Now all the pressies I bought are half-price ...
On Boxing Day, in the interests of research and because I was bored out of my tree in front of the telly, I thought I'd give the sales a rattle. I lasted two shops.
In one I was run over by a wheely shopping bag, in the other I was almost floored several times by garments ripped from the rails by frenzied buyers and tossed aside to trip up amateurs like myself.
I'm sure the sales are fun if you have a clear idea of what you're looking for. But if you just want to have a browse it's a bit like window shopping in Main Street, Pamplona during the bull run.
Plus, the shops are too hot, the tills are too busy, the queues are too long and when you do eventually reach the checkout, it turns out that bargain you found on the 50% off rail is invariably a stray from the just arrived section. So you either pay full whack or resign yourself to the fact that you've just wasted half an hour of your life that you'll never get back shuffling across a shop floor.
The other drawback to immediate post-Christmas shopping, of course, is seeing on display at half the price all that stuff you paid over the odds for in the run-up to the big day.
You can understand why the fairly recent tradition of giving just cash (especially to teenagers) at Christmas may well gather steam in years to come. How long before we're back to the point where children awake on Christmas morning to find Santa has indeed left only two satsumas in the toe of their stocking?
But also the cash to pay for all the half-price electronic gadgetry their heart desires in the Boxing Day sales. Is it possible that our foremost celebration of consumerism is increasingly in danger of consuming itself?