Well. No missing the time of year at the shop.  Before you even get into the shop itself, you will be greeted by a wonderful Christmas tree post box topper, and a lovely Seasonal/Christmas display board designed by Siân Keating.  A very big thank you from us all.

The shop now has all sorts of loveliness out on display, all ready for Christmas.  Gift-wrapped panettones, filled with delights such as lemon or pistachio cream, boxes of chocolates of every make and variety, Sicilian lemon marshmallows, festive shortbread, tins of mouth-watering biscuits, mince pies, stollen and all the goodies usually associated with Christmas.  If you fancy a bit of baking or decorating, how about the gingerbread house kit?  And for the meal itself, we stock all the essential sides – frozen Yorkshire puds and parsnips to save a last-minute panic, as well as Christmas pudding of course.

This year, for the first time ever, we are stocking Smock Alley wine.  One of their wines won Bronze in the 2020 Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships, and was recently chosen as ‘Wine of the Month’ by Michael Yeoman, an English Wine Specialist.  What really appeals to me is the way in which Smock Alley is run.  Local workers are each responsible to tend and care for a number of rows of vines.  This truly roots the vineyard within the community – West Chiltington, just up the road.  Much like our very own shop …  So go on, give it a try; you won’t be disappointed.

Now, an idea for a present for someone very special, or even yourself.  It’s a very different sort of present, an investment that would help keep Findon the vibrant village it is.  It’s related to the shop, but you can’t buy it there.  Have you guessed what I’m talking about?  I’ll give you a clue.  Often, we don’t appreciate something until it’s not there.   I am, of course, talking about our shop.  For about six months in 2017, there was no shop.  People had to go elsewhere to go to the Post Office, or to buy their newspapers or provisions.  The village was quiet; Dee Dees suffered, as did Peckham’s.  That was until a share scheme was set up and we managed to purchase the building.  Well, you can see the result of that in our buzzy, thriving community shop.  And we want it to stay like that.  The problem is that times move on, circumstances change, and shares might get taken out.  Meanwhile the need is still there.   If you’re interested in buying a share, contact our Secretary via the shop.

And just to illustrate how much of a community shop we are, we’ve sponsored the sound system in Nepcote Hall, we’re giving hampers to families in need this Christmas, and are supporting the Findon Christmas lights, as well as contributing to the school library and their theatre production.

How about buying bespoke Christmas cards this year?  Maggie Martin has painted a beautiful Christmas flower cart card.  We are also selling cards personalised from Findon in a variety of designs, which are selling well.

What would we do without our post office?  You can buy last minute Christmas gift cards, which always make good presents, as well as posting your parcels.  Which reminds me, the last posting dates are:

First class: 20th December
Second class: 18th December
Abroad: various dates from 6th onwards, so get them sent soon!

And the most important thing you need to know for those last-minute necessities is our shop opening hours:

Christmas Eve: 6.30am-12.30pm
Christmas Day: Closed
Boxing Day: 6.30am-12.30pm
New Year’s Eve: 6.30am-12.30pm
New Year’s Day: 6.30am-12.30pm

Finally, all that remains is for me to wish you all a very happy Christmas, and to remind you that if you need anything over the festive season, you can rely on your community shop.

Jean Burden