It’s Christmas Thame
Thame Town Centre has Christmas all wrapped up
Christmas starts earlier every year and yet, despite the fact that decorations line the supermarket shelves next to pumpkins, there are only a few organised people who managed to complete their Christmas shopping by Halloween. For the rest of us, the awareness that we are now only a few weeks from Christmas Day may bring more dread than joy when thinking about what to buy your nearest and dearest.
The dread of facing the stress of city one-way systems, the car park queues and playing human dodgems battling the Christmas crowds at a large shopping complex; or the anxious wait for that it-should have-arrived-two-days-ago gift ordered online! So why not relieve some of the pressure and choose Thame town centre as the destination for your Christmas shopping this year.
This year, shopping in Thame couldn’t be easier. There is 3-hour FREE car parking in the Upper High Street Car Park every day except Tuesday, and free long-term parking each Saturday in December – so you can make a day of it. On top of this many shops in the town centre will be staying open late on Thursdays in December running up to Christmas, allowing you to combine your shopping trip with a night out meeting friends. These pages are filled with some of what is on offer, but there is more, so much more, to see – so make sure you visit the It’s Christmas Thame town and pick up gifts that are certain to delight and inspire whoever is lucky enough to receive them.
Thame’s beautiful town centre sparkles during the festive season, and offers the perfect back drop to slow down and get into the festive spirit. The historic boat shaped High Street stands as testimony to the market place for which it was originally designed. Lining its streets are ancient medieval buildings standing alongside Georgian and Victorian architecture, a wonderful backdrop to explore the wealth of shops that call the town home. With over 120 independent businesses to choose from, a short stroll reveals jewellers, gift shops, arts and craft galleries, clothes and accessories boutiques, bookshops, florists, beauty products, speciality food delicatessens and a fantastic toy shop.
At Christmas these shops come into their own, providing beautifully presented and unique gifts – with some fantastic original ideas that you might not have considered before. You will find locally produced items which aren’t available elsewhere: quirky one-off items not available at national chain stores, and individual gifts created by local artists and designers, food producers and growers.
If you are struggling to make a decision about what to buy for that awkward aunt, or 9 year old nephew then the chances are that you will find a shop owner who will be happy to go above and beyond to help you make the right choice, and you can almost guarantee that no one else will have bought the same! Our independent business owners do what they do because they are well informed and passionate about their products. You will have the chance to ask them questions and get advice about products. They know what they are selling, and typically will take more time to get to know you, going the extra mile to help you and to ensure you are a satisfied customer. If that is not enough to convince you, there is real evidence that shopping locally boosts the local economy and is environmentally friendly, so when you give your gifts, you can feel a tiny bit smug that you have ‘done your bit’ for where you live.
Napoleon once called us “a nation of shopkeepers” hoping to insult us. However it’s a big part of our national identity and is something to be proud of. Small businesses have endured the Blitz, 3 day weeks and the recent economic down turn and despite these hardships they continue to innovate, grow and assume ‘business as usual’. Let’s avoid having a ‘clone street’ with the same shops as everywhere else and support our local businesses this Christmas!
To make sure you don’t miss out on anything taking place in Thame, search ‘Christmas in Thame’ on Facebook. This will detail any offers and activities throughout advent so to make sure you don’t miss out on these follow the page.
You can read more articles like this one in the latest edition of Thame Out.