In most of the occidental countries, the well-known consummation fest plan which matches surprisingly with Jesus’ birth starts the 1st of November where you will find garlands and Christmas balls instead of Halloween costumes and masks in store. In spite of the cold, more and more we get close to the 25th of December and more and more we are bewitched and trapped by the consummation’ magic which I call the gift race. That one which forces you to spend all your time in all the commercial centres around with thousands of people caught in the same spell. You need presents for everyone, parents, grand-parents, sister and brother, girl friend, family in law…, it’s never ending. In addition to being a real brainteaser, this way of thinking created by marketing and no religion concept hits considerably your wallet. Indeed, because if you don’t have gifts to offer you feel like the worst person in the world who doesn’t deserve any affection. Even more if you receive a lot. And whoever says “gift” mentions generally “surprise”. Yes! This concept which forces us to plot against each other in order to find what would possibly please our closest people or prevent the beneficiary to buy the gift which is awaiting him in the cupboard without waking suspicions. A little confusing advice: tell or keep fiercely your ideas to avoid double.
Thus, during my quest, I went in Southampton which is famous for the shopping with the hope to find some idea. Usually when people do the Christmas shopping, they have no idea about what they are seeking. That day, I spent hours in the streets and commercial centre of Southampton to finally leave tired with only a chocolate plaque bought for myself and a stiff neck thanks to the multiple flashy decorations and stands. So, I had to face the case where magic turns into a curse when you still haven’t got all your gifts in mid-December. Usually at this step, a strange phenomenon takes place: you increasingly think with time that every product or thing in store, even pointless and weird could be a “very cool” Christmas present. Therefore I did my last purchases in one of my favorite emergency places: the Christmas market, in Bournemouth. I like this sort of market because it’s possible to find original and beautiful artisan objects in a great atmosphere. I have especially noticed a particular thing which is specific to England, there is always a temporary outside pub in the middle of the market with plenty of seat. However I prefer the artisan French food sold in the French markets (macaroon, mulled wine, dried sausage, nougat…).
And when you finally have all your gifts, you have afterward to pack them. A thing I did in France with the greatest class. I mean that I welcomed my girlfriend just after having packed her present without noticing the cardboard bag of the product on the floor with the 100% female brand written on it.
Tough what I’m saying, Christmas still is one of my favorite period since it’s allow you to see the family and to eat like a horse. Therefore I was more than happy to go home. Nevertheless the way back was an obstacle course. I should normally take a coach at 8:40 pm at Bournemouth station up to London and then change to Luton airport and then wait all the night until 6am flight to Nîmes (France). But an unknown strength tries to prevent me to leave. First, National Express web-site which has never send me my order confirmation by mail, make it impossible for me to print my bus tickets without my purchases details. So, I had to deal first with their customers services and then go under a heavy rain to print the tickets at their office. Afterward having played Tetris to pack my bag, my bedroom’s door suddenly decided to stay close. My stuff being inside, I had to break it open in order to leave. At the station, I learnt that my coach (the last one) was unable to move because of a battery problem. I had to wait for the replacement one for 1h40, missing by the way my connection at London. In spite of having the habit of the French strike, I was stressed and when I tried to rest during the flight, my seat neighbor who worked in a flight control tower told me that we were inside an old plane and that Ryanair wasn’t at the top for technical control. Just enough to feel perfectly safe during the run.
But what about the Christmas spirit ? It couldn’t be Christmas without all the 5 to 7 family services meals and all the chocolates and sweet things which gave me a cavity. When I think about all this wonderful food, its sound marvelous. But in fact too much food and sweets kill the pleasure! Each year, like many people I try to give my extra chocolates box to whoever like. So, please! Stop thinking that buying chocolates is always a good idea. By the way, I realized a short family film about Christmas behind the scene showing how good it is to pack gifts, do the food shopping, the cooking, the dishes, the cleaning for several days to finally start it again 5 days later for the new year.