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Moreen Simpson: There’s nothing worse than facing a smug Mrs Organised at Christmas time

The online revolution makes Christmas shopping a doddle (Illustration: Helen Hepburn)
The online revolution makes Christmas shopping a doddle (Illustration: Helen Hepburn)

If there’s one thing I canna stand about Christmas, it’s Mrs Organised.

She’s plagued me all my adult life, mainly because I’m her diametric opposite. She’s the craiter who’s done half her present-shopping well in advance and cheapo too – at the January sales. She’ll have started stirring her vast cake in November, when she also scrans the woodies for gubbins off the ground, like cones, berries and bark, to craft her arty-farty table decorations. Gads.

You can count on the festive season’s Perfect Planner to ensure her cards are the first through a’body’s letterboxes bang on December 1. On the final countdown, she’s regaling me with yawn-yawn details about her two stuffings, three sauces – a’thing but the partridge.

Get a grip, quine. Life’s too short for a DIY Christmas. My motto for de-hassling the great day has aye been; dinna mak’ onything ye canna buy already made. How do I know? Because, when I did a rough count the other day, I reckon I’ve “done” Christmas about 50 times. That’s an affa lot o’ hain’ yer hand up a turkey’s dowp.

Not only that, I’ve done it on my ownsome. Feel gype that I was, both the gadgies I married were strangers to the kitchen. Oh, to have thrilled to the words: “Pit yer feet up this year, Mo. I’ll dee Christmas.” You wifies wie men fa ken a grill fae a microwave dinna ken yer livin’.

Modern Christmas shopping is a more comfortable affair

So, for nigh on half a century, it fell to me to do the lot. Into toon buying presents on days off work, starting at the top of Union Street, totterin’ my way doon until – loaded with muckle-great books and games – I’d be virtually on my knees by Union Terrace. And still Markies to go.

Aye at the last minute, I’ll never forget that nightmare afternoon I bowled up at good old Fine Fare at the Bridge of Dee (our only big supermarket, now Asda) to get my entire food shop on December 23, to discover the store was that stowed oot, there was an enormous queue for… trolleys!

Christmas shopping today is an entirely different experience to 1972 (Photo: AJL)

How times have changed in the past pucklie years. No longer do I battle the crowds doon toon on epic shopping trips for the sad reason that most of our wonderful stores have disappeared like sna’ aff a dyke.

Instead, I’ve done most of my buying this year – wait for it – in bed. Thanks to my Amazon app and galloping insomnia, I just lie there with my phone in the wee sma’ oors, all cosy and comfie, and zap off the prezzies. Utter luxury.

And now I’m ancient, I’m no longer heid caterer – eeehaaa – probably the only perk I’ve discovered about being a (very) wrinklie. Mind you, I do summon my catering talents for the post-Christmas do chez Mo, usually a buffet – a total hassle settin’ oot a’ the wee bitties half o’ them dinna like. So, this year it’s plain and simple, but affa fine – stovies, oatcakes and beetroot. Beat that, Mrs Organised.

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