The January Sales are quite evil if you think about it. Those things you’ve coveted all year suddenly drop to half price just at the precise moment you go overdrawn. I mean, who has money after Christmas? Gazillionaires that’s who. And last time I checked, they didn’t need to scour the cut price rail.

I don’t really like going shopping in general. Perhaps this is due to a childhood of being dragged around shops, markets and souks by my bargain-loving mother. Or maybe I’m just not much of a shopper. I like going in, buying the thing I came for and then going home for a nice sit down and a cup of tea. I’m not a browser. I don’t like being surrounded by stuff. I just want to be finished.

Shopping in the sales is hell. For one thing I don’t like crowds. Getting elbowed in the ribs over a pair of jeans isn’t my idea of fun. Then there’s the temperature issue. It’s freezing, so you wear your puffa jacket and hat and gloves and scarf and thermals… only to have to strip it all off the minute you step into the shops’ sub tropical temperatures. OK, maybe not the thermals. But you get my point.

Then there’s the whole do-they-have-it-in-my-size? panic. You’ve found what you want but they don’t have it in your size. So you ask the bored teenage sales assistant to check out the back but you know she’s just going to walk behind the scenes and spend 5 minutes eating some of her Terry’s Chocolate Orange and texting her boyfriend. She won’t really look. They never do. And then you’ll queue for a fortnight so that the surly manager can check the system only to tell you that they have them available online and you’ll have to order it from the website.

The one thing I do buy, and don’t hate me when I say this, is reduced Christmas gift wrap. I always buy it around now for the following year. Paper, tags, ribbon, bows, cards and gift bags. The gift bags are always incredible value! It all gets stored away in my special Christmas plastic tub and hides in the loft the whole year long. And yes, when I get it down in December I always feel tremendously smug at my beautiful cheap wrapping paper.

To avoid the crowds I order online. Who cares if it takes 10 days to arrive, you don’t need it for another 11 months! M&S sell superior gift wrap. It isn’t so thin it’s see-through and it won’t snag when you do the scissor gliding thing. Paperchase is good quality and great for bright fun designs, ideal for children and teens.

Paperchase Sprouts
Sprouts wearing Xmas hats. What’s not to love? (Paperchase)


Hurry before there’s none left! *looks smug*

And yes, I know I said I wouldn’t post anything until January but this is TIME SENSITIVE. Merry Christmas! x

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