Well, who’d have thought it, Christmas has come around yet again. It’s the J man’s birthday (well, sort-of birthday. It’s really just a ceremonial event, you know, a bit like the Queen’s birthday or Dannii Minogue’s degree from the University of Southampton Solent).
Despite Christmas day occurring on the same day, in the same month, every, single, year, the Western world seems to go into mental and commercial meltdown from about October onwards. I say October, when I was younger it was November and in ten years’ time it’ll be January. Wizzard’s ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday’ will be an awful reality, playing out over a rusting tannoy as mothers fight in a Hunger Games/Battle Royale blood bath to obtain the last potato to dress up with cabbage leaves. Outside, gang warfare breaks out yet again due to a shortage of indigestion tablets and mulled wine. Oh, and Borris Johnson is ruler of the not-so-free world. What a terrible, terrible world.
Still, we’re nine years away from that escalation so in the meantime here are some of the wonderful purchases one can make in Britain if still in need of a last minute, high quality purchase to give to your dog, sorry, nephew.
A good place to start is to let your nearest and dearest know what you want. You can drop them hints here and there, or maybe leave them a note. Or, you could get it written across the front of a shop window:
(Just remember to keep the wording polite and British.)
If you know what the latest fashion trends are clothing is always a good option. Festive jumpers that state the obvious or depict animals from the homeless pet adverts never fail to lighten one’s mood:
Socks, too, remain a classic gift purchase. This season it’s all about food puns:
But be warned, spouts were so 2015. Sales of sprout-ware have subsequently seen a massive decline as people realise that vegetables in hats on socks is neither hilarious or witty. It’s weird.
Hang on, I’m sure I’ve seen this before…
Of course, if you’re of the grown up variety you could splash out on underwear:
Hmmmmm. Well even if you dispute the message, always, always make sure your pants match your jumper:
With more and more people turning to online retailers, the high street has over recent years seen a change in its pricing policy. For the thrifty buyer this can result in great shopping deals. Unless you want orange juice, in which case you can jog on.
Because the high street wants consumers to spend money in their stores, you’ll often find high levels of investment and intelligence factored into stock layout and price labels. This ensures you, the consumer, know exactly how much an item is at a glance.
Sometimes no amount of reductions can ever justify the product:
And please, for the love of God do not buy presents from pound shops, especially those who make out this is a reasonable gift to give someone:
There are very few giftware items that embody the term ‘crapware’ better than the above.
Be aware of the stores that take to magical allusions to convince you to buy a non-existent item. It’s an easy enough trap to fall into, in the below example you may need to take a second look to establish what’s missing:
Other stores may shrink the portion sizes:
Speaking of food, it’s always best to stock up on the non/less perishable items as and when you can. Failing that, stock up on products that cover all bases. After all, why pay more to buy cookies and milk separately when Father Christmas could munch on these instead:
A product with natural AND artificial flavourings? Well count me in!
And who needs a traditional Christmas lunch with all the meat and trimmings when you could buy yourself a massive tray of sushi? Not just any sushi mind, no, no, jelly sweet sushi!
And if that is even too much then look no further than your local bar or restaurant to cater to your feeding needs. National pub chains such as Wetherspoons pride themselves on a variety of Christmas dishes (just so long as it contains cranberry or turkey):
After all that shopping you’re probably ready for a sit down and coffee. By this point you’ll spent all your money on inappropriate underwear and Pop Tarts (if not, then hit the shops again). Drink of choice therefore? Americano with half a cereal bar you stashed away in your bag for this very moment.
As you look out of the window you start to see the shops around you close and the natural light fade to e replaced by an altogether different sort of luminosity. The town centre Christmas lights. Take a moment to marvel at the decorations, see how awe inspiring they are. More importantly, don’t make eye contact with the crazy lady:
Shopping done. If you’re not already like this…:
…Then it’s time to get your glad rags on and hit the town to celebrate. Don’t forget ladies, accessorise, accessorise, accessorise!
And let’s not forget the make up/dress choice. Jazz it up, spritz and glitz yourself so that you go from looking like this:
To looking like this:
(Cor, isn’t she a stunner?)
If make up/clothing fail you in this mission, ply yourself with merry liqueur to make you feel like the latter. Just remember though, it isn’t all about what the boys in the club think. In the immortal words of the great philosopher Justin of Bieber:
(And if other people can’t see that? Well, there’s a scatter cushion for that too:)
You’ll know if the night out is a good one for two reasons. a) your shoes will look like this:
And you will feel like this:
And hey presto! Christmas is sorted and now all you need to do is gear yourself up for the next big event, the Boxing Day/Winter Sales. Oh wait, you actually have to wrap up presents don’t you?
BONUS PICTURES: Life Choices – Christmas Shopping Special
(Disclaimer: all items in this post were taken on location, photographer did not alter or move items.)