Folks, shopping will never be something I do for fun or relaxation, until the manager at my local supermarket allows customers to cruise the aisles in super-charged golf carts.
So, my Christmas shopping is usually tackled with the same amount of planning as a Commando raid: list the objectives, pick your target, stuff a photo of my family into a pocket, go in hard, grab the goodies, get out, then hold a briefing to work out exactly where everything went pear-shaped.
Usually, it’s in the car park.
Christmas may be a time of peace and goodwill on earth to all men, but in shopping centre carparks it’s every man for himself.
I think we’ve all experienced the joy of the crowded Christmas carpark. Sitting in our vehicles, indicator blinking merrily along with the canned carol music wafting overhead, waiting patiently for someone to finish loading their boot with pressies, then watching them re-lock their car and return to the store leaving you goggle-eyed with frustration, and getting beeped at by the mile long convoy of vehicles backing up behind you.
The first time this happened to me, I choked down the urge to crash tackle the human being concerned and rub their face in a puddle of spilled ice-cream. Instead, I returned home and drank a silent toast to the poor sods I left behind i.e.: the drivers still circling the carpark, the checkout operators, shelf stackers, cleaners and Long Suffering Wife…
These days we can shop online for Chrissy pressies, but this has only added a new batch of worries to our lives, chiefly, PDA, or Parcel Delivery Anxiety, a tension which increases markedly with each passing day as the 24th approaches and the delivery van fails to show.
Personally, I prefer to buy booze for adults (with cash, in November), while children get money to buy something they really want; as opposed to something I think they need.
My suggestion to cancel Christmas completely was vetoed, but, I have been grudgingly allowed to re-name it, so folks, I’ll take this opportunity to wish you all, ‘A Very Merry Stressmas!’