gift of relaxation – a Stobo Castle gift voucher.

The award-winning Scottish Castle is set deep within the Scottish Borders countryside in private grounds and surrounded by vast pine forests and a tranquil lake.

Stobo Castle is the ultimate escape where one can indulge in a luxurious haven, unwind and enjoy some of the finest hospitality and first class service that Scotland has to offer.

Swimming pool. Stobo Castle is among the scottish businesses you can visit to search forChristmas gifts

Treat someone who deserves to be pampered….give them a Stobo Castle gift voucher. Leave the choice to them with monetary vouchers from £50 or give a specific experience with a Spa Day voucher from £109 including a Relaxing Water Massage and lunch or a residential voucher from £169pppn including all meals and use of the world-class spa facilities.

Ordering is quick and easy by calling 01721 725300 or visiting the Stobo Castle website, and your voucher will be posted or emailed to an address of your choice.

Harris Tweed

Harris Tweed® never goes out of fashion thanks to its timeless appeal, premium quality and flexibility.

Tactile, soft, breathable, warm, colourful, sustainable and adaptable, the cloth has a rare character and beauty and is still handwoven to this day at the weavers’ home.

Hundreds of distinctive patterns have been developed over centuries, each one unique, but unmistakably Harris Tweed®.

Products from Harris Tweeds

Harris Tweeds cloth is sold from as little as a quarter of a metre up to 50 metre length so whether it’s for small projects, hobbies or soft furnishings, there will be something suitable for you.

They also stock a wide range of ladies and gents clothing, hats and footwear, as well as bags, accessories and gifts made with real leather or vegan leather.

Visit their website for a truly special Harris Tweed Christmas Gift!

The Edinburgh Macmillan Art Show

The Edinburgh Macmillan Art Show is once again running online from 1st-30th November.

And they would, once again, like to welcome you to take a look! With an extraordinary mix of talented artists displaying a unique mix of styles, there’s something for everyone.

The Edinburgh Macmillan Art Show poster

And, for every piece of artwork sold, at least 50% is donated to Macmillan to help raise the vital funds they need to help support those living with cancer.

Don’t miss your opportunity to browse, buy or donate; what a special Christmas gift it would make!

#artforagreatcause

The Brunton, Musselburgh

The Brunton, Musselburgh is delighted to announce that pantomime will be back, LIVE on stage in Musselburgh this year. Hansel and Gretel The Pantomime is a new production, produced by The Brunton, written and directed by award winning and hugely experienced writer and theatre maker John Binnie.

Hansel and Gretel sees the return of a few familiar faces: Eilidh Weir plays the role of Gretel with Ross Donnachie as her wee brother Hansel.

Experienced panto dame, Graham Crammond, returns in the role of Dame Maisie Nature with panto baddy Wendy Seager as Witch Wart-Nose. A chorus of young performers complement a professional cast.

Hansel and Gretel The Pantomime poster

The traditional tale of Hansel and Gretel as they escape from the witch and realise the value of true friendship is a festive treat full of fun and laughter with oodles of gags, local references, chart hits, outrageous costumes and shouting out! The Brunton specialises in producing fun and interactive pantomimes that are suitable for all the family.

Hansel & Gretel the Pantomime runs 7 – 31 December.

Tickets for the patomime can be booked online or via the new Box Office telephone number 0131 653 5245, open from Monday to Saturday 10am to 4pm.

Stagecoach

Shop, eat, and be merry (and safe) this Christmas. No matter what you’ve got planned this festive season, travel safely with Stagecoach.

This time of year is always a bit frantic, with preparations for the holidays in full swing. There’s always so much to do, from buying gifts, to making sure there’s enough turkey and sprouts to feed the family. Not to mention finding the perfect outfit for your work Christmas party!

Luckily, Stagecoach’s luxury coaches make regular trips throughout the East of Scotland. So simply store your shopping safely in the luggage hold, and then sit back and relax on a comfy reclining seat. You can even recharge your phone while you travel.

Man with two kids at Christmas

Plan your journey, check live bus times and buy Stagecoach tickets online, or download the Stagecoach Bus app from your app store.

If you’re planning to travel, please remember that in line with advice from the Scottish Government, it is compulsory to wear a face covering when using public transport and when using indoor public transport hubs in Scotland.

Wash your hands before and after travelling and keep windows open on board, where possible, to increase ventilation.