Christmas Cheer

I’m here in France avec mes parents with only three days to go until Xmas! It has been interesting trying to shop for pressies with a student budget. No matter what your parents say, you can’t turn up empty handed and sit around a bare tree base on Christmas morning.Even if your present is little more than a few hand made cookies or some poorly sewn cushions, the gesture still has to be made. I didn’t do either but I did make an effort.

Unlike some people, I actually enjoy Christmas shopping.I love to take my time sauntering around the shops, eager to see what useless inventions they’re selling as the next MUST HAVE! The first things that spring to mind are tongs for rescuing toast from the toaster without electrocuting yourself. Sorry L, I know they were just a stocking filler but I had to mention them! I’ve survived the last 29 years spearing lost toast with a fork so why would I need tongs now? AH HAA, I get it! Once I hit thirty I’ll start to get frail and uncoordinated so they’ll definitely come in handy!Thanks for thinking of me.

Anyway, this year, shopping was frustrating – my jolly spree was downgraded to trudging around the shops, picking up the gifts I’d like to buy, checking the price tags then replacing them on the shelf! Alas the self heating slippers were not meant for dad this year.

The general feeling of melancholy was exacerbated by the hoards of people pushing and shoving through the stores to get to the novelty gifts like the electric nose hair plucker or the game of chocolate Table Top Twister!I hardly had a moment to commiserate with an interesting gift I couldn’t afford before I was swept helplessly along in the rush.

Where do these crowds come from? Every inch of Nottingham over the last few weeks has been crammed with shoppers. Even getting a cup of coffee is impossible without fighting off a flock of hot, harassed looking ladies with fists full of bags.

I’m sure this frantic last minute shopping frenzy is purely a British phenomenon.I assume this because I’ve just spent the last three hours in a mall (in Switzerland) that was positively dead by comparison.There are only two more shopping days left!In the UK the frenzy would be reaching a crescendo by now.Unlike their British counterparts, the Swiss and the French seemed relaxed and cheery as they float between shops. So, either everything in Switzerland is far too expensive (quite possible) or everyone is terribly organized and finished their shopping two months ago.

Whatever the case my shopping is complete whilst mum is still writing lists and worrying about last minute gifts.My brother arrives tonight – thankfully he didn’t fly as I hear Heathrow is cancelling flights left, right and centre because of the fog… ha hah it sounds like that 1980’s movie…. THE FOG! With the tag line ‘What you can’t see won’t hurt you… it’ll kill you!’

So the year is almost over and 2006 was the last full year as a twenty something! I’m acutely aware that I only have three months left before I need to start applying the Revitalift eye cream, thinking about botox and generally make arrangements for the downward spiral into decrepitude.

Alright! Alright! Calm down boys and girls – I know most of my friends have already made the transition and yes, I know it’s not that bad! So why does society make us believe that the big three ‘o’ should sound more like the BIG THREE OOOOOHHHH!!? By now, according to the rules of society, I should have a career, a house, a marriage and possibly children on the way. Well I can certainly tick off one of those things, namely the house!

The marriage?Hmm…after seven and half years my relationship certainly feels like a marriage. And as for the career, well you already know that the last one went out with the 2006 trash and now I’m scouring the shelves for a brand spanking new one! The course, I might add, is going well.I had a rather hectic last few days when four projects and an essay had to be handed in but surprisingly, this time round, meeting deadlines and writing essays has been sans hair loss, palpitations and general paralysis.

Hang on, where was I… ah yes Children. Well that would be great but for the moment, without a career, and therefore the income and because the next two years are dedicated to student life, they’ll have to wait. Anyway, I don’t need to worry about kids until I’m approaching my 35th birthday (the point at which your reproductive organs start to falter – delicately pointed out by L) and I’m not prepared to contemplate that yet.

Anyway I think I have ranted enough. I’m not actually this bad in real life… or am I? Well, I hope it won’t be so long until the next instalment but just in case, Merry Christmas everyone and have a Happy NEW YEAR!

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