Restrictions of lockdown 2 are lifting from 2 December, and while East Sussex gets ready to enter tier 2 restrictions, non-essential shops can re-open. It’s time to show our local high street and independent businesses some love – let’s shop local this Christmas!

There are two types of Christmas shoppers. Those that start early and are finished by the end of November, or those of us that tend to leave it until the last minute.

If you’re in that first camp, we applaud you. But if you tend to start thinking about gifts the week before Christmas, read on…

This year, with COVID-19 making our postal service busier than ever (the postal service was as busy as it usually is at Christmas during the peak of the pandemic), our local shops taking a massive hit due to lockdown restrictions, and the remaining possibility of self-isolation; it is wise to make a start on your Christmas shopping sooner rather than later. This year has been a bit of a non-event already, no one wants Christmas to be the same!

Christmas gift and dried flowers.

Where to shop –

Shop local

Christmas shopping on your high street this year will be more vital than ever for local businesses. With the second wave of COVID hitting the high street’s recovery, Christmas could be pivotal for many local shops. Now is the time to browse and enjoy looking at items properly before buying gems you wouldn’t have found through a search bar. Wrap up warm and make a day of it, enjoy a hot chocolate out. Remember, under tier 2 restrictions you can only meet up in a shop or restaurant with your household or support bubble.

Remember, you can – and must – shop safely. Just think: Hands. Face. Space. Wash and sanitise your hands regularly, wear a face covering if you are able to, and keep two meters away from anyone not in your household. Some shops will also have restrictions on the number of people they are allowing in at one time, so please take a second to check any signs before entering.

We recommend avoiding busy places to help reduce the spread of the virus. If you can shop outside of peak times, please do!

Need some inspiration? Check out these links:

1066 Country – Independent shops

 A guide to independent Lewes

Shopping in Eastbourne

Shopping in Bexhill

(Please check before you travel. We don’t own these websites and content may not be up to date!)

Christmas shopping online

With COVID-19 still a risk it has sometimes felt safer and easier to order online. If this is what works best for you, continue to do so, especially if you are shielding or have been asked to self-isolate.

Your local shops may have online outlets, or you can support smaller businesses on sites such as Etsy. Some of these sites will ask you to wait longer for your order than you would with larger online sites. Independent sellers may be running with fewer staff members as they socially distance while working, which is why we’d recommend placing your orders now so you can support them.

The Amazon in the room…

While it offers cheap prices and fast delivery, not everyone sees Amazon as the most ethical choice. Most of the sellers on Amazon will have their own websites you can order from instead, which means you’ll be supporting those businesses directly. The high street is in competition with Amazon for Christmas sales and now is the time to use your local shops, or risk losing them forever.


Where will you be getting your Christmas gifts from this year? We’d love to hear. If you’re planning to visit local shops please feel free to mention them in your comment.