I don't know about you, but I always find hunting for the perfect present unbearable. Casting off into the tumultuous sea of shoppers on Princes Street is always a test of tolerance, and it's difficult to find something really unique and meaningful... a pair of socks just isn't going to cut it anymore, ladies and gents! Never fear: I'm here to help. If you're one of the many lost souls in the centre of town, bedraggled and just about giving up hope on that glorious gift, take my hand, let's get outta here!
First of all, let's talk clothes. I would like to draw your attention to a shop on Cockburn Street: Cookie. One thing this shop does well is sell a damn good dress. Impress your loved one with a swishy-skirted, polka-dot or floral number, and they will love you forever. I bought one for myself on my birthday: best gift I have given myself by far! If your recipient is a quirky character, look no further than Armstrongs. Three shops in Edinburgh, the largest being their one down in the Grassmarket. Buy your lovely a fur coat (they stock faux as well as real) to dull the winter's chill, or perhaps purchase your beaux a snazzy bow-tie... there really is something for everyone.
Jewellery is always a go-to for presents. Sometimes it can have sentimental value and other times it's a "uhh I went into Accessorize and bought the first thing I picked up" gift. If you want to treat someone to something real and one-of-a-kind this Christmas, hit up those antique shops! A good one to go to is Cabaret, which sits up and round the corner from the Grassmarket area on West Port. There is a wide (and I'm talking wiiiiiiide) selection of brooches, necklaces, bracelets, etc. Plus, there is a wondeful selection of second-hand books down the rickety stairs at the back! Buy your loved one a real, leather-bound copy of their favourite classic.
If you're looking for something with a little more modernity, you can't fail with the Red Door Gallery on Victoria Street. Stocked with notepads, cards, jewellery, planners and prints from contemporary artists (as well as a few good Lomography cameras and some Polaroid film), this has been a long-time favourite shop of mine in Edinburgh. Hannah Zakari on Candlemaker row also has some wonderful gifts along the same vein: great jewellery, bags and some other homewares.
You really have no excuse... get spending!