Christmas has come to the Gardner house!
Well, the Gardner one-bedroom flat. At first glance it might look like the Christmas lights in Oxford Street, but that's not a Chinese tourist in the bottom right-hand corner. Although she is playing Mahjong. Interestingly, when I first showed Lisa this photo on the camera last night, she didn't realise she was in it. That's how dazzling the lights are. You can't take your eyes off them.
Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking "Phil, I'm on a limited budget this Christmas. I'm a Farepak customer with shares in Northern Rock. I'd like to splash out on that kind of visually stunning display but, unlike yourself, I just can't afford those little luxuries (Mahjong computer game, excessive guitar amps, picture of a plane) which make life worth living. How can I be festive and frugal this Christmas?"
Well firstly I'd say that Lisa doesn't even like that picture, so not everyone appreciates luxury, and secondly, you can get a whole frozen goose from Lidl for £14.99. No, really, I saw them on Wednesday.
But as for the lights, if you're wondering how much it might cost to have that kind of display in your living room this year, here's the answer:
I'd say they're as cheap as chips, but I don't know where you can get chips for 67p.
To be honest, I've no idea how Asda can produce a boxed set of 20 multi-coloured Christmas lights with three spare bulbs and a fitted plug for less than seventy pence, but I'm sure it doesn't involve child labour. They're top quality too - I had them on for three hours last night and they didn't catch fire once.
As it happens, I actually had a budget of £150 for my Christmas decorations this year, but as of 12:15pm yesterday afternoon when Mr Hotpoint arrived, tightened a nut on my dryer fan, and left after five minutes with £149 of my money, I've had to make savings.