It’s time to debunk myth about men and shopping

COMMENT: Our public services can only take so much

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It’s Christmas Eve, which means that it’s time to debunk a few myths. And at the top of the list is the one about men leaving shopping to the last minute.

Get over yourselves, boys. Stop trying to band together with a few others so you can all shrug your shoulders and use ‘it’s a men thing’ as an excuse.

It’s not. It’s a disorganised thing, of which women are equally capable. People who leave shopping until Christmas Eve are – listen closely – punishing themselves.

There’s no great karma at work, no life force which genetically programmes this to happen. It’s simply your own fault. If it’s you about to rush off, scowling, suck it up and admit the facts. You’re a fool and your penance is to be squashed in a shopping precinct.

Number two myth is that real Christmas trees can last until Christmas Day. They won’t, no matter how much money you spend on blue non-dropping needles or similar.

Even avoiding going near the tree for days on end won’t work. You know deep down that all it’ll take is one careless whisper in the tree’s general direction and all the needles will tinkle to the floor with a delicate sigh.

Get over it, accept it and you too will be happier. And bear this in mind, although you may be seeing endless pictures of other people’s perfect trees on social media – they took those when they first bought the damn things and they were still glowing with nature’s freshness.

Not after the tree’s been stuck inside in an overheated house fending off cats, dogs and small children for two weeks. Trust me, there’s a reason why people photograph their tree when it first goes up.

The third myth is the need to strive for perfection on the day. Forget about it. This myth is piled high by the media and TV shows which like to be grandiose in their approach with matching serviettes, china, cutlery, candlelight, sparkles and piping hot food all served at once.

That doesn’t happen in the world which I like to call real life. Accept now that half of the meal will be cold.

Hold on to the aim of it being merely palatable and your stress levels will drop miraculously.

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