I didn’t need sharp elbows - and the mulled wine helped

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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.