As I write this, a flurry of last-minute gift ideas is descending into my in-box. Every one of them smacks of desperation. Am I tempted? I’m not.
No, not me, why would I be? Do I seem so disorganized?
How do they know, these smart-alec sales-people, that I haven’t been stockpiling gifts since the autumn? Actually, scratch that thought, perhaps I started my shopping last January. I might have a drawer full of choices. Maybe I’m so well prepared they’re all wrapped and labelled, too.
Am I so lacking in imagination that the best I can manage is a bar of chilli-chocolate; a jar of seasonally decorated brandy-butter, or a packet of cranberry and orange fudge? All, of course, offered with festively-inflated last-minute price tags.
Perhaps the producers of these specialised goodies have one week to sell them in, and the profits have to keep them afloat for the other eleven and a half months of the year. It’s probably only cynics who believe that those marketeers are marketing wizards, cashing in on our desire to celebrate with ever increasing pizzazz.
On the plus side, Dan, our postman, tells me that he’s happy to be working extra shifts this Christmas. ‘It’s all the parcels,’ he says. ‘We’re struggling to get on top of it all. So many people do their shopping on line, these days.’
I can feel Mr Scrooge hovering at my shoulder, pre-transformation, whispering, ‘This rampant consumerism is the disease of your time.’
I’ve checked, and while Mr Scrooge has a point, some believe that the roots of our Christmas celebrations are found in ancient Rome’s celebration of Saturnalia. For centuries, the gifts given in December celebrations were sweets, fruit and small homemade objects. It may be that, in Britain, we can blame the industrial revolution (nineteenth century) for changing our spending patterns. Yahay, it’s not our fault!
Excuse me while I go off to look in some bookshops, in the High Street, because the reality is that I am a last-minute shopper looking for inspiration, and what better gift could I give? Hmm, perhaps a gift to charity?
I hope you have a lovely festive season and a Happy New Year. I’m taking a festive break from blogging, and will be back on 6th January 2020. ✨🍷🌲💖❇🌐🥳✨✨❇