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!
Christmas shopping in the January sales is the ‘Pièce de résistance’ of planning ahead. What’s funny though is that early onset Alzheimer’s at 40 means that by the time Christmas comes round again you have forgotten either a)what you’ve bought or b)where you’ve hidden it – and then buy even more ‘gifts’ for everyone again. Oh the joys of ageing.