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Sunday, 5 December 2010

364 days warning and it STILL catches us by surprise!

Now, I don't want to alarm anyone (actually I do, you should see how funny you look when your hair stands on end and you shout "Ahhhhh!  What the hell was that?!"), but it's only three weeks to Christmas.

Three weeks.  That's, say fifteen shopping days if you don't go at weekends, which are always too busy.  But, if you don't go on Wednesdays (because the shops close early) or Mondays (because who wants to shop on a Monday when you're all hungover and cross), then it's only about seven days.  Ish.  More or less.  So.  You've got seven days to find the perfect present for everyone in the entire world, you don't get paid until a week on Tuesday, your Amazon account is broken, your credit card accidentally snapped in half when you were trying to break into the cupboard at work that everyone refers to as THE CUPBOARD OF DOOM, when funny noises were coming out of it and you suspected that a hedgehog might have got in - all right, it's up five flights of stairs, but hedgehogs can climb stairs, can't they? - and M&S keep sending you e-mails telling you that everyone you know really REALLY wants a purple jumper with sequins on.

Ready?  GO!

Yes, the annual panic is upon us.  Well, it's upon me anyway.  I start in September, carefully hand-selecting items of extreme personal interest to those closest to me, and yet, by the first of December I too have resorted to buying anything labelled '3 for 2' in Superdrug in a kind of ritualistic frenzy, fuelled by egg-nog and Cranberry Surprise. 

I start with those on the outer fringes of my circle, the work colleagues, the cousins, the neighbours.  These all get unfrenzied, thoughtful, hand-picked presents of personal interest and appeal. 

This kind of thing.  Tasteful, and attractive.  Like me.

Next we come to siblings, close friends and parents.  These receive gifts slightly less personally chosen, because by now it's November, the shops are busy and I'm stressed.  But still, nice things.  You know.  Not rubbish or anything.  Useful presents.

 Everyone needs somewhere to put the wheelie bin, right?

Then the kids.  Oh, yes, the kids.  And when you have five of the little....things, this involves quite a lot of shopping.  But, oddly, not that much thought.

Any and all of the above.  Usually all.  Walk into the first shop bearing any of these logos, fill basket, pay, walk out.

But by now it's the middle of December.  Work is busy, there is writing to be done, I haven't yet written a single Christmas card, there's all the food to sort out and the dog was just sick on the carpet.  And I haven't bought a thing for my husband.

Oh, I've looked.  You cannot fault my research skills.  I have surfed the net until my fingers went all wrinkly, I have made lists (which I then lost, but at least I made them) of super, innovative, fun, thrilling and wacky ideas.  And then, suddenly - because 364 days is NOT ENOUGH WARNING, it's Christmas Eve.  And we all know what that means, don't we?

Yep.  He's getting it in purple.  With sequins.  M&S, you win again.


Ruth said...

Absolutely brill! Cheered me up no end, especially since I haven't written a single card or bought any presents .... yet!
Maybe M&S can sort me out too?

Ruth said...

Absolutely brill! Cheered me up no end, especially since I haven't written a single card or purchsed any presents ... yet!
Maybe M&S can sort me out too?

Chris Stovell said...

I think I may sedate everyone in my circle until I've managed to get organised then I can wake them up and impress them1

Joanna St. James said...

its all amazon this year for me, I absolutely shudder at the thought of shopping at xmas time besides it would cut into my writing time.

Talli Roland said...

I'm doing all my shopping on December 24. It's an annual challenge I set for myself.

Lara said...

I often read your blog, now that jumper has really caught my eye. Is it really M and S?

Jane Lovering said...

Sadly, I fear the featured jumper is actually more S&M than M&S. No sane individual would wear it unless they wanted to be beaten senseless, would they?

And, I have to report that I have almost finished my Christmas shopping! Try not to hate me... anyway I've still got food to get. And yes, Joanna, I DO resent the loss of writing time.