Christmas shopping (again)

Let me be clear right from the very start, I’d rather be stranded on a desert island than go shopping at Christmas time, and even less so when looking for gifts for others.

Just whose idea was it to give gifts?

Well, giving gifts is not a new concept, and, in fact, it goes back to the days of the Ancient Egyptians. Good to know there’s someone we can lay the blame on, but it would take a time machine for me to go back and thank them for the colossal financial windfall they created for retailers, and making us all the poorer for it.

This ‘gift-giving extravaganza’ continued on until paganism was trumped by Christianity, then the Magi gave gifts to Jesus and it wasn’t long before someone came up with the idea everyone should be giving gifts, celebrating Jesus’s birthday, even though no one is sure his birthday was 25th December.

But who needs a reason, anyway?

However, leave it up to the Romans, who knew how to have a good time, to start celebrating on the date back I’m 336. Yep, a long time ago. And not because it was Christmas, but the winter solstice. Butter perhaps to give than to have a sacrifice or two.

That was then called Christmas and the rest is history. It’s something else we can blame on religion.

We are continually bombarded with the notion that Christmas is a time of giving.

Then a 4th-century saint by the name of Nicholaos of Myra decided to give gifts, not that he didn’t have a reputation for gifting already, and there it is. The man who has a lot to answer for. Another reason to dust off the time machine, go back, and set him right.

Except I’m betting a lot of Hallmark people will be trying to stop me, because holidays and particularly Christmas is where they rake in the big dollars.

But, back to the problem in hand…

Did I say I’m beginning to dread Christmas?

Today was a two-fold exercise, on the one hand, I have to find gifts for the people who basically have everything, and on the other, I have to work out what I want for myself?

That old standard reply of, “surprise me” just doesn’t cut it. Not after being married for 46 years, and knowing the woman who’s beginning to get annoyed at me for nearly 50.

Of course, 4 hours including a pleasant lunch later I was no further advanced in the quest, I asked if I could swap it out for a new quest, searching out a dragon and slaying it.

You can imagine the look she gave me!

So, where is that time machine? I have to go and see a certain saint and tell him the error of his ways.

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