No Ho Ho

Now I promised myself I wouldn’t write a post about Christmas.  Too obvious.  It’s all been said before. It’ll only be yet another tick in the ‘are you a scrooge’ box.  Bah humbug…

But this is relevant.  Honest it is.  It’s about how not working is even more brill at Christmas time.

I’ll be frank, like many others, I dread Christmas, and the overlong run-up to it.  Good grief, even back in September people were asking me if I’d started my Christmas shopping. No I bloomin’ haven’t.  It’s wrong. Starting that early is wrong.  Suppose I see something better nearer the time? Suppose someone asks for something in particular and I’ve already gone out in mid-summer and bought early? And besides, buying presents should get you in that jolly ol’ Christmas spirit just at the right time.  Should.

In reality,  I’ve always left it to the last minute.  We live in a small market town, which is nice, but not especially good for full-on Christmas shopping sessions, so I’ve always had to take a day off work to go to the nearest shopping mall, and a day is never enough. I’m not one to pick up the first thing I see and buy it.  Oh no.  Instead, I’ll make a mental note and go back to it if I can’t find anything else, which I invariably can’t.  It doubles…triples, the time and stress involved.  Then, of course, you ‘re trying to manouevre through crowded aisles with huge heavy bags that are cutting into your fingers and turning them as blue as the air is from the cursing.

‘why don’t you shop on-line?’ you may ask.  Well, this would be a very sensible option, but of course, working full-time, I have never been home to take in the parcels when they arrive.  I don’t know which I hate more, those cards through the letterbox asking me to ring to arrange another time (I’m always at frigging work don’cha know), or ‘we’ve returned your parcel to the depot.’  Which means a trek across town to queue up while a surly post office bloke searches through a mountain of other peoples parcels before asking me for identification which I more often than not have forgotten to take.

Anyhoo, this year it’s different.  This year I have shopped on-line at my leisure, and been at home to accept my post from the smiley delivery folk, all of whom, to a man/woman, are relieved that for once, someone is home and they haven’t entirely wasted their day.

I’ve also ferreted about in the corners of our town which remain untouched by the pound shops and bargain stores, and managed to find some lovely privately owned shops selling unusual and delightful bits and pieces.  It was actually fun.  You actually get to chat to the shop owners, who actually care.

So despite not having so much dosh to spend (perhaps partly because of that too) this year my Christmas shopping has been, so far, happily, relatively stress-free. Now just need to face the supermarket to stock up on a mountain of seasonal food….ho, bloomin’, hoho…

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