Surviving Christmas in the UK
Surviving Christmas in the UK Maldon Reviews
Dec 25, 2007
UK opening hours over Christmas
Check in advance, some people shut up early, and some people stay open all night.
The january sales are good fun, but if there's a park adn ride use that - parking is horrific. I've been in car park queues for 45 minutes at Lakeside - no exageration. If you hate crowds and hate shops, plan to spend the first few week days/ Saturdays after Christmas three quarters of the way up a mountain. Hiding in your sleeping bag. In a different country. And do not - I mean, really, really, do NOT, get between any women and the Next after christmas sale. People queue up from before dawn - can't tell you why, it's not that cheap any more, and a lot of the clothes are really mumsy. At least by the time I get there - I do not get up before dawn, not even for half price knitwear! So watch out for slightly mumsy women, and you might not get trampled to death for being in the way of the last pair of size 12 trousers.
Travelling at Christmas
The roads will be choked the weekend before, and there are sometimes problems on the rail. Having said that, I've scored mince pies from lovely train workers before now. I'd take the train. However you go. take your time, allow more time than is sane, and don't let any aggressive white van man make you hurry up.
Remember that even at Christmas, once you're out of London, the last train back/ bus/ whatever can be very very early. PLease plan how you're getting back from the piss up - the police beg people every year and every year there are stories about travellers getting lost or mugged or horrible things. It's very rare, but I wouldn't tempt fate!
There is also some drink driving. Less than there used to be. Of course, you won't be the guilty party, because you aren't an idiot. So this tip is really just to warn you to leave a bit of extra stopping distance and not to argue with the plonker who just carved you up. But if you are going to drink and drive, the police breathalyse as many people as they can this time of year, and I'm afraid I sincerely hope the police catch you, ban you, and preferrably jail you somewhere with big hairy cell mates. Nothing personal.
You will have to wear a small paper crown. It is traditional. If you do not, you are officially Scrooge and everyone will tease you all night. Just wear the paper crown. There, it suits you! You will also have to eat more food than is sane, and this is the only time of year when you, as an adult, are obliged to eat overcooked brussel sprouts. It is also traditional to sing badly and kiss people you would not normally kiss, and this continues until New Year. It's all good fun, unless you have a horrible cold!
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