"Please reduce the volume of your stress, I'm trying to watch Elf..."

I’M going to take a step back and prepare to run in case my next sentence gets me lynched: I’ve done all my Christmas shopping.

That’s right, you heard me. I’m the smug one, sipping mulled wine in my onesie.

Let me say it again (it just sounds so delicious): I’ve done ALL my Christmas shopping.

Cards, presents, wrapping paper; the whole lot.

There’ll be no queuing in strangely hot shops, no elbowing through crowds of disorganised husbands and no fighting little old ladies over the last selection box.

And I’ve bought actual, proper presents. There’s not a gift voucher, mug or pair of novelty socks in sight.

I’m allowed to be self-righteous: I’m exorcising the shame that still lingers from the famous ‘Christmas Disaster of 2012’ when I forgot to buy any presents until Christmas Eve. At 7pm.

They say it’s the thought that counts but it isn’t.

Nobody appreciated the air fresheners, Softmints or multi-packs of Coke that I carefully selected from Burton-in-Kendal Services on my way home.

So this year I’ve changed. I’ve turned over a whole tinsel-covered tree.

On Christmas Day my nearest and dearest will be opening presents that they actually like.

And as a result my plan for the rest of the festive period looks something like this: drink wine, eat mince pies, watch Elf.

My life is going to be high street-free until the January sales.

“How can this have happened?” The Fiance says despairingly, as he starts his shopping list.

“I rely on you to make me look better!”

He scrolls quickly through Amazon, clicking the mouse in a panicked way.

I pick up another mince pie and lie back on the sofa.

“Can you please reduce the volume of your stress? I’m trying to watch Elf.”

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