Like it or not, the festive season is coming thick and fast, and that can only mean one thing: it's time to pull up those socks (or stockings), face the elements and start your Christmas shopping.
Of course, online shopping is a warm and convenient way to make purchasing decisions, but if you're the kind of person that likes to Christmas shop in person, why not turn your trip into a little adventure?
There are sack loads of great Christmas shopping options in and around Stoke-on-Trent, but if you're looking for something a unique, you might want to venture away from the usual outlets and shopping centres.
That said, here are a few alternative Christmas shopping gems in and around The Potteries for your browsing pleasure:
Late night shopping at Middleport Pottery
Home of Stoke-on-Trent's iconic Burleigh Pottery brand, Middleport is not only a joy to visit during the festive season, but if you're looking for something that you just can't find anywhere else, this is the place to go.
Soak up twinkly views of the legendary pot bank and Trent-Mersey Canal as you browse your way through this winter wonderland; not only will you find endless amounts of fine pottery items, but you'll also be able to get your hands on wonderful artwork, eye-catching homewares and much, much more.
Victoria Hall Christmas Market
Opening on the 10th December for one day only, the Victoria Hall Christmas Market promises to be a real pre-festive treat - and rumours have it - this year, the organisers have really pushed the boat out.
With artisan food and drink stands, arts and crafts for the kids, vintage fairs, a farmers market and seemingly endless stalls of rare Christmas gift, products and trinkets, you'll find everything you need within these four walls - you'll also enjoy an incredibly festive day while you're at it.
The Victorian Christmas Market, Leek
Just a short jaunt out towards the Moorlands, Leek is a magical little market town, especially at Christmas.
Now, if you're looking for an easy day trip coupled with a spot of alternative Christmas shopping, you can't go wrong with a trip to Leek's Victorian Christmas Market. Happening on 17th December, this event offers a real trip back in time with market sellers dressed in full Victorian clobber, a vintage antique market and heaps of live entertainment happening throughout the day. Get your glad rags on!
Stone Christmas Market
Another idyllic market town near Stoke-on-Trent, Stone is hosting its annual Christmas market on 23rd December to get everyone in that full festive spirit for the big day.
Stone's organisers always go all out for their Xmas market so you can expect a full itinerary of festive fun for the whole family including top-notch entertainment, food and drink stalls and an exceptional selection of festive gifts on sale throughout the day.
Wherever you decide to do your Christmas shopping, we hope you have a wonderful time doing so and if you have any of your own festive suggestions, please do share them with us by leaving a comment.