The shops are starting to fill up with things like these Christmas patty cases, so there you are in the supermarket and you think, “How cute! And only three dollars! I’ll get some!” But resist impulse buying, ask yourself if you’d really use them and sleep on it. Three dollars isn’t much by itself, but three dollars every day from now until Christmas is over a hundred dollars and that’s enough to buy something a whole lot better than patty cases.
I went to the craft market today where I bought Gertruda’s lace collar a few months back and was tempted to ask them if I could return it! But that would be unchristian of me (yes, I’m an atheist but I have Christian values) so I resisted.
 Wendy is vehement in her dislike of white Christmas so Emma cooked a batch every year to tease her. Emma upped the ante each time by adding increasingly delicious ingredients but ceded defeat once she’d reached slivered almonds, flaked coconut and rum-soaked dried apricots. “If that didn’t tempt her, nothing will,” Emma told me. Wendy said if she was going to be bribed to eat copha, it would take at least a sports car.
 Carol has both a positive and a negative section in her shopping list: the left column is must-haves like flour and nutmeg, and the right column is must-not-haves like decorations and chocolate.
 You could get a kilo of pom poms, a butterfly net and a pogo stick, for example (which could make for a very interesting Christmas Eve).