I think I’ve done pretty well this year. I’ve made it to 10 days until the big day before I start to despise the enforced happiness and fake goodwill.

Normally it begins around the start of the month but I think that because I no longer work on the shop floor I have managed to avoid the ‘excitement’ of it (if you can call it that).

This is my last weekend off before Christmas and I spent yesterday just mooching around town like I usually do but with the added bonus of having to buy ‘Secret Santa’ presents. It wasn’t too bad though because I went for the ‘safe’ option of gifts.

Today however was a little different.

We had made plans a few weeks ago to go across the water to the big island and visit the Southampton Christmas Market. There was my parents, my wife, daughter and myself (obviously) and we took the car over as, surprisingly, it was cheaper than the 5 of us going as foot passengers. The crossing was fine and I had my headphones on to drown out the sound of the general public with the soothing tunes on Kerrang! radio. On arrival in Southampton we parked the car and headed up in to the shopping centre and then out on to the high street. I felt anxious with the amount of people around me but safe in the company of my family.

The market was full of the usual type of Christmassy gifts that aren’t usually available in the shops (there’s a good reason for that…..most of the stuff will end up in a charity shop in the new year) but the atmosphere was relaxed. After a good wander, we then hit the proper shops. Primark, Lush, Superdry, Forbidden Planet (it’s a comic book, sci fi place…not what you’re all thinking) and many more we went in and out of. It felt good to be somewhere different and I actually enjoyed myself. We made it in good time back to the ferry and that’s when it all changed.

I began to feel like I had just wasted the whole day.

In my head I was thinking that I’ve spent money on half of a ferry fare, lunch for the 3 of us (an overpriced but very tasty pork and apple sauce baguette) and half of the car park fee and the only thing I had to show for it was a book that I could have bought at home. I sat on the ferry with my headphones on just staring out the window in to darkness feeling my mood darken too. I try to enjoy Christmas and the build up to it but every year I get myself in to a bad mood by trying to enjoy Christmas and the build up to it.

I have therefore spent this evening sorting out laundry, doing the dishes and generally putting myself in an even more bad mood before ordering a pizza for my tea and watching crap on tv.

I seem to have this incredible ability to turn a good day into a bad day at the flick of my mood.

At least I can console myself with the fact that in 10 days time it will all be over and I’ll be able to be my usual anxious, depressive self instead of the Christmas anxious and depressive me (basically the same me but with a naff jumper on).

However, I have agreed to us all wearing Christmas pyjamas as it’s probably the only day where it’s socially acceptable to not get dressed.

But that is my limit.