Oh god. The dreaded time is upon me. That horrible time of year when not only every shop is covered in tinsel and blaring cheerful, ear splitting crap, but time to start thinking about presents.
Not for me. That I’ve finessed to a choice of three, in this order: money, books, pedicures.
But for the hordes. The mass-produced-by-unskilled-labour hordes of family and friends who pretend they don’t want anything.
And I refuse to buy kak presents. I will not buy socks, arb chocolate or Clicks toiletries. I absolutely refuse to buy gift packs, hankies, 3-for-1 specials or ties. Or underpants. I will not succumb to the present drawer staples of soap and Badedas and scented candles. No matter how much Aunt Mabel might profess to like them. I refuse.
And, naturally, I’m short on the kind of loola one needs to buy truly personalised, gorgeously chosen and deliciously wrapped presents.
Which makes Christmas a nightmare. A nightmare of indecision and debate. Of looting and searching and hunting and foraging and fighting. Of both hideously festive Macro and that tiny place in Parrow that only does those little thingies your cousin Sophie loves. Of parking and driving and sweating and skiving. Of hysterical, screaming lunch hours and late night Canal Walk horrors. Of ho ho ho’s and endless streams of musak. Of lots of jolly good commercialized fun and not enough industrial strength valium.
Don’t get me wrong, I love buying presents. All the time. For no particular reason. But Christmas kills me. Too much pressure. And for what? A pile of ripped wrapping and a turkey stuffed, post frenzy dwaal? Maybe this year I’ll be Hindi. Or Jewish. Or just plain Stooge-like.
Oh god. How many days I’ve I got left?