Isn’t Christmas shopping a joy? Of course it is. You’ve already spent lots of time researching the best place to buy the things your friends families and sundry associates have either indicated they’d like or have provided a written document detailing their exact requirements. Oh the joy which is the spirit of Christmas.
Soon it’s time for you to sally forth and purchase said items within a time period which is acceptable to you and your shopping partner/Santa’s little helper/donkey – delete as applicable.
Let us take a small step back however and consider some of the other options available.
Have all your Christmas presents bought before the end of October.
People who do this tend to be no strangers to OCD, they do not step on cracks and if you share the same living space with one of them your main course plate will be washed, dried and put back in the cupboard before you’ve wiped your mouth with your napkin which will also illicit a slight scream, sine the napkin will now need washed, from the person previously mentioned in the same sentence as OCD.
This Christmas present buying strategy is not an option unless you also are leaning towards OCD.
This can be carried out in the comfort of your favourite armchair. The Internet has become a useful tool in sourcing and procuring goods and services at a price point, which suits your particular wallet. Whilst this is possibly a good solution you may remember last Christmas (not the version by our good friend and jaunty chum George Michael, however).
Last Christmas was subject to copious amounts of snow for some weeks prior to present opening. Vis-à-vis Internet purchases requires a wee man in a very large van bringing them to your door and you signing digitally in acceptance of said goods.
Copious amounts of snow reduce the integrity, of wee man in a very large van, delivery possibilities. Not only will said parcel not appear, it will be stored safely and securely at a central location until such times as snow has gone down the drain. The resulting backlog pays no heed to Christmas deadlines resulting in Christmas going down the drain for those who were relying on next day deliveries.
Other issues include being broken, disappearing or the goods being not as were intended i.e. guff which has no resemblance to the photie on the website.
Make the presents for people yourself. This is a one-way ticket to social exclusion. To most people this is enough to reduce the probability of making presents to a very high odds point. However, if you are of the persuasion that penny pinching is an exiting and rewarding activity you will risk all on the basis that social exclusion will reduce your out goings regardless. Result!
Okay, so it’s December and you’re off to the shops to buy the stuff you want. Unless you live close enough to walk to the shops you will have to bus it, taxi it or drive it
The trip back on the bus will convince you that public transport has become a social experiment. All extremes of humanity and some gems from the animal kingdom will be aboard the bus best routed to get you home. You will neither have the patience nor the psychological profile required to deal with such a journey. Cease and desist should be your watchwords when contemplating bus travel in December and certain other times of the year.
A taxi then, your private means of door-to-door transportation. Sit back and enjoy a comfortable personal experience in silence. Your driver may well have other ideas. He will regale you with tales of traffic mayhem, tram-building flaws, and weather reports whilst driving down the bus lane at a speed that is not conducive to stately progress.
Your driver will also interrogate you on your purchases: what they are, where you bought them and how much they cost. He will offer advice on where you may have gone wrong, why you have paid well over the odds and how he could introduce you to one of his “mates” who can get you this sort of “gear” at a fraction of the cost. Following this advice may provide you with a further experience, that of eating porridge on Christmas morning in the “pokey”.
So you’re left with driving and parking. This is really a two-person job. One to drive and drop you off and keep circling the one-way system until you have secured your purchases You, as lead participant, will be running from shop to shop and meeting up with car and driver at the pavement occasionally so you can load the purchases made so far, into the boot or the back of said vehicle or roof box if the number of presents you need are huge.
The alternative is to park. To achieve this you need a space to actually park in and a significant loan from the IMF with security from the World Bank to pay for this rarest of species the empty parking space. It is a well know scientific fact that an empty parking space in December is easier to spot than one of those Higgs boson particles in the Hadron Collider.
Your bank account has been assaulted by a number of vendors of the finest goods suitable for being Christmas presents. It is then further assaulted by parking charges and the costs of coffees and a slice or three of expensive cakes.
Your carefully prepared list will begin to take on a similarity to a fantasy fiction novel as the goods you had intended buying are either no longer available, have rocketed up in price or are only available as tawdry returned items.
Take my advice. Cease and desist. Give cash instead. Save the travel money for buying Gin and such like. Relax on your bottom in your own home.