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Written by Aaron Brigatti  
Sunday, 30 December 2007

This year, my mother was working over Christmas, namely Christmas Day. This would be her last time that she would be doing this, so she felt it only fair to those around her (her colleagues) who had family commitments for her to spend her final Christmas at work. That's my mother for you!

Pre-Christmas Relaxation:
So we spent the first few days relaxing and enjoying family life. Having finished work this year right up to the last minute, finishing on Friday, 21st December, it seemed quite surreal that it was Christmas time after the first weekend. Normally, we have a couple of days off and then Christmas. This year seems sooooo strange, and when Christmas was fast approaching, it didn't feel right at all.

Though I was really grateful for the time off work, after a few hard weeks ... or is that months at work!

We relaxed, and I helped mother prepare for the Christmas day meal. We got some great bargains in Sainsbury's - but it would appear that we could have saved even more if we had waited 24 hours. We could have bagged a half-price Turkey if we got it on Christmas Eve, rather than on the Saturday, 22nd December. Ho-well.

Christmas Presents:
Got my mother several DVD's as I knew she was keen to watch some of her programmes of interest when they were on TV - namely House (Series 2 and 3), and CSI:NY (Series 3).

I also got my dad some more James Bond DVD's - having done this, I started to realise it might have been better for me and my brother to consolidate and maybe have brought the whole box-set - hmmm, maybe still an option for us. We could always sell the sole DVDs on ebay or something.

Christmas Meal:
As my mother was working evenings, we decided to spare the Christmas Lunch, and actually have the Christmas meal in the evening - around 7pm. We did all of the preparations, and when we were ready, made our way to the Princess Royal Hospital, and managed to have several of the staff who were working the night-shift join us.

We did a similar thing about 3-years ago, and that time was quite fun. This time round, it was slightly quieter than usual, but it was still different and fun.

Boxing Day:
I spent Boxing Day with my brother and dad, in his place. Again, quite nice and was good to see them both.

Repeated our "Christmas" meal once again, and just spent time talking after the meal.

Post-Christmas Sales:
This year was definitely very strange. Not only did it feel Christmas landed on on a weird day of the week this year, but the normal January Sales started a lot earlier. There was a lot of buzz in the media of the sales starting on Christmas Day (on-line) and Boxing Day (in stores) - and all of the major store chains certainly appeared to have done this. I don't believe it right, but I guess it is the psychology of retail shopping and this time of year. Maybe they felt if they didn't do this, people would flock to the stores in January, as everyone would be back at work? Who knows. Either way, we did go to the shops on the 27th December and 29th December so see whether we could get some nice stuff. We managed to get a few bits and bobs, but nothing exciting.

What's 2008 got in store?
Well, talking about shopping, I think it's time to get all hi-tech. I think a new High-Dev TV, recordable DVD player and the Pause-TV kit is required - all Digital and HD, but this would be a sizeable investment methinks! But definitely a thing to enjoy.

I also think this will be the year of starting my property investment - aka buying my own place. I've been watching the markets, and the prices aren't increasing that fast now, and I think I can bag a really nice place down in Brighton or Hove. We will see. Maybe Lewes or Ringmer is the way to go?

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