Pre-Christmas Blues


I have never been less ready for another Holy Night so soon after the last one.

Only a couple of weeks ago I threw away Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Christmas pudding camouflaging as a box of something with forever shelf life at the back of the cupboard. In another unrelated event, I found myself musing over at a couple of 12 months old bottles of mulled wine recently; how long do they keep for, do they ever go vintage? Fine, I do not do clear-outs until cupboards doors buckle, unable to contain the fruits of my voracious consumerism any longer.
My housekeeping shortcomings aside, it’s too soon for tinsel again.

As I get older, time plays funny games. I am still trying to get into proper work mode after the summer heatwave and holiday season. I am almost there, but now that Christmas is round the corner, there seems little point in throwing myself into work, only to grind to a festive halt within weeks. Might as well wait until the New Year.

It looks like I am not the only one not ready for Christmas though. Eastenders are still busy mopping up after last year’s rooftop carnage, whilst this year’s spoilers remain at guesswork stage.

The state of my Christmas un-readiness might have something to do with our family inching along towards adulthood. It has not been the same since the kids reluctantly conceded that believing in Santa was no longer sustainable. The first time we did not leave out a glass of milk and a mince pie for Santa and a carrot for his reindeers, a little bit of Christmas died a silent death right there in the middle of our living room. Going to sleep on Christmas Eve without chewing and spitting out bits of carrots onto the carpet to make a convincing impression of messy Rudolf and his mates made me more painfully aware of merciless passage of time than anything else I can think of right now.

Gift buying has become a lot less fun. It now amounts to ploughing through list of Amazon links in elaborate emails to Santa, which replaced wobbly handwritten notes of yore, and finding the right balance between making everybody happy on the 25th and making myself destitute in January.

Utopian family Christmas ads always feature not only angelic children, and clean-aproned parents, but they are also peppered with silver-haired grandparents, breaking into perfectly dentured smiles. I am aware that next time my Christmas is likely to be yet again populated with miniature humans will be when my children bring their own offspring to the equation.
I also know beyond a shred of doubt, that if there is one thing I am less ready for than another jar of goose fat, it is becoming a grandmother. And I am happy to cover my entire kitchen floor with bits of chewed up carrot to prove it!

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