It's only Christmas! This week Liz Dawes is feeling annoyed with all those who have already finished their Christmas shopping
It’s my birthday in late November, and so it is illegal to mention the “C” word in my house until the beginning of December at the very earliest. I simply refuse to have my big day overshadowed by tinsel and elves, no matter how bloody magical the rest of you might think they are. I want my fair share of fuss, cake and massive presents, before the festive season begins, and I will stamp my feet and shake my fists if it doesn’t happen. So there.
Of course, my birthday has now passed, and so friends and family have cautiously started to discuss the purchasing of Christmas gifts (apparently my birthday related tantrums are famous, so they’ve approached with care). I, on the other hand, have yet to give shopping any thought at all due to aforementioned birthday celebrations, and then rather annoyingly losing a week of organising to a filthy cold.
I figured, however, that this was not exactly disastrous. We are still weeks away from The Big Day, and let’s face it, it’s only Christmas. Much as I love a bit of festive cheer, it doesn’t take a military style operation to cobble together a few pressies and a slap up meal, right?
Wrong. According to a recent survey, 38.1% of people start their Christmas shopping before November. In the 3 month run up to Christmas, nearly 70% of shoppers are in the Christmas buying mood. Present buying for three months? Are they planning to give presents to everyone they’ve ever met? Of course, I may be horrified by this over-commercialised nonsense, but retailers have taken full advantage. These uber-organised gift grabbers are the reason there are minced pies in the shops in August and tinselled ho-ho-ho-ing the day after Halloween. Bah Humbug.
Feeling a little panicked, I consulted with friends to find out if they had done their Christmas shopping yet, and was horrified to discover that a number of them (you know who you are) have not only started their Christmas shopping, but finished it, and wrapped all the presents. These same people have also shopped for their Christmas food, bar the fresh stuff they need which they have, of course, already ordered and organised to have home delivered a few days before Yule. Their booze cupboard is stocked, their cards are all written, and I don’t doubt they have the family matching jumpers on order. They will now sit down with an egg nog for the whole of December, smugly pointing at the people who are still dashing about on Christmas Eve.
I hate these friends, have removed them from Facebook and will not be sending them a card this year. So there. We are organising Christmas here, not the G8 Summit, and I simply refuse to join the frenzy. I shall defy their absurd and slightly scary organisational skills, and indeed will prove them unnecessary, as I fully intend to have food, presents and decorations ready in the roughly three weeks I have left. I’m sure that’s plenty of time.