The Big Christmas Shop.
A Long Day
One day every year, my friend and I go on our big Christmas shop. As well as our own shopping we both have to do it for older family members as well. Late night shopping has been a help, as we now leave later than we used to and often shop until the store closes.
We go to the Gemini Retail Park in Warrington. There is a large Marks and Spencers', Next, Boots and various other High Street stores. We were basically thrown out of Boots as it was about to close, but it was a way for us to accept a grateful defeat and head for the tills and the long journey home.
We are now back home and despite being very tired, and having a few set backs before we started we have made a big dent in our lists.
Marks and Spencer was a huge disappointment compared to previous years. There was a good choice of clothing, but all other departments were poor. There were hardly any toys, and few books, CDs or DVDs. The gifts section gave very little choice and even though they were being sold 3 for 2 it was not possible to buy anything worthwhile.
Last year there were a lot of little food and drink gifts, but this year there were none. They are handy as stocking fillers, as they would have a small amount of drink and a few chocolates.
It was also surprising how empty the shops where. There was the occasional need to move out of the way, but by and large, trolleys could be pushed without fear of bumping into anyone else. The news has announced that there has been a dramatic loss of earnings due to the snow, but at least it appears that online sales have gone up.
The rest of my shopping will be finished on-line now. I don't mind shopping in person, but if people are behind with what they need, the couple of weeks leading up to Christmas might turn out to be too much of a battle.
Next was Next - with a good idea of what we needed. In the end I settled for the pyjamas I hope my dad will want, and the hope that the final hour in Boots will throw up all the little bits and pieces such as toiletry gift sets. They had a very good choice of three for twos and on a bill that should have been £60 I had to pay just £40.
An added bonus was that the roads were clear both of most of the snow and other road users. It only took us 40 minutes to get home. Still too late to cook though, so a nice relaxing end to the day and dinner from the take a way.