The eldest likes shopping about as much as I do, so it was done with grim determination after her part-time job finished one afternoon.
She rang me to ask what everyone wanted. Then she rang my mother to ask what I wanted. She's nothing if not methodical.
The middle one headed off on the train into town yesterday. She made heavy weather of having to brave the crowds, and arrived home almost three hours later.
'Grafton Street looks like Christmas threw up in it,' she said, as she staggered through the door. I get the feeling she enjoyed every minute.
The youngest has written his list for everyone, but hasn't actually got around to buying anything yet. There's two things holding him back. The first is time. The boy never seems to have any time. When he's not in school, he's doing homework, studying for those Christmas exams (regular readers will know that this is a bit of a worry for him, as he's just started senior school this year) or playing sport.
The second obstacle is money. He doesn't have any.
'What happened to all your pocket money?' I ask.
'Gone.' He doesn't expand. I'm not overly worried. He doesn't get a lot. And he has to earn it by doing jobs. Which suits me, because I'm completely disorganised, and I'd get nothing done without help.
'But it's okay, because I have an idea. I'll make you a deal,' he says.
'What's the deal?'
'You give me the money to do my Christmas shopping. I'll pay you back afterwards with jobs.'
'I'll be free next Saturday. For about two hours. Do you think you could give me a lift to the shopping centre?'
I agree to be his taxi driver.
Thing is, I haven't even thought about Christmas shopping yet. As usual, I'm in denial. When faced with the mayhem of December, I do award-winning impersonations of an ostrich.
Meanwhile, the college student, the middle one and the boy have all written their Santa letters. The boy even wrote his 'as Gaeilge' this year. Which is fine, because as everyone knows, Santa speaks every language. Even Irish.
And, as the boy pointed out one Christmas, there was no need to rush around, stressed, coming up to the big day.
Santa takes care of everything.
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