I find Twitter the perfect place to find validation when your loved ones let you down. Particularly when you consider the really big, important questions in life – like “Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?”
Seriously, every time I turn around someone is telling me how they just finished wrapping the kids’ presents, the tree is up and decorated and their three-bird-roast is in the freezer. On Twitter today, I found some kindred spirits who haven't yet shopped up a storm.
Frankly, I don’t approve. I’m a big believer in having Christmas at Christmas. That means you send your Christmas cards the week before Christmas, you decorate the tree on Christmas Eve (after the crib service) and you don’t start Christmas shopping until after December 14th. That song’s about the 12 days of Christmas after all – unless there’s a 45 day version somewhere that I missed?
I know that some (abnormal) people take the (completely wrong) approach of buying gifts in November, wrapping them up with the paper they bought in the January sales, and hiding them under the bed for a month. What’s festive about that? Aren’t you just reducing Christmas to a shopping exercise that’s basically all about getting it done and dusted?
I love Christmas shopping at Christmas. Always have done – Flea and I go together these days, but pre-Flea, I used to always spend a day shopping with my own Mother.
Granted, I don’t shop at weekends, but I love a bit of hustle and bustle as I browse the scarves in M&S and pointless pretty things in John Lewis. I love picking up a Christmas decoration each year in Heals, and stopping for a mince pie when I need a break. What’s not fun about getting your Christmas jumpers in Gap, and picking up some movies at Borders or HMV?
I love finishing my shopping and heading off to see a Christmas movie or (even better) The Snowman at Sadler’s Wells. Then driving home and listening to our special Christmas compilation CD in the car on the way to the shops (Flea’s favourite song is Christina Aguilera’s Merry Little Christmas while I’m leaning more towards McFly’s CLASSIC version of Deck the Halls.
I just think this notion of “get it over and done with and buy as much as you can as quickly as you can so you don’t even feel it” it just another way Christmas is being devalued. We're losing the connection with what Christmas really is. Or am I being too sentimental?
All this said, of course, there’s no way you’ll find me setting foot in Tesco during December. My Ocado slot was booked well in advance. I’m festive, but I’m not insane.