Tasha Dhanraj prepares her wallet for Christmas
Christmas is starting to rear its elf-eared, sparkly head. I say starting, as far as all the High Street shops are concerned, the Christmas countdown started the second the sun burn had begun to fade after everyone’s summer holidays. I love Christmas. It is my favourite time of the year and that’s why I like to leave it to the last possible moment to begin my festive thoughts, as though that will somehow concentrate the fuzzy feelings for an extra strong dose of good spirits on 25 December.
Actually, that’s not the only reason why I wait until the last minute before getting into Christmas mode. It’s mainly because I will have spent every last possible second scrimping and saving and trying to find unopened presents from last year in a desperate attempt to pass it on to someone else as new. Coming from such a massive family, I’ve never been able to afford to get my cousins and parents gifts they actually want.
The worst example of this is with my sister, Tasie. Her birthday is just before Christmas. Last year I was so horrifically broke that I gave her a joint Christmas and birthday present… which is fine if it’s a great present. Terrible, if the present is a six-pack of pink underwear from Primark.
“This is going to be a dangerous month”
But this year is different. This year, I have a job. I have actual money. I can buy people presents that they aren’t just going to send to a charity shop the next day. That perfume my cousin wanted even though it smelt of cow manure? It’s hers! That pair of JML oven mitts I saw my aunt eyeing up on the shopping channel? Just call me Santa!
This is going to be a dangerous month. If ever I have more than £100 on my little rectangular card, something clicks in my mind and I turn into a shopaholic. Only a one-off shopaholic because after one bout of retail weakness I bankrupt myself. I am so grateful that my bank – in its infinite wisdom – never gave me an overdraft or I would be in trouble.
Of course, what if I overestimate my present buying ability? My family might still get tat from me, only this year it will be slightly more expensive. I should save myself from myself and just blow my money on something for me. That way I might buy expensive tat, but at least it’ll be tat that I like. It’s what Santa would have wanted…