CHRISTMAS shopping must be done locally. This was a New Year resolution, made in January and I am finding it easy to keep.

Saddened at the problems of some of our local high streets my resolution is made without local towns in mind.

Obviously the emphasis is on Cirencester but so many of our towns have so much to offer, as visits to Wotton-under-Edge proved last year.

Tetbury has the expensive elegance of the Highgrove shop, which is always worth a visit. Shopping in Made in Stroud is an experience that is very reassuring.

You cannot get more local than that. As well as the high street there are Christmas Fairs and markets everywhere.

Another extra dimension is visiting a garden centre.

From Almondsbury to Lechlade they offer Christmas goodies in abundance and of course there is always the Christmas tree to purchase.

Burford Garden Centre provided last years.

One method of shopping that must be avoided at all costs is going online or whatever the term is. This impersonal way of purchasing presents conflicts with the warmth and wonder of Christmas.

In your high street visits you can experience joy and jollity and best of all the warmth of human companionship.

This may be strained somewhat by a lengthy Post Office queue, but nothing can beat the hustle and bustle of the popping down the shops experience.

I love the last minute rush.

I have my Christmas Eve morning scramble already planned.

Sitting in front of a screen and keyboard is dull beyond belief.

Furthermore if local shops are not supported will they be here next year?

There is much more than personal pleasure to be gained from staying local.

The whole Cotswold economy benefits.

Our jaunts take in perhaps a breakfast, certainly coffee and cake, sometimes a pub lunch.

Best of all we can enjoy the social interaction that makes a Cotswold Christmas so special.

Get out and enjoy it.

My resolution includes avoiding Cribbs Causeway or other shopping malls.

Their time may come in the post-Christmas sales but until January they are banned as well.

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