Learning to Deal With Christmas One Tesco Visit at a Time

In this wonderful Isle we aren’t allowed to shop before 11am or after 5pm on Sundays (except in little shops for some wierd reason) – even on the day before Christmas Eve.

The only person I know who still goes to church is my mother, and, given the rapture, armageddon, doomsday (call it what you will) didn’t come to pass two days ago, i doubt whether many people will be swapping a trip to the local supermarket for a session on their knees praising the almighty.

Anyway, obviously today is going to be hell on earth for those foolhardy enough to venture out. Of course there are some who have no choice. Like me. I needed brussel sprouts and I needed the ingredients for Pigs-In-Blankets – two essential Christmas meal items.

I’d been awake since about 3am since our opposite-neighbours introduced us to the concept of 24 hour daylight with their latest festive lighting arrangement (it’s getting more outrageous each year), so by 10am I was getting bored has hell:

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So I headed off to meet my fate. You’re allowed to roam the aisles of the shops and fill your basket or trolley. Then everyone queues up in front of empty tills with a woman yelling over a loudspeaker that ‘Sunday trading laws forbid us from opening the tills until 11am’. I was told this about 10 times during the 50 mins I spent in there.

Women wandered around with trolleys trying to figure out what the hell to get Great Aunt Bess whilst men stormed about with a box of Stella Artois and a packet of brussel sprouts. Chaos. Oh and children screamed (why do people do that? Stick em in front of the tele with Spongebob on – probably safer).

By 10.45 I had what I wanted and stood there facing an empty till with the till lady waiting paitently, while an old codger tried to chat her up:

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Then I realised how clever I’d been – I looked around me and saw the impending melee:

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He wasn’t smiling after 15 mins of standing there..

So all the customers had got everything they needed and had piled up to the tills, with more people streaming in. The mother of all bottlenecks was building up nicely; with me at the front! Behind me things were getting a little heated, with some argy-bargy starting:

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Looks like someone was trying to jump a queue – yes this is a queue

Anyway it hit 11am, the tills opened, I bagged and paid, and I was out of there – on the way back home the queue to get into Tescoย  was already backing up the main road:

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And what did I go out for again? Oh, yes…

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That’s it – I’m not spending another penny this year.

37 thoughts on “Learning to Deal With Christmas One Tesco Visit at a Time

  1. I drove around the carpark at our shopping centre yesterday for 35 minutes trying to get a spot! And I thought I was being clever by getting there at 10am….Christmas chaos everywhere! Here in Sydney, the shopping is all done and the Christmas eve Carols have played and now it’s only a little while longer til the marathon eating, drinking & present opening begins! Happy Christmas!

  2. Yesterday I went to church with my daughters and my son-in-law. Met with some friends, made some new ones. Sang some carols. Came home, Ate lunch. Put my feet up on the sofa. Chatted to my daughters and watch some TV and chilled. It was lovely. Has i am only here for the holidays and do not get to see them all the time, it was just perfect. But i do go to church every week. God is not dead no does he sleep but the world is sleeping.

    Sunday is a day set aside to rest from your labours. Whilst you are busy shopping take a thought for the poor souls who are made to work and are not even paid extra for the privilege.

    Enjoy your Christmas, i mean it, Merry Christmas. Looking forward to seeing what you have got for us all in the New Year.

    • Well glad to say we made it through. I did the Xmas dinner for twelve (me, my wife, two kids, parents, three sisters together with assorted partners and children) – Then we did the whole thing all over again with my wife’s family on Boxing Day. The thing with blogging is you can’t take anything that is written at face value. We aren’t what we seem on the written page!

  3. No Sunday shopping here, and now I’ve seen your photos I don’t envy you in the slightest ๐Ÿ™‚ I have however seen a man lay another out flat on the car bonnet with an upper cut after they both went for the same parking space. Asterix and Obelix with the Romans-style. Have a wonderful Christmas!

  4. I can’t belive the crowds!!! My goodness! And to let you in BEFORE the checkous open? Madness! But then, dont’ they say that only “mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun”? Maybe there’s more to the “mad” than was first thought. However, You have your sprouts, your bacon and .. .holy crap! I hope you didn’t forget the wine! Happy Christmas to you, and thanks for sharing those serruptitiously taken photos of the crazies in Tesco! xo

  5. Getting brussels sprouts and bacon for Christmas is a worth a trip. Please share your brussels sprouts recipe soon. However, when you are done, you are DONE! Put your feet up, arm around the Mrs, and savor a glass of wine. Merry Christmas!

  6. I have to admit that the Wife ventured out today to buy a couple of marginals. I suspect it was more to get out of the house (away from me) than to stock up our already burgeoning home.
    On the lights thing, I used to say to the kids when they were younger that I liked to go out at night with a rake around this time of year. This to deal with any neighbours thoughtless enough to inflict their ‘taste’ on us. The rake is still used as a sort of scale of tackiness when we are out and about. Your neighbour is a definite candidate for the rake, perhaps even in daylight.
    Happy Christmas,
    Conor

  7. That is my worst nightmare! I’m so glad you got there in the nick of time! Why do people barge.. it just is the rudest ever!!! I love the ones who don’t go to express but stand behind me with my 100 items, carrying one bottle of milk and expect me to let them go in front. They need to stand at express with the rest of the express people!!! Hahahaha.. if they’re nice, I do let them ahead.. or if they’re old.. after all I’m Smidge not Scrooge;D A very Merry Christmas to you and your family and friends!!

  8. Your neighbors are so thoughtful with sharing their joy & lights.
    We used to have what were called the Blue Laws here in Massachusetts – no idea why they were called that but a lot of them were finally lifted years ago but liquor can’t be sold until noon. I’m sure there’s some reasoning that goes along with that & it has to be related to church of course. But this year stores were allowed to open on Thanksgiving Day which created a lot of problems with employees. You’d think with being open until midnight 7 days a week that they could give the workers one day off.
    Glad you got everything you need but I’m betting you forgot something…I always do.

  9. I’m relieved I don’t have to shop in England this Christmas… it’s so much quieter here in Germany. I did my shopping Friday, and the supermarket was practically empty!!! (We don’t have Sunday shopping as nobody would go and buy anything!)

    • That sounds like France – i went looking for some ciggies (obviously I dont smoke anymore) one Sunday in France many years ago and couldn’t find anywhere that was open – anywhere!!!

  10. Merry Christmas! Thanks for sharing a silly rule I didn’t know about yet. Looks like you were smart to be there early. I did all of my Christmas food shopping on Friday to avoid the hordes…

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