I love Christmas shopping. I start it early and I finish it late. Don’t ask me how this happens. It’s probably down to very poor planning. In fact, it’s often effected by a phenomenon I call ‘Shopping Digression’. This means virtuously vowing to ‘get the whole lot’ in one day then spending all your time in the changing room of the first shop you enter trying on party outfits!
Anyway, I found myself embarking on such an ill fated outing this week. With punishingly good intentions I headed for a shop I rarely find anything interesting in, hoping that I would uncover a multitude of DIY delights to impress my Dad and Father-in-Law. Ten seconds after entering the shop I was entranced by the incredible range of Christmas decorations: sparkling baubles, cute birds which might have been robins, endearingly dressed in bobble hats and scarves, improbable glittery green reindeers and as for lights . . .
Did you know you can get star shaped or flower shaped lights? Lights in the form of angels, santas, spinning tops . . .(ok I made that last one up). Discovering this new passion for illumination I was tempted to drape strings of them over myself and masquerade as a Christmas tree. Needless to say, I didn’t.
I went to another shop, completely forgetting that I was looking for DIY based gifts. This second shop sold furniture but administered stern warnings (in the form of strategically placed signs). I noticed the first one at the entrance: ‘CHILDREN: NO RUNNING OR JUMPING’, a little further in was ‘NO TOUCHING’ and next to a bedroom set up: ‘DO NOT INTERFERE WITH THE DISPLAY’. I found myself laughing at these ludicrous rules and felt like jumping up and down on the nearest mattress in protest! Instead, I left the shop and returned home empty handed. The moral of this story? The public (and writers in particular as they spend a lot of time sitting down) need to be able to try before they buy. So, don’t warn off your customers, invite them in, encourage them to plonk their bums down on your plush cushionry. It might just make you some money!
Returning to Christmas shopping (and sundries) my advice is to relax. As long as it’s all done before the big day everybody’s happy. And if there’s a writer in your life, buy them one of those antique looking desks (that are really modern) with the cool slidey out bit. They’ll love you forever! 😉