At first Secret Santa seems like quite an elegant solution to a thorny problem. Rather than have lots of people buy lots of presents for each other, with everyone ending up out-of-pocket and in receipt of lots of terrible gifts, why not draw names so each person buys one gift and gets one gift in return. Savings are made, as those involved aren’t buying as much, but the gifts might be better as you can probably set a higher budget for that one gift. It seems perfect. Read the rest of this entry »
I’m probably reading too many things right now. I have several books on the go, plus some other books that I haven’t officially given up on, but probably won’t be picking up any time soon. There are a few magazines and old newspapers kicking about, with articles destined to never be read. My Instapaper account is neglected. So are some of my favourite blogs. But I keep plugging away. Read the rest of this entry »
Christmas is coming!
I’m really quite excited about Christmas this year. In previous years I fell into the trap of going ‘bah humbug’ until it was too late, and only feeling truly Christmassy by Boxing Day. Which is obviously no good at all.
So, in the past couple of years I’ve gone for it. This year is no exception. My life is currently soundtracked by Christmas songs, I’m chomping at the bit to decorate the flat, and my advent calendar is being opened at regular intervals.
However, there is one aspect I’m wary about, and that is Christmas shopping.
On the one hand, I work right behind London’s Oxford Street, one of the world’s most famous shopping thoroughfares. However, that also means it is one of the busiest. It’s not much fun negotiating the shoppers and tourists at the best of times, let alone Christmas.
Despite this, tomorrow I will brave Christmas shopping in London.
Like the typical, stereotypical male, I have no list and few real plans. But I’m going to do it, anyway. I’m psyching myself up for the task. I may well plot a route, from shop to shop and back again. Or I might just wing it, like the maverick, loose cannon, play-my-my-own-rules shopper that I am.
I may, of course, decide to abort the mission after an hour and go to the pub, convincing myself that I was just ‘scouting out options’.
So, why don’t I just order online? One – I’m not that organised. For most people I haven’t a clue what to get. Generally I leave shopping far too late, although this is probably the earliest date in living memory for me to start Christmas shopping (I used to leave it until Christmas Eve, but I haven’t the nerve for that anymore). Two – shopping online is just not the same.
As much as Christmas shopping can be a stressful and distressing experience, secretly, I think it can also be a lot of fun. Weaving my way around busy streets, bags of presents in hand, is sure to get me in the Christmas mood. And that’s just what I’m looking for.
A further report may follow in the coming days, depending on how well (or badly) it goes. In the meantime, how is your Christmas shopping going? And any tips on making the shopping more fun, or more constructive?