Alison’s Advent Calendar Day Four – Shopping

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Petty Cury, Cambridge.

Wednesday is late night shopping in Cambridge, and the thought fills me with horror. In many ways I’m not a stereotypical woman, which is evidenced by my loathing of shopping. I hate it! My approach to shopping, when I have to do it, is to know exactly what I want to buy, exactly where I’m going to buy it, choose the quietest time possible, execute my dash-buy-dash home manoeuvre, retire to the nearest pub/café, and relax. Yes, there’s no getting round it; I shop like a bloke – apart from the fact I don’t leave my Christmas shopping until an hour before closing time on Christmas Eve!

There was a time I used to get caught up in all the consumerism surrounding Christmas; consumerism I now despise. The pressure put on people, especially parents, to spend a ridiculous amount of money grows with each passing year, and I can almost understand why many people now claim to hate Christmas. Really, advertisers, who can afford to buy their family and friends an iPad each for Christmas? Oh, and what are their contact details?

Joking aside, I now turn my back on the Christmas consumerism, and find my festive season a lot more relaxing as a result. As I said, I do feel sorry for parents, whose children are bombarded with temptation every time they tune in for their favourite television programmes. My partner has three young granddaughters, and of course we buy presents for them. I’m not so old that I can’t remember the excitement of seeing lots of brightly wrapped presents sitting under the tree on Christmas morning – most of the ones addressed to me containing Lego. I’m saddened to see Lego now marketed as a boy’s toy. Really? Lego was my saviour when I was a little tomboy; rescuing me from the boredom of dolls and bead sets, and introducing me to an exciting world of creation usually only offered to the boys. How I used to beg Father Christmas for a boy’s toy during pre Christmas visits to his Grotto, but to no avail. Another bead set was added to the jumble sale pile, as I looked on in envy at the neighbours’ three sons playing with toy cars, water pistols and cowboy hats. Bah!

In my quest to avoid the Christmas rush as much as possible, I wholeheartedly embrace the idea of online shopping – although that comes with problems of its own. Despite the fact I only work part time, and am therefore at home a lot more than most people, the delivery always seems to arrive when I’m out. Then I have to make my way to the sorting office, which is – you guessed it – in town.

So, with my non-commercial Christmas just over the horizon, surely my minimal shopping is all but completed. Let’s see, shall we?

  • Children’s presents – bought.
  • Partners presents – not saying if he’s getting any!
  • Cards – bought.
  • Wrapping paper – bought.
  • Christmas booze – advisable to leave this purchase until the last possible moment!
  • Mince pies – bought, eaten, bought again, eaten again…
  • Made a list – not yet.
  • Checked it twice – I’ve not made it yet, dumb arse!
  • Created Christmas play list on iPod – weeks ago.
  • Listened to it – lots.

Good luck to anyone heading into town for late night shopping. I won’t see you there.

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Advent Calendar 004Today’s advent calendar picture: A little bird with a Christmas card.

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