OUT IN THE FIELD: Boxing Day sales? No thanks!

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With Annemarie Field enjoying a well-earned festive break, she’s handed the reins of her column over to me, fellow reporter Maria Hudd.

Despite Southern Rail seemingly intent on making travelling this festive season as long and arduous as possible, I managed to make my way back to the West Country to spend Christmas with my family.

While making visits to aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents on Boxing Day, I couldn’t help but notice every shopping centre car park we passed was almost full to the brim, with queues snaking past the entrance barriers.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love shopping as much as the next person and finding a good bargain brings me as much joy as discovering a ten pound note down the back of the sofa, but I struggle to understand what drives people to go out and face the huge queues at the checkouts - not only because the thought of sitting in my pyjamas with leftover turkey sandwiches seems so much more appealing than bustling through crowds of people looking for that perfect half-price jumper, but also because I have no desire to go shopping for new things just a day after receiving such thoughtful gifts from family members and friends. But maybe that’s just me...

I later saw a post on social media complaining John Lewis don’t open their doors to shoppers on Boxing Day. Having worked in retail for many of my teenage years, I find this utterly ridiculous.

My father works in the emergency services and works every day during the Christmas period, putting the needs of others before spending time with his own loved ones. That, of course, I completely understand and am proud of him for doing so, but depriving people of precious time with families during the festive season just so others can go shopping for one extra day of the year, I do not understand. Good on you John Lewis, and may other retailers follow suit in future.

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