There was usually only about £30 saved, but at the age of 7/8, that seemed like an awful lot. They'd take me to the market at Burton-on-Trent and I'd buy everyones Christmas presents in one go.
These days, it's not quite that simple.
This year I have opted for online Christmas shopping. I just don't have the time or the energy to go fighting through all of the other angry shoppers in the town centre, queue for hours or stand and try to make a decision. I don't want to run from shop to shop comparing prices and I don't want the bus ride there and back armed with a shit load of shopping bags,
It was fun when all I had to do was point to the shop I wanted, pick what I wanted to buy and have somebody else queue, pay and carry my items.
So I thought, HEY, why don't I try this online malarky.. you know.. just click and it's in my basket. Press 'go to checkout' and VOILA I enter in some card details and my shopping is done. I don't even have to leave the couch.
So why am I finding it so fucking stressful?
Example one: First website gives a certain payment option. I choose my items (which took me about a week), continue to the checkout to be told I can't use this payment option. Thank you VERY much.
Example two: I change website (after telling previous website how shit they are) and pick out more of my items. All of a sudden, I'm chuffed. This website is much cheaper and has my selected payment option. I finally have everything I need - minus one present - and suddenly, items are disappearing from my basket. Where are they going? Is this virtual supermarket theft? No, I'll tell you where they went. OUT OF STOCK.
I'm not having very much luck at all. I know what I want to buy, but nowhere will let me buy it. I can guarantee you if I were to pop to Argos tomorrow, I could be in and out within ten minutes.
But I'm not going to give in. No I'm not. I'm gonna substitute Princess's Mickey Mouse robot for something else. I'm not quite sure what yet.
I'm also not used to not actually being physically able to see the items. Being able to press a button and see how well it works, what it does. Half of the toys don't have reviews, so I'm sort of buying blindly. Also, online shopping is full of everything so you can never find anything specific, y'know?
Like, I'm looking through 'Gifts For Him' and it's telling me to buy Nandos sauce dispensers. Really? Nearly 4 years together and you want me to buy him condiment holders? No thank you. Bum & Face soap? A miniature bottle of Jack Daniels?
Everything seems so impersonal and a bit gag-like. I want to buy something he would love and so far I'm coming up empty handed. Gag presents are all well and good considering you have a decent present to make up for the shitness that is a 'Chilli Oil Trio'.
And if they take anything out of my basket again.. I'm going to the police.