THE run-up to Christmas should be relatively straightforward, but for some it can be a stressful time, and I wonder why because it’s the same date every year, so planning should be easy.

Luckily for me I don’t need to plan much as I go to my daughter’s for Christmas dinner, but I don’t go empty-handed.

Heading to Asda for some provisions, I assumed it would be a piece of cake!

Just my luck, I had no pound coin for the trolley, and when I did finally get change from customer services, the trolleys were all gone, and I had to wait patiently for an empty one. “Calm Janice, calm.” Was my mantra as I stepped into the chaos.

Instantly, I could feel an air of stress as shoppers’ trolleys bumped like dodgem cars, and people everywhere were niggling at each other over seemingly trivial matters.

Steering my way towards the meat section I couldn’t help noticing a young woman ‘steal’ a large ham joint from another shopper’s trolley, but I decided it was best to pretend I hadn’t seen a thing, until… “Em…….. excuse me but I think you’ve just stolen my glazed ham joint.”

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“What?” replied the thief.

“No. Not me.”

“It was in my trolley and now it’s in yours” came the reply as she attempted to retrieve her glazed ham joint.

Oh, my goodness I thought to myself. They’re fighting over ham!

I decided to get a spurt on and try and get away from the irate shoppers by heading towards the cleaning aisle.

“Aye it wasn’t really his fault Mary.” Stated a shopper whilst piling disinfectant and carpet shampoo into her trolley.

“He’s just a wee pup.”

Apparently, the new pre-Christmas puppy had been peeing all over the house and particularly around the Christmas tree.

“But I can’t get rid of the smell and I have a houseful for Christmas dinner.”

“Maybe he’s suffering from separation anxiety,” her pal suggested.

“Well, he’ll be separated permanently if this keeps up” was the answer.

My shoulders were shoogling with laughter, but I was quickly distracted when a security guard appeared ahead of me and put his hand firmly on the shoulder of a stressed-out shopper.

“Excuse me sir.” Again, my nosey nature kicked in and I wondered if he too had stolen a glazed ham joint.

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“I’ve been following you around the store sir.” Oh, this must be serious, I surmised.

“Look.” The security guard pointed to the floor.

It turned out there was a hole in the giant box of washing powder the guy had picked up at the front door and as he meandered up and down every aisle, he unwittingly left a white trail of powder!

Navigating my way around the sea of overflowing trolleys, I wondered why people were buying so blinking much. After all, the store was only closed for one day. Soon I found myself at the frozen food section and another argument (or discussion) ensued over a turkey.

“I want a leg this year.”

“Well, yeh cannae have one” was the curt answer.

“Well, I didnae get one last year.”

“Tough, because my dad always has a leg and our Gemma likes a leg.” The matriarch of the family was adamant.

“Naw, Gemma is vegan this month, so I can get her leg.” Was his argument.

“Well no yeh cannae, because if Gemma cannae eat her leg, then I’m having it.”

I hung about eavesdropping because I nosily wanted to know who was getting what until the wifey put an end to the discussion.

“Listen.” She turned to her husband.

“Dad’s having a leg, and I’m having a leg.”

“But ... if you can find a turkey with three legs” she smirked.

“Then you can have a bloody leg.”

Finally, I was in the long check-out queue and yet another commotion ensued as Jim threw shopping onto the conveyor belt as though he was in an episode of Supermarket Sweep.

“Hurry Jim, hurry” was the command.

Poor Jim couldn’t move any faster and I wondered why Jim’s wife was spouting such commands until…

“Quicker Jim quicker before the turkey defrosts.”

Now, Jim’s wife had just bought an extra-large frozen turkey with giblets, and by my reckoning it would take at least two days at room temperature to defrost such a beast.

However, she thought differently,

“Quick Jim, get it into the cool bag.”

Hopefully by the time you are reading this your shopping is complete and you are enjoying some relaxation.

After all, the Boxing Day sales are just around the corner.

Have a wonderful Christmas.