Ooh – I hate Christmas shopping!
Take this morning. First there was the traffic jam getting into town, followed by the frustration of trying to find a parking space in my favourite car park, which is usually at least half empty.
When I finally did get into town the nightmare really began. Every time I turned around I bumped into someone. I couldn’t get near the things I actually wanted to look at, and one look at the queue for the tills convinced me it wasn’t worth trying anyway. At least the sales staff were too busy to pester me…..
Escaping to my favourite coffee shop didn’t help – the queue was almost out of the door. And when I finally did get my cappuccino I had to share a table with a loud family I really didn’t want to share a table with (and nor did they want to share with me).
By this time my parking time was almost up. But even when I decided to give up and go home with nothing more than a sandwich for lunch and a Marks and Spencer pasta for dinner, the ordeal wasn’t over. I couldn’t get out of the car park because it was blocked by people trying to park their SUVs in spaces not large enough for a mini.
Why do we do it? It’s complete madness!!
I would love to know what other people think. Does anyone actually enjoy this?
In the city centre near where I live a Christmas Market consisting of lots of little wooden outlets is erected each year. These have sellers with all sorts of unusual gifts, produce and street food, and they look really attractive – when the city is nearly empty. But as soon as the crowds arrive they turn a normally wide walkway into a congested bottleneck where you literally cannot move.
Because everyone gets frustrated, tempers are often short and manners are not always what they should be.
I get claustrophobic in crowds, and have to fight panic attacks in situations like this. I dread to think how awful it must be for people who are frail, or have pushchairs or wheelchairs.
A Couple of Tips
Of course most of the problems above are just down to the sheer number of people who want to shop at the same time. I should have avoided the weekend and I should have got into town earlier.
But I did see a few things that made the situation worse than it needed to be, and could be avoided with a little bit of thought.
- If you want to stop chat, please don’t do it in a shop doorway – people are trying to get in and out!
- Even more important, don’t congregate at the end of a moving escalator. People can’t wait for you to get out of the way, and there are lots more people coming behind them!
- Parents – busy shops and coffee shops are not playgrounds. Letting your kids run around in crowds is dangerous for them as well as obstructive.
- Cyclists – don’t try to push your bike through a dense crowd (or even worse ride it through). There simply isn’t room. You are likely to hurt someone with the handlebars or pedals.
- Dog owners – be considerate towards your dog, especially if it is tiny. Think how frightening it must be being surrounded by so many pushing strangers, and how easily your dog could be accidentally kicked or stood on.
After all that moaning I will now I will get down to doing my Christmas shopping online – which is what I should have done in the first place.
Roll on the New Year!