Confessions of a Disorganised Man at Christmas

Gef’s guide on what not to do this Christmas Eve by and for a disorganised man

The panic

It’s bound to happen, you meant to buy that present but you forgot. You got everything else when you did all your shopping that Thursday night before the office party and you were feeling pretty good that this year, you’ve been organised and have time to relax… WRONG. Sometime around 7pm on December 23, you realise you’re missing a gift, you were sure you bought it, but then as you mentally row back through an evening’s rushed shopping, you realise you didn’t. So now the panic is on.

The morning

The shops opened at 8am, but it’s 10am and you’re circling M&S car park having been stuck on Prospect Hill for 20 minutes just praying someone will leave. Suddenly watching Die Hard for the 15th time with half a bottle of Baileys wasn’t a great idea. Finally you give up and get stuck in the traffic coming out of M&S. Having tried the prom, there is nowhere to park there either so you end up in the Bottleneck, it’s obviously raining, so you’re two hours behind your well thought out plan and soaking wet by the time you reach Boots. 

The shops

Chaos, this is literally hell on earth, you’re scratching round looking for a present that you’ve convinced yourself they’ll love all while equally bemused men and increasingly agitated children who for the first time are facing real difficulties as their stressed out fathers ask: ‘What do you think your mum would like?’ A lot of pressure for a seven year old working out whether Father Christmas got your letter. The staff are stressed, the shelves are bare and your desperation mounts, eventually you utter those two infamous words ‘that’ll do’. Now you just have to stand in a queue for 20 minutes listening to ‘War is Over’ FOR THE FIFTH TIME THIS WEEK. 

Wrapping

You’ve done it, you’re home, now the last part – the wrapping. Thankfully the last minute gift is a nice easy square box, how hard can it be? Well after a good yell at the wrapping paper which you first cut too long, then too short, you’re beginning to see why people use gift bags, but it’s done. Finally you’ve done it. You wanted to be home and finished by lunchtime, it’s now 4pm and you’ve still got presents to drop off, addresses you can’t remember and you just know you’ll get stuck at the first house when you’re too polite to turn down a cup of tea. 

It’s done

Finally you can relax, you’re finished, you’re too tired to stay up and watch Elf so you take yourself off to bed hoping you haven’t forgotten anything else you were trusted to handle. Confident, you smile, put your phone on charge and drift off to sleep. All while in the freezer your turkey sits snugly next to the pigs in blankets, right where you left it on December 5 when you bought it early, just to be extra sure you were ready.