What turns a shop into a superstore? After all the build-up to the launch of a new superstore in our nearest market town, I happened to be away on holiday when it finally opened. I forgot all about it till driving past one evening after the clocks had changed and there it was, like an alien spaceship, its strange round tower all lit up. A small alien bribe had landed on my doormat while I was away – £8 a week in vouchers for the first four weeks, clearly designed to have me inescapably in their thrall by the time my big Christmas shop was due. But who’s interested in aliens when your own planet is perfect?
Because here on Planet Hawkesbury, we’ve already got all we need for the Christmas season. In November we had three special festive shopping events, thanks to Pre-school, the Primary School PTA and Severn View Farm, each packed with fabulous gifts that you’d never find in the biggest, brightest chainstore.
And if you didn’t manage to pick up all your presents at these events, we’ve got our own gift shop on the doorstep all year round – aka Hawkesbury Post Office, whose tasteful gifts are eminently easy to mail, ideal for posting to friends and family far from home. And let’s not forgot our lovely Hawkesbury calendar and Christmas cards!
The Village Shop is happy to order in all our Christmas food shopping, to arrive just in time for the festivities. We won’t need to fight traffic jams or risk the winter weather. (Last December’s deep snow must have caused havoc for anyone who left their shopping till the last minute.) Give Ann and Mark your list and they’ll do the rest. Now that’s what I call a super store.
So this year I’m going to be avoiding the Christmas rush. I’ll be spending all my time with family and friends instead – and enjoying the many seasonal events that will surely be previewed in this month’s parish mag. I hope you will too.
(This post was originally written for the December 2011 issue of Hawkesbury Parish News)