I AM wrestling with the decision to postpone my Christmas shopping until December 22.

According to those ancient Mayans, the world ends on Friday, December 21. So no sense wasting money, as my granny used to say.

As if Mother Earth does not have enough on her tectonic plate coping with Mother Nature's pay-back:tsunamis, typhoons, tornadoes, flash floods, hurricanes, global warming, earthquakes and black holes (and not just in George Osborne's Autumn Statement).

What luck we live in sun-kissed Scotland, but even we can't escape the prophecy of doom from a Central American civilisation that died out 1100 years ago. Funny they never saw that coming.

We humans do love a hefty dose of hysteria.

A Reuters survey in 21 countries found at least 10% of the population fear annihilation.

People are building underground bunkers, stockpiling food, making suicide pacts.

Russia, America, France and China are among governments trying to convince their citizens we are not heading into oblivion.

Meanwhile, Alex Salmond tries to convince Scots we are heading into Europe. It is unsure which would be the greater catastrophe.

Nasa has laughed off claims the planet Nibiru will collide with Earth. The space agency says it exists only in fevered imaginations.

Supposed mystics and healers are on pilgrimages to the world's spiritual sites, including Machu Picchu in Peru, Mount Sinai, Stonehenge, and Gretna Green.

Yes, Gretna, where zealots are gathering to join the oldest sect of them all.

Scotland's love capital has a record 20 weddings tomorrow, 12/12/12 being seen by some as the real date for Mayan mayhem.

Some folk (not me, of course, Mrs S) already consider marriage to be the end of life as we know it.

Anyway, if they are a week out don't worry about it, it's not the end of the world.

Some prophecy nerds even believe salvation lies in a giant spaceship that sits under the French Pyrenees. Honest!

There, extra-terrestrials wait for the end, ready to soar into space, taking a lucky few intergalactic hitchhikers and, I hope, David Cameron's Cabinet.

There could be other hidden benefits in a cataclysm: imagine being spared two years of independence rantings, and no more austerity?

At least the apocalypse will cure Glasgow's litter and chewing gum epidemic.

End of the world? Some areas of this city wouldn't even notice the difference.

Before you scream, "Armageddon outa here", resist the temptation to max out your credit cards, milk every payday loan company, abuse your boss, or give the neighbours back their lawnmower.

Don't do anything daft, like the bunch of believers who sat on their roofs, so that on being rocketed heavenwards they would not crack their heads on the living room ceiling.

You could wake up on December 22, hungover from that champagne-fuelled, heart-searching farewell to the wife.

Your first thought is your worst nightmare, your delayed Christmas shopping - until you remember confessing to the wife you really fancied her sister.

Now that really would be the end of the world.

nA Dorset teacher was sent to bed without supper after telling eight and nine-year-olds Santa doesn't exist.

Imagine denying that an ancient bearded fat guy, in oversized hooded red suit and wellies, in a reindeer-powered flying sleigh, in one night delivers a present to every child in the world.

Is that any less believable than the fairytales we are fed by politicians?

Is nine a bit old still to believe?

I wish. My wife still expects the old fella to appear, although more than once a year.

Kids grow up soon enough. Leave their dreams alone.