I’d rather be sledging than join hordes of retail zombies

I’ve never really understood the phenomenon that is the post-Christmas sales.
I think it stems from the fact that I’ve always had a problem with TV advertisements over the festive period.
As I sit there with a warm turkey bap and a glass of port on Christmas Eve the last thing I want to be assailed with is summer sun package holiday deals.
Neither do I want to know the opening times of various furniture stores for their half-price sales.
It somewhat kills the mood of the special night for me to be told that I MUST get down to such-and-such a place by 10am on Boxing Day.
Must I? Really? Can I not just enjoy the Christmas holiday period instead?
Truth be told I’d rather eat my own head than be involved in a retail feeding frenzy 24 hours after I’ve opened my Christmas presents and discarded enough packaging to gift-wrap Ceramica.
I mean, have you seen the queues for the sales at Next? You’d think The Beatles had reformed.
I like a bargain as much as the next bloke, but standing in the freezing cold for hours on end so that you can be the 734th person through the doors at a glorified jumble sale strikes me as a bit sad.
You can go shopping anytime and, if you’re smart, you can pick up a good deal all-year-round.
But how many times in recent years have we actually had a white Christmas to savour?
What about spending a bit of quality time with your family instead of elbowing pensioners and disabled people out of the way in pursuit of branded jumper in the wrong colour that you won’t wear for another nine months?
There is something deeply tragic about jumping in the car on Boxing Day, battling to find a parking space and rejoining the rat race.
Is another day’s rest at home or a walk in the winter wonderland outside so unappealing?
Credit crunch? A time of austerity? Tell that to the hordes of zombies who have been riding their plastic in the past few days.
I suspect many of them will come to regret the unnecessary purchases and dread the hefty bills that will be dropping on their doormats next month.
We should also spare a thought for the poor sods who are dragged in to work at the check-outs and in the storerooms when they should still be putting their feet up.
As much as I understand the importance of the High Street to our economy and as much as I am a technophobe, I am delighted that we have now reached a tipping point and that internet shopping is becoming the preferred choice for many people.
Perhaps it will make us realise that the Boxing Day sales aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.
I accept that faith, the church and spirituality are lost on many of us but surely to goodness we can find more worth in the Christmas period than trudging around shops as if it’s just another weekend.
I defy any of those people gridlocked around Festival Park yesterday to tell me their shopping trip was worth the hassle.
If I had my way – with the exception of grocery sales – I’d ban shops from opening between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day in an attempt to encourage people to rediscover the simple joys of life.
I took my girls sledging on Boxing Day. In all honestly, there wasn’t that much snow left – it was more frozen leaves and ice.
But I dare say we had far more fun with their shiny new toboggans than if we had gone shopping.


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