A very sensible Christmas pact starts to unravel....

How much are YOU spending on your partner at Christmas?
How much are YOU spending on your partner at Christmas?
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I thought we had a pact.

A Christmas resolution had been made; we wouldn’t be running amok in Marks. We had decided would be sensible; spend a nominal sum on each other’s presents, and put the rest of the dosh we would normally fork out towards a telly for the bedroom.

It’s a sign of middle age when more often than not of an evening, you want to head for bed to turn on the TV rather than each other.

I dutifully follow instructions, get Bloke this and that; inexpensive but witty and wanted tokens of the affection and esteem I hold him in (nuts, oranges, red India rubber ball, new set of hankies).

Then merrily, oh so merrily, I put a big red tick on my shopping list. Husband: done and dusted.

Only, just last week, he drops into conversation that he’s gone substantially over-budget. He tries to make out he’s being very casual about this; merely mentioning the fact.

Yeah, right. There only reason to tell your nearest she’s the dearest is so she will scuttle off to Meadowhall, credit card in hand, and redress the balance.

I’d half a mind to tell him; tough luck, your problemmo, spendthrift. Then I thought that sounded pretty Ebenezer.

Plus he might take stuff back.

Thing is, though, that telly we were going to save up to buy? He got so carried away with the excitement of tracking down just the right one, at a price we could afford, that he went out and bought it two weeks ago. It’s up and running already. (Next year I’m going to suggest we go halves on a new set of shelves and see if they go up as quickly).

There is very little this TV cannot do, apparently. We can get the Internet on it. I can even plug my phone into it, though what for I have absolutely no idea. I think it might actually be a teasmade, too.

However, I must point out none of these features will ever be used by me. They are as superfluous, and as flummoxing, as all those fancy programmes on a washing machine (who needs anything more than whites, darks and woollens?)

Anyway, the points I am making are that A. This TV is more his than mine, really. And the festive budget is now well and truly spent. If I make it even St. Stephen’s, we won’t be able to afford the TV that we’ve already bought.

Some restraint is called for. I think I might have to take his hankies back.

Wouldn’t Christmas be ruddy marvellous if you didn’t have to worry about how much it costs?