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Column 9th December 2020

Will markets provide outdoor shopping for Christmas

Last Friday would normally have been the Dickensian evening in Wantage, but that was cancelled, yet outdoor markets continue.

The WI country market which used to be in the Vale and Downland Museum is now outside in the Market Place on Friday mornings.

The Wednesday and Saturday morning markets continue with the number of stalls increasing since Covid first appeared.

There are also three Christmas Markets this year on Sundays. The first was last Sunday 6th December with the others on 13th and 20th. They will operate from 10 until 3pm so if you haven’t got any Christmas presents yet these markets might give you some ideas.

As usual the District Council car parks in Wantage will be free to use on Saturdays in December (as will Faringdon and Abingdon – Didcot car parks will be free on Mondays) and all car parks in the Vale are free on Sundays.

Shopping outdoors does have some advantages in this Covid-19 world, but do remember that you still have ensure that social distancing between different households or support bubbles is maintained at all times.

I guess many families are like mine with family members spread all over the country and in some cases, all over the world.

Usually we try to get together at some time over the Christmas period but this year that’s not possible and visits will be online.

Most Christmas presents will be either sent directly to the recipient from the supplier or wrapped and posted by me. Santa is the only person delivering in person!

We have got very used to online shopping this year but I still prefer to see things (if at all possible) before I buy and the markets make this possible.

We’ve also got the issue of Christmas Cards. Many charities make much of their money from the sale of Christmas Cards so, in a way, it seems churlish to send electronic greetings instead.

I guess one answer is to give the money that you would have spent on cards to the charity directly.

We did debate whether to send cards or not, especially as the mail service is so busy already. But as so much of our life is online now, the giving and receiving of a card seems much more tangible.

As presents are often things that we don’t need, I may give that money to charity instead so that the charities can spend where the money is really needed.


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