Always something to be said for the big Christmas rush

Pacemaker Press 23-12-2012: Shoppers in Belfast's City Centre rush around for that those final christmas presents .'Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press 23-12-2012: Shoppers in Belfast's City Centre rush around for that those final christmas presents .'Picture By: Arthur Allison.

The last-minute frenzy coming up to Christmas would make you think we didn’t know it was coming. It always seems to take us by surprise. Now there are only 14 shopping days left!

Are you sorted? It’s often a slightly irritating question even when it’s only intended as a pleasantry – the seasonal equivalent of a comment about the weather. Sorry to increase your stress level.

You know it’s near Christmas when Kirstie MacColl and the Pogues are belting out Fairytale of New York in every public space and ads for Crabbies Ginger Beer appear on TV. Why do people only drink ginger beer at Christmas? Come to think of it, does anyone drink ginger beer? We should get readers to write to the ‘Journal’ when these things are first spotted the way English people used to write to ‘The Times’ when they first heard a cuckoo.

The economy needs you to shop till you drop. We need to spend or drink (ginger beer?) our way into solvency. It’s the retailers who benefit from Christmas presents. “We used to build civilizations but now we build shopping malls,” said Bill Bryson.

Like most men I try not to think about shopping for as long as possible. Still, there’s something to be said for the mad rush.

It’s ‘heartsome’. (That’s another of my mother’s favourite words.) Even if you only walk around town you can enjoy the lively atmosphere and a spot of people watching.

Work parties will be in full swing now.

A former colleague, now retired, said the only thing he missed about the job was the Christmas Party. Now there’s a man who had his priorities right although I don’t remember the parties being that good. I never managed to get myself into quite enough trouble!