The River's Georgina Deacon shares her views on Christmas.

Christmas shopping is bad for your ‘Elf, fill your stockings online and stay sane.

Georgina Deacon
 
Christmas. The only time of the year which separates the human race into two categories: cheery, carol-loving people who have a good grasp on happiness and those who are bordering on Charlie Brooker-like Scroogeness.
 
And to those who bask in the joy and merriment of the season, well, good for you. You’re doing it right. You’ve bought all the presents, sent out all the cards, and impressively resisted the temptation to go out and do all of this before December. Oh the unstoppable festive force of December.
 
It’s not that the rest of us miserable folk don’t like you. It’s just that we’re completely in denial of how jealous we are of your organisation.
This denial manifests itself into a seething hatred of all things glittery and covered in fake snow.
 
Honestly, what is the point in fake snow? It’s like Donald Trump’s toupee; it looks a bit disgusting and everyone knows it’s fake.
 
But this year, after much deliberation, I decided to take a rain check on my date with Ebenezer Scrooge.
 
I turned to the dark side and got organised while I still had the money because, although she hides it well, your mum doesn’t quite understand why she’s been given a tin of Quality Street wrapped in tin foil for Christmas.
 
It worked. Online shopping is the way forward. There’s enough things out there to make you regain your faith in Santa and his ability to buy enough presents for seven million people and have each thing delivered to their house. 
 
It also saves you from the perils of the real world. I browsed the online market without the hassle of someone else’s screaming kids or the old couple perusing the aisles so slowly you wonder if they’ll get home in time for Jesus’ birthday.
 
Of course, I avoided non-tax paying companies like Iceland’s party food mutations. 
 
But I was able to compare prices with such ease that I was under my budget (yes, I made an Excel spreadsheet) by almost £50. 
And, as a student, I can get three decent nights out and a week’s food shop from that.
 
Two hours, one mini dog-shaped jug, and a natural slate cheeseboard later, I was done. Free from the tinselled chains of Christmas shopping and able to sip my Glühwein guilt-free, all without facing the hell that is Oxford Street.
 
If, like me, you’re a die-hard  yuletide cynic, I can recommend, *deep breaths*, Elf, and a healthy dose of old-fashioned organisation as a cure. 
If not, I’ll leave you with something an old teacher used to tell us in school:
 
“If it’s 18 days until Christmas, then it’s 19 days until it’s all over.”

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