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David Porter » Blogs: My Own » Grumpy Old Shopper 4 – Christmas

Grumpy Old Shopper 4 – Christmas

Nearly Christmas. The nightmare of pre-Christmas is almost over.

The clearing up, sorting out, storing good-idea gifts, credit card bills and all that will form the post-Christmas nightmare, so I can worry about that later.

This year we have shopped more on line. My long-suffering wife has shopped a lot in the traditional, tortuous, frustrating and hideous ways. Usually doubling up the cost of things with car parking charges and coffees. But I have done a lot of internet shopping to help out. Well, I’m concerned to do my bit, after all is said and done.

It should be simple on line. Comfort of your own room, laughably slow broadband speeds. Choose your stuff, your bargains, your three-for-ones, your suggested (by your kids) pressies for the grandchildren. A few clicks, credit card details, and wait for the deliveries.

BUT IT NEVER IS THAT EASY. Cards and numbers that don’t match up. Security questions and passwords forgotten. Why do you need a password and registration with a company that either you will never do business with again, or will be gone to that great Woolworths/MFI in the sky by next year? Two capitals and two lower case, two numbers – yes, they’ve got all that. But still their stupid system will not accept it. And if you have to ring up anywhere… just taking you through a few questions for security. Don’t you get sick of confirming the first line of your address, your mother’s maiden name, your favourite holiday destination and what you had for breakfast three months ago!

Deliveries? Don’t get me started. Don’t ever go out from early morning till late at night so you can receive your parcels from what used to be the Post Office or some other carrier. If you do go out or they think you are out or pretend that they think you are out even if they can see you through your window, you’ll get it left across the road with people you might or might not trust. And then have to make fatuous seasonal conversation with them – yes, it’s very cold, yes the family are coming home, yes I love Christmas too, they should have it every year!

Or you have to queue up longer than a Tesco checkout at this time of year at what is whimsically referred to as a sorting office. Still making the same mindless, self evident comments to fellow queue sufferers (and if they know you at the desk when you finally reach it, to them as well) – yes, it’s very cold, yes the family are coming home, yes I love Christmas too, they should have it every year!

And supermarkets again. I’ve shared with my wife the misery of Marks and Spencers quality-end produce and Tesco for those last minute things (nearly £200 worth!). If I hear once more a single refrain of the all time Christmas classic favourites in a shop, I will rip somebody’s head off.

But hey. It’s Christmas. It’s the reason for the season, isn’t it. It’s what makes the economic wheel go round. So pass me a scrap of wrapping paper – I’ll start a new shopping list for that gap between Christmas and the New Year.

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