Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Stocking Fillers For Under $20


It's that time of the Christmas shopping period where some people are relaxed, all presents wrapped and ready to go, slippers on, eggnog in hand.

Other people may be in the midst of mind-bending panic trying to get everything purchased before December 25th. The crowds, the pressure, the "what the heck am I doing in this department - everything's starting to look the same" experience. During my shopping expeditions to the Melbourne CBD, I found myself armed with a list, a credit card, some dollars and the beginnings of a whopper headache. After the third shop my eyes began to glaze over and my mind began to fantasise about settling down with a nice cold beer and potato wedges. I don't know what it is about shopping that makes me so hungry. Maybe it's because I'm in survival mode and my body sends out signals to eat to preserve the continuation of the human race. Shopping will do that to you.

I should have taken my own advice and done most of my shopping online. For some reason my online shopping mainly involved buying myself some Christmas presents - perhaps to reward my subconscious for putting up with 2 and a half hours of the most annoying species of shopping humans:

1. Slow Walkers - The thing about Christmas shopping is that MOST people are in a hurry. Probably because there are only 72 hours to Christmas and some of us haven't even bought wrapping paper. Slow walkers are content to amble aimlessly, admiring the crowds, staring at concrete and mesmerised by traffic lights. Slow walkers are the natural enemy of efficient shoppers and tend to approach backwards using stealth and cunning.

2. Bag Whackers - These shoppers come in two forms - those that whack you with a bag and those that whack the bags you are carrying. I try to keep my bags out of everybody's way, daintily dodging and weaving so as not to gonk anyone in the shins. Bag whackers on the other hand are either training for the marathon, arms waving and thumping every bag in sight, or they are carrying half the shareholder's investment at Myer and try to squeeze past thirty people trying to get in the back carriage at Flinders Street.

3. Directional Changers - One of the most dangerous to those carrying anything made from glass or crystal are the directional changers. Like poisonous snakes they wind from side to side, occasionally walking backwards or diagonally without first checking to see if anyone is in their path. If you do see one of these shoppers, stay well clear and hide any breakables.

4. Inexplicable Stoppers - Possibly the worst of the lot. Imagine you are walking behind someone who appears to be walking with purpose. And suddenly inexplicable stopper er... stops. They don't do anything or go anywhere - for example, into a shop, to a stall to buy a drink, to give money to a street artist. No, they just stop. In front of nothing. With blank expressions on their faces. It makes me think of that new Bruce Willis film where robots dressed as people suddenly all stop. Perhaps inexplicable stoppers are actually robots, infiltrating our Christmas shopping habits and stopping to report back to base. Or maybe the heat just makes their joints rusty.

For some of us, the only things left on the list are stocking fillers. Little knick-knacks and last minute curios that add to the Christmas spirit and make it look like there are more presents under the tree. These examples may give you ideas as to what to put in your own stockings this Christmas.


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