Things I could do without for Christmas

Call me Scrooge, but there are certain things I could do without at Christmas time.

One is companies who try to persuade me to buy things I quite obviously don’t want, just so that they can be delivered in time for Christmas.

They and others of similar ilk might like to know that I do not consider 12 December to be “last-minute shopping”. Last-minute shopping is the afternoon of Christmas Eve which, incidentally, is quite a good time to shop because there’s no-one about.

One company (one?) warns me that time is ticking, and I should therefore check out last-minute deals. Time may be ticking, but time always ticks, unless you mute it. That’s what it does. I do not want a last-minute deal, last-minute flowers, last-minute accommodation or half-price gifts.

And just because it’s Christmas, it doesn’t mean I want to book up next year’s holiday. In fact it’s probably the last thing I want to do.

Almost the last thing. The very, very last thing I want to do is go to Santa’s Grotto for Dogs. I am sad to say there is one in Norwich, my home town, and a lot of people seem to think it’s a good idea.

What is this all about? There are no dogs in the Christmas story, and there were no dogs at the birth of Jesus. Come to that there there was no Santa either, no grotto and almost certainly no cows. I just throw that in in the interests of accuracy. There were definitely sheep. I have a lot of time for sheep.

What else do I find irritating? David Attenborough. But that’s another story.

If I were Scottish, I might be a little annoyed by the courier service. Apparently the people living in Moray, north-east Scotland, have been reclassified as islanders by a certain delivery firm.

This is not a marginal point. There is no causeway involved. It’s a bit like saying South Wales is an island or, if you happen to live in Norfolk, North Norfolk District Council.

Customers ordering online from the north and north-east of Scotland apparently pay up to four times for delivery compared to the rest of the UK. And you can see how that could be useful to certain people.

“North of Edinburgh? Must be an island, mate. Special needs. I mean rates.”

Unsurprisingly, Moray’s MP has suggested that geography lessons may be required. Last-minute ones, I suggest. Time is ticking.