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Marie Louise McConville: It's never too early for Christmas shopping - especially when there's bargains to be had

Marie Louise has revealed she has already started her Christmas shopping - much to everyone else's despair

So, who else is organised then?

I know 261 days seems like a lot - but it's really not.

Don't get me wrong, I know there's a lot to do between now and then but with just 38 weeks to go, Christmas 2018 is already hurtling towards us.

And, not to be a boastful Betty or anything, but I've already started my Christmas shopping.

Now, calm down, calm down.

Let me explain.

This was actually not intentional.

It all started this week when I went for a walk during my lunch break.

Having taken a dander into CastleCourt, not going anywhere in particular, I found myself going up the escalator when a sign - ‘Closing Down Sale' - caught the corner of my eye.

Now, I'm not normally one for sales - and I feel really sorry when any big retailer shuts down - but my heart began to flutter when I realised it was a well known toy shop.

So, I decided to go in.

You can imagine my reaction when I learned the discounts were between 25 per cent and a massive 60 per cent.

I suddenly found myself grabbing a trolley and as I loosened my elbows - ready to fight off anyone attempting to grab bargains from under my nose - I hardened my look to let other people know I meant business.

In an instant, my trolley was full and when I paid, I realised I had paid just a fraction of what the full price would have been.

I was chuffed.

Of course, I then had to comically balance it all as I made my way back to the office, and I was panting by the time I reached Donegall Street - but it was all worth it.

And I am really embarrassed to admit that that was not the end of it because I re-visited the shop on two more lunch breaks and found more bargains.

But now it seems I have gone into full festive mode and I am finding myself constantly on the look-out for other bargains - all for Christmas.

Am I crazy?

I really do think I might have a problem.

And the worse of it is, I can't even talk to anyone about it because the minute I mention Christmas, people just freak out.

I think I need to find a help group.

So, anyone else out there willing to admit to being obsessed with Christmas in April?

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I was really inspired this week to read about US athlete Bethany Hamilton who has welcomed her second son, 14 years after losing her arm in a shark attack in Hawaii.

Proving an inspiration, the now 28-year-old did not allow her terrible injuries to hamper her dreams as she later began competing professionally.

This week Bethany announced the birth of her second son, Wesley, by posing for a photo with her husband, Adam Dirks, and the couple's three-year-old son, Tobias.

It is such a cute photo and I am so happy for her.

Just goes to show that you should never give up on your dreams.

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