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So you raced to town for the sales . . . seriously, what is wrong with you?

Okay, I have to ask (and there's no polite way of putting this): seriously, what is wrong with you people?

You spent the best part of December slugging it out in hot, sweaty, packed department stores buying everything you're told you're supposed to need for the "festive season".

You queued for hours, days even, behind cranky, stressed-out shoppers trying get their Christmas pressies sorted during their lunch hour.

You wasted enough petrol to get you to Cork and back driving around to see if there were any Elsa dolls left in the country. (Frozen or slightly thawed, after six hours of fruitless searching you weren't particularly bothered.)

You spent Christmas Day peeling spuds, chopping veg and keeping the family from killing each other.

And when you finally got to St Stephen's Day, when you should be lying in your jammies watching Harry Potter re-runs and filling your face with turkey and stuffing sandwiches, what did you do?

You went shopping.

Shopping! In shops which had absolutely no business whatsoever being open 24 hours after the birth of the poor Baby Jesus.

For stuff you don't need. With money you probably don't have. Not only that, but you're probably back out again today. Fighting with other similarly misguided consumers for 'bargains'.

Dear reader, have you gone stark raving mad?

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Have you lost whatever marbles you have left after the stress of Christmas shopping?

Has all that sherry trifle gone to your head? Have you no homes to go to? Tut, tut - it's far from shopping in department stores on St Stephen's Day ye were reared.

And okay, here I have to include a disclaimer and admit that at the best of times I'd prefer to soak my eyeballs in lighter fluid than volunteer to go shopping.

Maybe it's just me.

I have no idea who came up with the myth that women just love nothing better than a credit card, a big department store and a whole day to waste shopping, but they obviously have never met me.

Yes, there are times when I know that I have to go and buy stuff (usually when the kids remind me that it's December and they're still wearing their summer clothes), but it's always accompanied by a great lot of huffing and puffing and a quick escape for a nice cup of tea and a little "rest".

Or even better, a detour to the cinema (oh, look - there's the entire Hobbit trilogy on in Cineworld, so let's have a quick look).

As far as I'm concerned, shopping is only slightly behind scrubbing the toilet or putting out the bins for things I can't stand doing.

However, I can understand why other people may actually like shopping, on occasion, when they need to buy something or want to treat themselves.

But what I can't understand is why, two days after you last set foot in whichever department store you bought those soon-forgotten, last-minute items, you feel the need to rush back as if you've been cruelly deprived of your civic right to spend cash for one day.

I don't like to judge, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to judge. It's wrong, people, plain wrong.

Even if you don't fancy lolling on the sofa with a box of Roses and the latest Marian Keyes book, there's so much other stuff you could be doing.

Like lying in bed with a box of Roses and the latest Marian Keyes.

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If you must go into town, why not have a ramble around St Stephen's Green or enjoy a coffee with a friend?

I used to love wandering up Grafton Street after Christmas, admiring the decorations in the calm, but in recent years it has been impossible to do this as the Sales Mania Crowd make it a nightmare to even get near the place.

To use a well-quoted cliche, you'd think they were giving the stuff away for free.

Which begs the question? Where are people getting the money from? Shouldn't you all be broke after Christmas?

So, if you're planning on heading into the shops today to nab a few bargains, take my advice. Don't.

Stay home instead. Chill out. Watch some telly. Chat with your family.

Your credit card will thank you for it come the end of January.

And you really don't need that bargain set of skis you have your heart set on.

No matter how cheap they are. Honest.


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