Fionnuala is super organised when it comes to Christmas. When it comes to most matters, really. But it’s inevitable there are always a few last minute purchases to be made on Christmas Eve. Today was no exception. I was dispatched to source Christmas crackers. There was no joy in our village shop, which resembled the American evacuation of Hanoi. It was akin to one of those supermarket scenes you see in zombie movies. Every man, woman and child for themselves.
Onwards to the next village. When I asked the shop assistant if they stocked crackers she stared at me blankly until I clarified ‘Christmas, as opposed to the edible variety.’ She giggled, before cheerily announcing they were sold out, and directing me to an even tinier shop on the outskirts of the village. So tiny, that I thought it had closed down years ago. I often run past it, and it rarely shows any signs of life. But desperate times call for desperate measures.
Shop Number Three most accurately resembled a shack, opposite an equally derelict petrol station. Parking outside it, I half expected to be greeted by a grizzled hillbilly bearing a double barrelled shotgun. ‘We don’t get many strangers round these parts’, prior to yours truly disappearing and my body never being found. So I was semi relieved to be greeted by a pleasant middle aged lady when I entered. Not a skin mask to be seen.
Relief soon turned to disappointment, however, as she informed me that, lo and behold, they had also sold out of Christmas crackers. I returned home empty handed. I don’t even like them anyway. Who needs toe curling jokes and cheap, plastic toys? The paper hats never fit my meaty head and invariably rip, leaning me looking stupider than ever. Plus they leave a mess and I’m usually the one who has to clear up after the kids. Bah humbug, I say.
What last minute Christmas item are you running around after today?
What Christmas ‘necessity’ could you live without?