I hate the word “gift” – I can’t give you any rationale except that I don’t like it – much like I hate the word “doily” (admittedly not a word in everyday use but horrid all the same). I much prefer the word “present” – altogether more classy. As someone who has never ever purchased a Christmas present before 1st December, I am most concerned by my recent behaviour – I have actually purchased at least 8 Christmas presents and all in the first half of October. This seems to me to be yet another sign of my impending forties. I have always prided myself on my “laissez-faire” attitude to Christmas shopping and, if I’m honest, privately ridiculed (with like-minded allies) those who start shopping 3 months before the big day.
This worrying new trend I am displaying is actually part of a much bigger picture of most concerning 40s-like behaviour. I am utterly addicted to any number of luxury “sale” websites – scanning new promotions on a daily (scarily sometimes twice daily) basis – Achica, Cocosa, Groupon….and so the list goes on. Liking a bargain is not new behaviour for me – I am that person who cannot just take a compliment, “I love that new dress you’re wearing” without saying “Dirt cheap, bought it for £20, reduced from £150”. The new behavioural trend is my determination to buy “giftware” (actually that is even worse than the word ‘gift’) and “knick-knacks” for which I have no use, place or if I’m honest any real desire.
This morning, I took this behaviour, until now just a guilty secret between me, the computer and my credit card, to a whole new level – I visited a craft/gift/floristry wholesaler. Yes me who got thrown out permanently from her sewing lessons at the age of 12 because I broke the sewing machine 3 times in one lesson (something of which I am quite proud); yes me whose idea of floristry is to keep the elastic band around the flowers I’ve bought so that I don’t have to arrange them in the vase; yes me who hates the word “gift” and ridicules people who shop for Christmas in October. Yes, little me, very uncrafty me, went of her own accord to a craft/gift/floristry wholesaler on her own and found it overwhelmingly exciting.
So thrilling did I find it that I had to share my enthusiasm with someone who would understand – I called my great friend who also loves such places and who, and this is no coincidence, also turned 40 this year. I just wanted to grab my trolley and do my own version of “supermarket sweep” – grabbing all manner of useless knick-knacks, giftware, silk flowers (why?), candles (you can never have enough) and most bizarre of all, ribbon (there must be a name for people who feel compelled to buy ribbon…?).
I can only hope this new trait of mine is just a passing phase, a blip on my way to 40. However, I have to admit to being slightly concerned that once this Christmas is done and dusted, I am going to start shopping for next Christmas in the January sales….help me!