Yet again, Christmas has crept up. One minute it’s August and we’re all moaning about those Christmas cards and decorations which are creeping into the shops, and the next it’s late November. And I’m starting to worry. I’m not a late shopper and I’m not an early shopper. I’m an in-between shopper and it’s time I got a grip and got on with it.
When the kids were younger, I used to take two, yes TWO, whole days off work to do Christmas shopping. And my husband even joined me on one of them. Then it became one day off with husband, one day off without husband and now it’s pick up bits in supermarkets and online and worry a lot.
On my first Christmas shopping day in mid-November, I used to buy my cards and wrapping paper. Haven’t done that yet. Every year I curse writing Christmas cards and wonder why I do it and why I send so many, but I can’t be one of those people who don’t do it. Although I have nothing against them. On the contrary, I respect them for saying no and cutting down on their own hassle.
First I think about my own kids – find out what they want here. I forget we buy for other people. Then I remember, then I panic. We don’t buy much for adults – just token presents in recognition that they buy presents for our kids, but that they don’t (on the whole) have kids, so here’s a present for you and when you have kids we’ll stop buying for you and just buy for your kids.
Then there’s the other kids. We don’t buy for many of them. Just our nephew in America. And my husband’s cousin’s kids. And our friends down the road. And my daughter’s best friend. And now our brand-new nephew. And we’d better buy something for the new nephew/ niece due a week after Christmas.
And there’s my husband, of course.
Oh, and the teachers. And the TAs. And the Secret Santa for work.
Suddenly it’s looking like a big job, not something that can be completed when I nip into Sainsburys to buy a couple of things.
Online shopping is great, but we can’t use our own computer or our own iPad, because the kids like surfing ebay and Amazon. They see what we’ve been looking at and what we’ve bought, so I will need a session on my mum’s computer. And what about discounts? Do I hang on for vouchers and offers or do I just get on and buy stuff? I don’t want to leave it until everything is sold out, but nor do I want to buy something and find it’s got 25% off the next day.
In short, it’s all stressful. Big respect to anyone who enjoys Christmas shopping. I’m not a total Scrooge, I enjoy Christmas, but shopping… Aaaagh!
And I know what you’re thinking, while I’ve been writing this, I could have started it.