Christmas Shopaholic - Sophie Kinsella

Dedication

Acknowledgments

By Sophie Kinsella

About the Author

From: Store Manager

To: Becky Brandon

Subject: Re: Inquiry

Dear Mrs. Brandon:

Thank you for your email.

I was delighted to hear that you are planning to do “loads” of your Christmas shopping at Hector Goode, Gentlemen’s Outfitters.

I am also pleased you wish to purchase the Campbell coat for your husband, Luke.

However, I am afraid I cannot tell you if the coat is going to be reduced in price before Christmas.

With all best wishes for a happy festive period.

Yours sincerely,

Matthew Hicks

Store Manager

Hector Goode

Gentlemen’s Outfitters

561 New Regent St.

London W1

From: Store Manager

To: Becky Brandon

Subject: Re:Re:Re: Inquiry

Dear Mrs. Brandon:

Thank you for your email.

I do appreciate that it will be “really annoying” if the Campbell coat is reduced by half after you have purchased it.

I also understand that you don’t want to leave it too long in case it gets sold out and you end up “running around in a panic on Christmas Eve.”

Nevertheless, this is not information I can give out.

With all best wishes for a happy festive period.

Yours sincerely,

Matthew Hicks

Store Manager

Hector Goode

Gentlemen’s Outfitters

561 New Regent St.

London W1

From: Store Manager

To: Becky Brandon

Subject: Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: Inquiry

Dear Mrs. Brandon:

Thank you for your email.

No, I cannot give you a “tiny hint.”

I’m sorry you feel that Christmas shopping has become a game of “who blinks first.”

I do agree, it was easier when there weren’t any sales till Boxing Day and “everyone knew where they were.”

Nevertheless, I wish you a happy festive period.

Yours sincerely,

Matthew Hicks

Store Manager

Hector Goode

Gentlemen’s Outfitters

561 New Regent St.

London W1

OK. Don’t panic. Don’t panic. I’ve got five minutes fifty-two seconds before my basket expires. That’s loads of time! All I have to do is quickly find one more item to bump up my total to £75 so I’ll get free delivery.

Come on, Becky. You can find something.

I’m scrolling down the BargainFamily site on my computer screen, feeling like a NASA operative keeping cool under unspeakable pressure. The onscreen timer is in my peripheral vision, ticking down steadily beneath a heading that reads, Your Basket Will Expire Soon! But you can’t give in to timer fear when you’re shopping on discount sites. You have to be strong. Like tungsten.

Shopping has really changed for me over the years. Or maybe I’ve changed. The days when I was a single girl, living in Fulham with Suze and going round the shops every day, seem ages ago now. Yes, I used to spend too much. I’ll freely admit it. I’ve made mistakes. Like Frank Sinatra, I did it my way.

(Except “my way” involved stuffing Visa bills under the bed, which I bet Frank never did.)

But I’ve learned some important lessons, which have genuinely changed the way I go about things. Like, for example:

I don’t use carrier bags anymore. They used to be my biggest joy in life. Oh my God, the feel of a new carrier bag…the rope handles…the rustle of tissue paper…(I still sometimes go and swoon over my old collection at the back of the wardrobe.) But now I use a bag for life instead. Because of the planet and everything.

I’m totally into ethical shopping. It’s like a win-win! You get cool stuff and you’re being virtuous.

I don’t even spend money anymore. I save money.

OK. So obviously that’s not exactly, actually, literally true. But the point is, I’m always looking for a good deal. I see it as my responsibility as a parent to procure all the items that my family needs, at the most cost-effective prices possible. Which is why BargainFamily is the perfect place for me to shop. It’s all reduced! Designer labels and everything!

The