I have a confession to make ... well three actually.
I went to Meadowhall on Saturday.
You were probably there too. In fact it felt as if every single person in Sheffield was crammed in there.
Why is this a confession?
Well on the scale of daft things to do, most mums would rate this pretty high so close to Christmas.
It was impossible to get anywhere with the pram, the kids hate it because it is so busy and you never achieve as much as you’d hoped.
In fact there are times when the most you can hope for is that your kids aren’t swallowed up in the overwhelming crowds of shoppers.
And the second confession?
I didn’t buy a single present.
If truth be told I only went because I’d agreed to meet a friend there for coffee.
She’d travelled to Sheffield all the way from Norway to go Christmas shopping at Meadowhall so it would have been rude to say no.
Perhaps as a Sheffielder I undervalue this immense shopping centre but, oh boy, I wished I’d stayed at home.
After several text messages trying to locate each other, we decided the only sensible thing to do was stop for a coffee.
And, of course, there was only one coffee place in Meadowhall that had plenty of empty seats - and we did desperately need to sit down by this point.
Yes you guessed it, despite having nodded in agreement to the protestors on Fargate, I found myself boosting the coffers of none other than Starbucks.
So all in all it wasn’t my proudest shopping day ever and here we are with less than two weeks to go.
Fortunately I have discovered that leaving pretty much everything to the last minute does have its bonuses.
As Christmas day creeps closer several of my more organised friends are finding a new problem rearing its rather unattractive head.
Their little darlings keep changing their minds about what presents they would like. They no longer want the presents that were lovingly wrapped and stored in the loft weeks ago.
What they really want is something completely different, something that hasn’t been mentioned before and certainly wasn’t purchased before all the money ran out.
Let me announce triumphantly, this really isn’t a problem for me.
My kids can copy their friends’ ideas as much as they want, chop and change their wishes and alter their demands. I am ready for anything, or should I say, since I haven’t yet bought their presents I will not be upset if they don’t want the same as they did at the start of advent.
My six-year-old is hoping for a children’s tablet - no not the medication type.
The ones that cost a lot and the only positive thing the reviews say is that they keep sticky fingers away from grown-up ipads.
When Santa heard this request on a recent grotto visit he did say that it sounded like an expensive present.
“But mum, Santa and his elves make all the presents so how can it be expensive?”
Good question son.
As presents get more expensive and family budgets tighter, it is one to which there is no good answer.