We went Christmas shopping yesterday. Our annual trip to Bluewater. We do it there because Lakeside is through the tunnel and we’d have to pay. I planned it very carefully this year – we have had many trips where we wander around the shops, looking for presents for friends and relatives, and ending up buying ourselves more Christmas tat. This year, I had a list. I started at the beginning of November asking people what they would like for Christmas, assuring them that if they didn’t give me some ideas, they’d end up with me buying things they didn’t want and returning them in the sales in January. So, everyone gave me ideas, and I had a succinct list. We got there yesterday at about midday and hit John Lewis first. I love John Lewis. They’re so classy. I wanted to buy some more mugs and a whole bunch of Christmas tree decorations.
Christmas tree – I managed to persuade Andy that we won’t have the tree he always gets from Wyevale for 10% off. I wanted him to buy a Fraser fir, which he can get from Sussex trees, and it smells of clementine. Anyway, I won, and we have a 7ft tree to decorate. I want to decorate it white, which I was told would cost at least £100 to replace all the baubles, but it didn’t. It cost about £30. I hope it looks good when it’s decorated, but if it doesn’t, then we’ll go back to the old stuff we had last year.
My eldest daughter was very specific and sent me links to all of the things she wanted, which is really helpful, because she knows I’m not much good at this. She told me exactly what her children would like, and what her husband wanted. She’s into cosmetic and beauty products, and her husband will only wear certain retail brands, i.e. no tacky items. My other daughter is not quite so fussy, and gave me some ideas, but was quite vague and is less selective when it comes to gifts. After we had maxed out at John Lewis, we visited Marks and Sparks, and found a whole load more things to spend money on. When we had finished there, a visit back to the car was required, because we couldn’t carry it round with us all day. There’s a very nice Molton Brown store, which also was on the shopping list of things to buy. We needed coffee and cake after that and found a café and stopped for 20 minutes to regroup and tick off items on the list.
I carried this list religiously with me the whole day, visiting many different shops to obtain the correct item, and I even had a pen to tick them off. I was very smug and self-satisfied when I could remove yet another item. I’ve done a lot of shopping for Christmas online, and I await parcels every day. Amazon is my next best friend. Nobody has asked me what I want for Christmas, so I buy my own, books, music, etc.
The Christmas shopping trip was very successful this year. It would appear that everyone has got what they have asked for, and after a meal in a tapas restaurant, we got home in time for The Apprentice.