Can I just point out where you are going wrong with your Christmas shopping? It’s not that you never plan properly and panic-buy or that you lack the empathy to get good gifts, or that you buy everything with crippling resentment – because why should other people get the benefit of your great and generous ideas when they will only get you novelty chocolate? No. None of that. You’re getting it all wrong because you aren’t wearing the right clothes.
I bet you are like me and you head off to do a spot of Christmas shopping with a jingle bell on your lips and a jolly song in your heart.
I always think Christmas shopping
will be like it is in films. Maybe it will snow! There will definitely be a moment when I stand about eating some delicious hot chestnuts from a cheerful chestnut-seller on a corner – perhaps it will be Rowan Atkinson in disguise?
The thing to wear while I am having this excellent festive moment is a wonderful cosy sweater. A cosy coat. A cosy hat. Some fluffy, cosy gloves. Perhaps even a pair of novelty earrings?
Oh, but reality – it is so cruel. Even if the weather is not actually warmish (it only really gets cold in this country in about February), the moment I step into a department store, heated by not only a giant
centralised heating system but also by the bodies of 10 thousand crazed Christmas shoppers, I immediately go bright red and start sweating.
But I cannot take off my coat because I don’t want to carry it. So I keep it on. Getting hotter and hotter and more and more dizzy.
I stuff my novelty hat and gloves into the pockets of the coat, which will shortly fall out and get lost. After 40 minutes, my hands have been cut to shreds by the string handles of heavy shopping bags. I will still only have bought things for myself and already want to die. After 50 minutes, and on seeing the queue for the ladies, I want everyone else to die, too.
I stumble out of the shop, pouring with sweat. Rowan Atkinson dressed as a chestnut-seller is nowhere to be seen, so I buy a disappointing pasty from a street cart and eat it in despair and then feel sick.
Having tasted the fresh air of freedom I can never face going back in, so I traipse back home, missing my hat and gloves, having had a horrible, completely un-festive time, absolutely nothing like a film at all. When I get home the novelty earrings are just a sad reminder of how empty and meaningless it all was.
Styling: Sophie Hines / Photography: Morgane Lay