Anne closed the front door behind her and leaned against it with a weary sigh.
When did Christmas shopping become such a battle? She asked herself.
Kicking off her shoes, she flung her many shopping bags onto the sofa and padded through to the kitchen to make a cup of tea.
She was cold, tired and grumpy. Rubbing her fingertips against her throbbing temples, she sank down into her favourite chair.
Oh, those crowds! Everybody seemed to be standing right where she needed to get to, either that, or they suddenly stopped right in front of her, nearly causing an accident.
And the traffic! It was bumper to bumper all the way into town and finding a parking space – well that was a whole new level of frustration!
But she was home now, her shopping was finished.
Now all that was left was to wrap the presents and decorate the house ready for her family's arrival tomorrow.
Sometimes, she hated Christmas, it just seemed like too much hassle! Maybe next year she would go on a cruise on her own.
No dinner to cook, no shopping, no running herself ragged to make Christmas perfect for everybody.
She hugged her mug and glanced out of the window at the darkening sky. Fat, white flakes of snow began to fall.
Hmm maybe the weather men have got it right for once! They had said that it would be a white Christmas.
In the distance, she heard singing. She stood up and peered out of the window. A group of children were out Carol Singing with their parents.
She arose and opened the front door. She stood, listening, to the children for a while, and put some coins into the charity bucket that they were carrying.
How nice of them to give their time to raise money like that. It really was in the spirit of the season.
The children left, and she closed the door, still smiling.
Right, time to do some wrapping, she said to herself.
Maybe Christmas wasn't so bad after all.