Everyone's in the same boat, I'm told. Nobody, but nobody has any money this year. To clarify, we are all skint. So all the people milling in and out of shops in various high streets across the land must be spending money they haven't got then. Far be it from me to pontificate on other people's finances, but I decided that to make things easier for us this year, I would impose a ban on myself - from visiting any kind of shopping area. This is actually easier than it sounds, since the only shop within several miles is of the village store variety. A great little place but mostly stocked with food items, so unlikely to tempt me when it comes to presents.
Accordingly, we have taken a brisk trip down the home made present road, and the result, I have to say, has been deeply satisfying. Home made wine, jam and biscuits, all gussied up with pretty labels, ribbons and boxes, each a tasty reminder that lovely presents don't have to cost loads, or require an exhausting process of battling hordes of tired stressed fellow shoppers.
The tree is up, the presents and home made cards wrapped and delivered, and yes we are ready for Christmas. And while I'm on the subject of being ready for Christmas, I reckon I'm also ready for the aftermath of this one day. Which of course is the rest of the year, and the nice shiny new one waiting for us. It's going to be great.