AA Grundi: The annual torture of Christmas shopping

I don't know what he's so happy about....
I don't know what he's so happy about....

We are told every passing year that people are no longer buying Christmas presents from the high street.

Everyone is buying my dried fruit, multi-coloured socks and Old Spice gift sets online.

So why is it that our town and city centres are still rammed with shoppers from late October until the New Year sales?

I’ve no reason to argue with the internet figures, so there is only one possible explanation.

These people crowding our high streets aren’t buying anything.

They’re window shopping – strolling around crowded shopping centres and high streets for fun.

Which means we have some dangerous lunatics on our hands.

Because Christmas shopping has never been, and never will be, fun.

It’s one of the most stressful, tense and downright unpleasant activities known to man.

Right up there with DIY and going on holiday with the in-laws.

First you have to get into town.

Your first choice is a train or bus packed with spotty adolescents and women covered head to toe in shopping bags.

If you can’t face, this try driving – you should be able to find a parking space in time for the New Year sales.

Once you do arrive, it’s a slow trudge around, scooping up anything vaguely relevant and which isn’t likely to be thrown back in your face.

Another problem with Christmas shopping is what to wear for the ordeal.

Invariably its freezing outside, yet step inside the shops and you’re hit with a blast of hot air.

It’s like arriving at Cairo airport wearing a Parker.

Yes there’s a lot to be said for simply giving everyone in the family a tenner and staying home. And don’t get me started on Meadowhall at this time of year...