Season Greetings - This Year and Every Year!
November 2012: the Run Up to Christmas is Worse When it's Cold and There's Only the End of the World to Look Forward to!
Last week in Yorkshire, it began to snow in honour of my birthday and now nearly a week later the inclement weather still hasn’t shown any signs of abating. Wintry snowstorms this bad before Christmas are practically unheard of in the UK and they will likely make a definite impact on the December drudgery of Christmas shopping.
‘Hmm... snow use doing the Xmas shopping just yet - snow buses,’ I joke as my teenage son avalanches in through the back door looking like the abominable snowman. His school is closed due to the weather which pleases him no end. Strange how they always seem to manage quite well in Moscow this time of year in far worse conditions... must be all that vodka keeps them going.
My son tells me he is constructing an igloo in the back garden. ‘You better be careful you don’t make it too big; the council will make us apply for planning permission!’
‘What’s the difference between snowmen and snowwomen?’ I quip.
The usual snow jokes continue as thick and fast as the snow itself and as I search for something hearty for dinner I realise our supplies are getting dangerously low. ‘Never mind Christmas shopping, if we’re snowed in much longer we’ll run out of food!’
I’d already had to make one mad dash to the bank in a snowstorm to stop myself going overdrawn and my thoughts of going into town again for Christmas shopping are currently not exactly festive; Scrooge I’m not, but I absolutely hate snow.
We could always improvise and raid the Christmas hampers Id bought for friends from the ever faithful Rington’s delivery man; we needn’t starve. And as for Christmas presents, I could be lazy, stay at home and order some perfectly packaged perfumery from the nice Avon lady.
And thank goodness for Tesco’s home delivery. If I run out of cash I can do all my Christmas shopping online; the credit card will cope and I need not set one foot outside at all in these freezing conditions.
We could really do with some new hot water bottles and I discover that from Tesco’s online store you can order cute fur- covered novelty penguin and reindeer ones for ten quid each. I can't seem to find any hot water bottles that don't have fluffy, furry protective covers on them nowadays and suspect that health and safety might have something to do with it. But I suppose it solves the problem of Christmas shopping and coping with the big freeze at the same time - a wonderful present for everyone and not exactly daylight rubbery at the price.
Two weeks ago I was sunning myself on a beach in Tunisia where mere thoughts of Christmas shopping nearly convinced me to extend my stay. The thought of winter abroad has its appeal especially when it will cost you less than staying at home and paying the heating bills.
The sight of a Christmas tree long before the arrival of Advent puts me off the whole idea of Christmas shopping but often in the UK we have people putting trees up at the start of September. I realise retailers only have a short time to make their profit but it puts many folks off the thought of Christmas shopping altogether.
My husband is paranoid about the weather. ‘Check the BBC weather online,’ he keeps asking me every five minutes or so.
‘It’s snowing,’ I answer just by looking out the window.
‘Stupid woman, I can see that - check the forecast,’ he scowls at me as if he is preparing for a Russian winter just like the vodka-fueled folk in Vladivostok
He may well be right - tonight the temperature is due to drop to minus 8 and maybe we in the UK should be prepared for Russian winters; after all, we never seem to be ready for extremes of weather; it always catches us by surprise. I can’t even find a pair of Wellington boots and none of my shoes are waterproof or non-slip. In Russia, they have chains on their footwear and you don’t see Christmas shoppers slip-sliding away all over Stalingrad even when they've overdone the Stolichnaya.
So I think I’ll stay in and do all my shopping online this year seeing as my footwear is unsuitable - I daren't go out with my usual shopping bag anyway, the slogan on it says: ‘Stay Cool - Stop Global Warming.’
And talking of things on a global scale, as an added factor to Christmas shopping this year we have the end of the world to contend with on the 21st December. Now that's a bit of bad timing on someone's part.
Homemade Tree Decorations to Spice Up Your Life
22nd December 2012
The world hasn't ended after all so now we'll all have to face up to the fact that there'll definitely be credit cards to pay off, come January. I have little sympathy for the people who took it seriously and did silly things like give away all their worldly goods and announce hugely regrettable things to their bosses.
In the Words of Slade: 'Look To The Future Now, It's Only Just Begun!'
Thank goodness Christmas shopping isn't blighted by thoughts of the end of the world as it was back in 2012. It was a bit of fun though. We were all thinking: 'Whatever are we going to do about our Christmas shopping if all those doom and gloom mongers are to be believed? Should we do it before or after the end of the world?'
It put a whole new angle on Christmas shopping but as usual the run-up to Christmas that year was more about profits than prophets. Some chose to put their Christmas shopping on hold until the end of the world had come and gone but still managed not to miss any bargains in the closing down sales first. And some canny folk even requested their Christmas presents a month early just to be sure. But the world continued on beyond the dreaded date of December 21st (which I seriously suspected it might) so we could all rush out and buy our 2013 calendars with real confidence just in time for Christmas.
Happy Christmas shopping to all shoppers each and every year - even unto the end of the world!
All Set For Dinner!
'Home Sweet Home'
Top Ten Items You Can't Possibly Omit From Your Christmas Shopping List but Probably Will
- Multi-packs of extra long-life batteries in every conceivable shape and form
- Tin foil in the widest imaginable width and the longest possible length
- Replacement fairy lights - one set will always stop working
- Two bags of chestnuts (you'll burn one lot)
- Cranberry sauce
- Extra black bin bags for when the bin men don't arrive for a fortnight
- Next year's diary
- Next year's calendar
- Vegetarian nut roast for the only non-meat eater in your family
- Alcohol free drinks for guests who are going to drive home
'Snow Use Staying Indoors!'
Christmas Lights in Leeds
© 2015 Stella Kaye