For those of you who are in a hurry here is a précis: The official Muslim and Jewish holidays are just finished and the official Christian one is about to occur. We are urged to be of good will by everybody except the gangs of fanatics who would like to kill us all. If we do not spend enough money in the shops in the next few days this group will be enlarged to include the local retailers and our immediate family.
I have finished the Christmas shopping for the year. It was simpler than ever this time – I rang the I Have No Idea store in Canning Vale and read my list of recipients and their addresses over the phone the the girl. Actually, to be accurate I read it to a machine – then gave them my credit card number and that was that. Everyone on the list will get a carefully-chosen token of my love and affection delivered personally by a chap from Australia Post in a fluoro vest who will get them to sign for it. I paid for the Ho Ho Ho service as well so it should be quite heartwarming. I’m not sure what he does if the recipient is not home – possibly just pushes Ho’s under the door.
Of course with the family it is different. You can’t just have the fluoro man do the business – you have to select things and wrap them and all that stuff. I am still puzzling whether to go for the soap saver press that lets you cement old slivers of bath soap together or the wrapped clothes hangers. I’m tending to the former rather than the latter – hangers are hard to wrap.
This year we miss out on the hour and a half’s drive in bumper to bumper traffic to the brother-in-law- and sister-in-law’s house for the giant family gathering. Gosh I’m going to pine for that traffic as well as the hour and a half back again. Instead a posh hotel will serve us our turkey and plum pudding.
Still we must make do as best we can with being kind to people and wassailing and such. Bit of a bastard for the local liquor store who have just had to close and lock their doors a week before Christmas because the big chain store operators undercut them out of business. I suspect the same treatment will be meted out to as many small shops and service industries as can be found within the grasp of the big shops. Scrooge is not dead by a long way.