Cross about the ‘C’ word

Is anyone else upset about the ‘C’ word?   It’s everywhere. It’s October, for God’s sake.   We’ve got Halloween and Bonfire Night on the horizon, but Christmas is suddenly obscuring everything.

Tescos are admitting that it’s early, but they’re already talking the up the ‘C’ word and trying to flog us yet more toys with endless plastic parts and ugly teddies.  Does anyone else think that they’re sailing perilously close to giving the game away about Father Christmas?  I know the nippers should be in bed of a Sunday night, but we’re in the grip of the X factor and giving us grown-ups ‘suggestions’ in the ad breaks has prompted some uncomfortable questions from my suspicious six-year-old.

Suddenly alerted to the fact that it’s Christmas before we know it, this seems to be the fortnight when everyone uses up the vouchers that they were given last Christmas before they expire.

Getting or giving an ‘experience’ or a hobby-related present always seems like a good idea, come Christmas.  It ticks many boxes.  It requires no wrapping, or queuing in shops and is eco-friendly.  Plus, enticing someone to think about themselves as having a hobby other than drinking vast quantities of booze has quite an appeal at that time of year.  But let’s, be honest, all voucher/hobby-related presents are a right pain in the neck.

Two friends had to schlep up the West End to  use up their theatre tokens this weekend.  With the weather as it was, the whole thing was a damp squib from start to finish.  Another pal went on a knife skills course, at which (since he’s a very good cook) he learnt precisely nothing, but had to spend the day with a random assortment of loonies.  Another texted from a seaweed spa day, which sounded rather unpleasant (and stung a bit from what I can gather).  Whilst here, an elderly friend served up a tooth-dissolvingly sweet crumble that had been rustled up at a Jamie Oliver cookery course.

We’re no different.  Our thing is the pottery.

When I booked it last December, it seemed like a great idea for the perfect gift for my beloved spouse.  He claims to have excelled at pottery at school and was pleased with my generous gesture of a taster ‘sesh’ for the two of us. Who needs posh crockery, when you can make your own? I was thinking.

In fact, we both had ideas of signing up to the follow-on course and be regularly doing some pottery of a Tuesday evening and wandering out to the pub for dinner afterwards.  It seemed like such a wholesome, jolly vision and yes, I’ll admit, I did have a bit of a me-as-Demi-in-Ghost-in-those-dungarees fantasy.

But real life is just too busy.  And with three kids, two jobs and all the bleedin’ homework, when are we ever going to be able to coordinate being out of the house at 7pm, for some therapeutic pottery together?  Oh yes.   October.

So voucher gifts for me this year.  And can someone PLEASE stop me thinking about Christmas?

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