Christmas is coming fast - and that's is what it isn't, a fast...!
Not only are the Geese getting fat, but other things as well.......
! But - there are some tricks to ignore it, at least until January the first, then - naturally, all hell breaks loose for us sleek, trimmed, beautiful guys as well!
Christmas Shopping is unfortunately a part of it all. Most men don't like shopping at the best of times, but go along if it's for beer, wine, spirits and other really necessary stuff.....!
Our real problem is that we can't honestly think of what to buy for girls that have everything - after all, they've got US - so what the devil could they possibly want on top of that...?
Well - I've got a little tip of how to get around all that.
How about doing what I invented with my late wife? We never had a lot of money - skudos and stuff, especially when everything had been bought for table and decorations. After all, the ancestral home had to be brought up to scratch, and later I would have the joy of pricking all open points of my flesh trying to get the used, dead tree out of the door, and then clean up my traces by sweeping up all the dropped needles. Nowadays they're "treated" and the needles only fall of all at once, with a "whooshe" that brings the tears to our damsel's eyes....!
In vain I had tried to point out the enormous advantages of "artificial" to no avail!
I'd even tried suggesting "we've got no room" - all that brought was such a disappointed look, and an "I know you're right, dear" - forcing me to go out and get the biggest, best and most expensive example of the "King of the forest" at such exorbitant prices that one presumed the only "King" was going to be the guy that sold them...!
Finally, to make an attempt at "economising, and to make it all a bit easier, we decided on a little bit of "rules and regulations".
When all was bought, stored - placed ready, We looked at what was left over from our "budget" and split it down the middle - half each!
Generally this worked out around twenty quid (GBPound Sterling) each - at the time a small fortune, and off we went - into the "madding crowds" - each of us in his/her own direction.
The rules were simple. The winner was he/she who managed to get the highest number of "presents"...for the 20 quid! "Quality" wasn't desired - usefulness - yes, but particularly quantity....!
Our paths would occasionally cross, and we would try to hide what we'd already found, and each of us tried to "spy out" the volume of things being carried by the other...before rushing off, frantically looking for ...more....more...more...!
It was good fun - it made the task of shopping more enjoyable, it took away the stress of thinking too much...so long as things were "wrappable" it was OK!
Of course, for the wrapping paper had to be thought about, and a certain sense of "ingenuity" was required! Of course the traditional styles were available carefully stored from countless previous Christmas's, Easters, New Years, Birthdays - even weddings ( and at this time we'd been married for over 10 years....!) but there WERE the occasional stroke of genius from one or the other...toilet paper to wrap up a small bottle of cheap perfume, newspaper (generally the "Times") to wrap up the perfumed, luxury, super-sensitive roll of toilet paper which was the gift.....!
Of course the famous wrapping paper from long gone times, when quality brown and real twine string was used... was not forgotten either, and the mandatory (annual) visit to the Supermarkets which offered free wrapping paper had already been done. We only went to those supermarkets once a year because they were much more expensive than the others, probably because they had to pay, somehow, for the excessive turn over of free wrapping paper, but for the price of a tin of baked beans, or a can of beer, it's surprising what you can get....!
After passing through the check out and pay desk, we met up again, and - hiding jealously our purchases, we went to the Cafeteria, and BLEW anything that was left in pockets, purses, wallets and handbags...!
As one well known Lancashire stand up comedian once said - "Tired but 'appy, we wended our weary way back - from the beach....!" (It was particularly amusing because he was black/brown in colour and creed, but with a magnificent Lancashire accent)
Of course, our "weary way" was back from the store......
Once home, we went off into separate rooms and did our best to pack the things. Invariably my wife was the winner at that - she had the patience, I didn't!
Then came the grand moment - the presents were ceremonially carried in and carefully placed under that expensive tree, to slowly disappear under a whole bunch of pine needles....! A bit of Christmas music was played, a "vin chaud" or "mulled wine" was slurped, and we were terribly happy....!
All gone now - just memories, but that's also what Christmas is all about, and - who knows, maybe I'll get some of it back in future Christmas's...!
Have a nice preparation time...it's all part of it.....
iwmpop (mr le marquis) - Vauvert, France - Fin Novembre 2010
weather at Vauvert, France
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