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01603 513513


It’s Chriiiiistmaaaaaaas.


Love it or hate it, we’ve hit that time in the calendar. Everything’s covered in glitter; cakes, dresses, your nan. Tinsel streams out of your ears. A jolly old man in a white beard grins at you maniacally from every shop shelf. You’ve seen him more than your own kids but do you really know him? (Do we really know anyone?)

You find yourself involuntarily tapping along to George Michael’s weirdly catchy heartbreak tune and you forget yourself for a moment as you think “Go on George, sing it all out”. Then you realise you’ve heard this song a hundred times, over and over, every December, and you start to wonder if George is referring to last Christmas, or the one before, or the one before that?

You’re in a festive time vortex. You start to feel a bit sick as you think about last Christmas when you were given, not a heart, but a family pack of novelty cheese in the office secret santa. You sampled it on Christmas day and everyone got food poisoning. You’re pretty sure it was the manchego elf. You wish you knew who bought it so you could return the favour, but the ‘secret’ part of the gift giving has scuppered that. Besides, this year you picked Steve from marketing. You like Steve. You stare despondently at the bright red candle you just grabbed from the shelf; the scent is ‘Holiday Cheer’. You’re not sure if you know what that smells like. You decide that Steve deserves better.

The music changes and there’s a sultry request for Santa to rapidly descend the singer’s chimney. This sparks a memory from summer; Steve enthusiastically waving a photo of a bit of rock he climbed in the peak district. Didn’t he call it a ‘chimney’? Another memory surfaces; an advert for your local climbing gym. The word ‘Highball’ chimes softly through the brain fog, as if sung by some celestial choir. You sack off the candle and storm out of the shop with a newfound purpose. Card in hand, you dial 01603 513513, the number somehow already saved in your phone. “Hello. Do you sell gift cards…..?”