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The Grinch goes Christmas shopping

By Spalding Today Columnist

Who's started buying Christmas presents? With my email box full of Black Friday offers and now Cyber Monday suggestions, I'm feeling a bit like The Grinch and it's not yet December.

To escape the online frenzy, Dougie and I decided to go to York for a couple of days. The Christmas market was in full swing, so it seemed the ideal spot to rekindle my festive spirit. Armed with a list and some vague ideas, we were ready for some serious shopping.

I don't know how other couples shop, but my husband and I tackle it very differently.

I'm drawn to the little cute stalls in the market offering unusual crafts: hubby can walk from one end to the other with barely a sniff at a proffered mulled wine.

I walk into a shop and browse; he can stand at the door, do a quick scan and leave.

I like to touch clothes on a rail and pick things up off a shelf; Dougie can make a decision with his hands by his side.

If I don't see anything I like, I stay for a few more minutes so the owner doesn't think I hate their stock: Dougie thinks I am barking mad.

Shopping in The Shambles (5602624)
Shopping in The Shambles (5602624)

After oohing and aahing at drinking horns, alpaca hats, organic soaps and luxury fudge, we did eventually make a start on our present list and felt very pleased with our joint effort.

Back home, I now realise we have some items which we have bought with no specific person in mind. There are treats I'm keen to keep for myself and other things I might just give as an extra gift to someone.

On Saturday night, I discovered an answer to this dilemma. We were attending the wonderful Snowflake Ball at the South Holland Centre in Spalding and were eagerly waiting to see if we had won a prize in the raffle. The organisers had lots of items so they doubled up on many of them, to make the process a little quicker.

Many of the prizes worked well together, such as wine and chocolates but unwittingly they paired up some curious items which I found so wonderfully random, I may have to copy them for my own present-giving.

Writing set and biscuits - who doesn't love a custard cream when scribbling a thank you note to Aunty Gladys.

Limoncello and a watch - sup on this zesty liqueur and time how long to takes to start dancing on the table.

Nivea Care and chutney - just be careful you use the correct jar when moisturising.

Teddy bear and pinboard - don't even think about it!

And my favourite of the night: a fish n' chip shop voucher and an outdoor thermometer - because no-one wants their battered cod going cold when they've left the shop.

The Grinch is no longer dwelling in Holbeach: pass the mince pies, Christmas is coming after all.

You can read Trish's blog at www.mumsgoneto.co.uk

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