I’ve been on a course this week, so I haven’t had much time to think about getting myself sorted for Christmas. The last couple of years I’ve visited my youngest sister for the holiday, but she has decided to go back to Ireland. So, I’ve decided to have a nice quiet one. Just me, and all of the geeky TV that I need to catch myself up with.
This has meant dealing with the gauntlet of food shopping for Christmas.
As an aside, when I’ve been going up North to visit my sister she would inviting all sorts of waifs and strays for Christmas dinner. I’ve been used to putting a delivery together to feed a dozen. It feels strange cooking for one. Except, the sprouts and the potatoes, then I eat for about five.
Anyway, rather than leaving everything for today, I decided to do the first half of my food shopping last night on my way home. That was a mistake, as it seemed that half of London had decided to do their food shopping at the same time.
Each aisle had a queue of people waiting for a till, which of course meant that you couldn’t get at half the stuff and no one would give you an inch of space just in case you snuck in front of them. It was really annoying, frustrating, and the last thing I wanted after spending a week being grumpy whilst on my recertification course. By the time I got home, I wasn’t in the best of moods.
This morning was a different story as I got to the supermarket within minutes of it opening. I always get up ridiculously early anyway. It was starting to get busy as I was leaving, and you could see that they were preparing for something quite manic. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, and I struggle to think how busy things are going to be for that.
Here in the UK everything is closed on Christmas Day. Everyone, myself included, ends up panic buying in an attempt to make sure that they have absolutely everything for the day. Because if you do forget something, you’re going to have to wait until Boxing Day.
There is something refreshingly nice about having a day where almost everyone gets a day of rest. However, I do feel sorry for anyone visiting London as it is a bit of a shock. When I say that everything is shut, I mean everything. All shops; closed. All attractions; closed. There isn’t even any public transport, so even if anything was open, you wouldn’t be able to get there anyway.
It never felt strange until I moved away from the UK, and realised that it was a uniquely British thing. When I lived in States, it just felt like a particularly quiet Sunday, but you were still able to do stuff. I always thought that Thanksgiving was a bigger deal for Americans. I just thought that it was wrong to go and do anything other than go to church on Christmas Day. Again, it was just the way I was brought up.
I do know some people who escape this time of year, I’ve even thought about doing something similar myself. To be honest though, I like how peaceful it is (outside of shopping) over the Christmas period. The lack of things to do outside doesn’t bother me, as it gives me the opportunity to catch up with myself. I can see how this time of year can be difficult for people. I just go with the flow.
And finally, some administration. Even though I will be at home, I won’t be posting anything until after Boxing Day.
Until then, Happy Christmas to you and yours.