It is a truth universally acknowledged that Christmas shopping is always going to be a pain in the backside.
That was true for me last week when I ended up walking around in circles in Southampton’s John Lewis, desperately seeking inspiration (ground floor, by the tills).
After a good few hours of panic-buying gifts that my family and friends might vaguely like, I came to the conclusion that, actually, it hadn’t been too bad.
The crowds weren’t anywhere near as fearsome as I had anticipated.
My newly-sharpened elbows didn’t have to make way for me through department store crowding.
And the mulled wine on sale in the German market helped a bit too.