So here we are on the downward straight to Christmas – isn’t it exciting?! There is probably no easier way to divide an audience than to ask them about Christmas. As many people that relish it and countdown from August (No, that isn’t me) and get their festive jumpers washed and ready in October (OK, that might be me) there will be the same number of people that either don’t care or actively loathe it.
And just like religion and politics it is very unwise for any of the ‘Happy Christmas’ gang to try to persuade the opposition to defect – it’s just not going to happen. I accepted this years ago and I am a lot happier for it. I will still continue to wear my reindeer jumper with pride and extoll the virtues of roasted chestnuts.
Some people carry on regardless, mumble obscenities under their breath (yes, I do do that but it’s not Christmas related) they try to block it out, pretend it’s not happening and avoid all things festive. But however you feel about the season of good cheer there is one thing most people cannot avoid and that’s Christmas shopping.
Again the camp will be divided into those that get excited about finding the perfect gifts and those that anything will do, those that plan out trips to specific stores and those who grab a few things at the local petrol station.
It will be no surprise to regular readers that I obsessively plan out my approach to Christmas. There is a spreadsheet with columns for budget, ideas, actual items purchased, cost and a column to tick when the items are wrapped. I know this would drive many to the gin bottle but it works for me. It also means that most of my shopping is completed by now with just a few things left to buy (mainly so I can enjoy the late night shopping and Christmas markets – so much better when you are buying things).
On one hand this is a great low risk strategy as I will most definitely have most things sorted by the big day, on the other hand there are a couple of small issues. Firstly, when you have children in the family they are usually too easy to buy for, you and they are bombarded with adverts for all the must have toys and whatever you buy in October may well have been overtaken by something else come December. I have seen more than one parent with eyes like a bush baby and sweat reminiscent of the pilot in Airplane when their child has informed them days before Christmas that they no longer want the one thing they have been on about for months but now only want this special something they have never mentioned before this moment. And let me tell you there is no amount of persuasion that will alter their mind because if they’ve been good then Father Christmas will get it for them – arghhhhh!
Secondly, I think my memory may be going, as I have discovered presents I must have bought early then completely forgotten about and then bought the same person something else. This makes it costly.
Secondly, (nope, memory is just fine) that afternoon I had that bad attack of the EBays and ‘won’ oh so many brilliant things at amazingly reasonable prices is now coming back to haunt me. It was quite alright that they were being delivered standard delivery from China because they had the whole of November to get here. Now that November is coming to an end and there is still no sign of them I had better don my Christmas pudding hat and get out there!
Bella’s first novel, It Started at Sunset Cottage is due to be released in February 2015 by Harper Impulse. She was a runner-up for the New Talent Award at the 2013 Festival of Romance and a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Every fortnight, Bella will be sharing her experiences and advice as a new author. She also has her own blog – www.bellaosborne.com