Everybody knows somebody at this time of year who trots out the line that nobody wants to hear. And here it is. “I’ve done all my Christmas shopping.”
These people truly are the lowest of the low. They will never experience the true panic of skidding into town on Christmas Eve and buying the first bottle of overpriced stinkwater that they see because the shops shut in 10 minutes.
Even the ads on telly go all funny this time of year. A-list Hollywood actresses squeeze out real tears to flog perfume to husbands who can’t think of anything else to buy their wives. There’s a reason posh perfume costs an arm and a leg. The people who make it pay top-dollar movie stars enough to buy their own tropical island to appear in their commercials. A tiny glass bottle of liquid that has its pong fixed to it by whale puke? That’s £60 to you, sir. Please call again.
Thankfully Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the internet in 1990 which means people who don’t like people or shopping can buy what they need from the comfort of their own smartphones in about 15 minutes and it gets delivered straight to their recycling bin front door.
No parking fees, no traffic wardens, no charity muggers, no crowds, no queues, no bags, no bother. That’s what the magic of Christmas means to every man you know, right there.
Of course, our children have put a lot of thought into their Christmas lists. And at first glance it looks like a stocktake at Currys.
It’s hard enough getting eye contact from them these days, never mind a proper conversation, because even when they see fit to be in the same room as you they’ve got their heads buried in a flashing screen.
Addiction? I’ll say. I know 40-a-day smokers who’ve kicked fags easier than our kids have been separated from their iPad/Pod/Phone for a few hours. Thankfully our daughters are realistic about the deepness of the Bank of Mum and Dad’s pockets and haven’t gone to town too much. Daughter #2 even costed every item out for us, although the £27.99 smartphone gloves (with plastic pointy fingers so you can work the screen) may not be in her stocking on December 25.