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The Golden Rules of Christmas Shopping
Christmas. I adore it. December 25th is my absolute favourite time of the year. The mix of nostalgia, rest and delicious food always excites me.
I recall waking to the scent of my grandmother cooking turkey giblets for my grandad, first thing on Christmas morning. I am still enthralled by the pink plastic high chair I was given by Santa when I was seven years old. Bread sauce is my all-time favourite sauce.
It is truly the most wonderful time of the year.
I have a small humbug-bear. Christmas shopping.
If I ruled the world, I would implement the following three Christmas shopping rules.
Golden Rule 1: All Christmas Shopping Must be Undertaken in December
Christmas day is 25th December. I don’t like seeing Christmas themed sweets in the supermarket in September. It cheapens us all. Christmas is supposed to be special, not a hugely premeditated marketing strategy.
QVC has ‘Christmas in July’. Harrods opens its grotto in August. Very grubby indeed.
There are many people who smugly proclaim ‘Oh, I’ve done all my shopping already!’ at the start of December. I’m not at all impressed.
Starting your Christmas shopping on December 1st leaves plenty of time, and is entirely appropriate.
And while I am always grateful when I receive a gift, if you’ve bought me something vaguely perishable in the January sales (such as a pampering gift set), I’ll pass. Thanks anyway. You see, it is the thought that counts, and if you’ve bought it for me 11 months in advance I’m not entirely sure what you were thinking. I like to think I’m more than a tick on your January sales list. I’d rather we meet up for a cup of tea! Far cheaper, far more meaningful.
Golden Rule 2: People in Power - Make Parking Free
Ok, so I know we all do loads of our Christmas shopping online. It is great! Though, online shopping does have some downsides. Unless the gift is a specific toy or product, it is hard to get a real feel for what the gift will actually be like until it arrives.
The high street gets a bit of a rough deal these days. I know that the extortionate parking charges put people off bothering. I don’t want to pay £3 per hour for the privilege or parking close to the shops. And, the ‘you leave your car here at your own risk’ signs get my back up. For £3 per hour I want a parking warden keeping a kindly eye on my motor! That way, I could make a couple of trips to and from the car so I have my hands free to pick things up from the shelves.
So, if we have to drive (and on a large Christmas shopping trip we might well need a car to hold our bounty of presents), we should be able to park. For free. We may have lost this battle more generally, but at Christmas, some free parking could really help to spread the cheer.
Golden Rule 3: People Should Queue in an Orderly Fashion
Now, we should be doing this all year round. I know, I know. I’m British. We have a ‘thing’ for queueing.
The first rule of queuing is you must not push in! Never! Don’t do it! Don’t even think about it!
We all have our own idea about personal space. If you invade mine, especially in a shop, I get very irritated. You will get a scowl. If you push it, and start to knock in to me in a way that may mystically get you to the front of the queue quicker, I will exclaim;
‘Oh! Do you want to go in front of me?’
I’ve not had a yes to that question yet.
People! Queue nicely! You are no more important or urgent than the person in front of you.
Remember your manners. Even at Christmas.