December had crept upon us sooner than I was ready for it, which seemed to have become a regular occurrence of late, and now, ready, or not, Christmas is breathing down our necks once more.
What with energy prices, cost of living crisis, migrant crisis, soaring inflation, interest rates hikes, Ukraine, Liz Truss, Prince Andrew, Matt Hancock, rail strikes, nurses’ strikes, Royal Mail strikes, Border Force strikes, baggage handlers’ strikes, ambulance drivers’ strikes, driving examiners’ strikes, strep A, Harry Kane penalty miss, and Harry and Meghan, on and off Netflix; the magic had been slow off the ground. In fact, there was even talk of ‘the winter of our discontent’ making another comeback.
Still, I was sure jingle bells, mistletoe and wine would find their way home eventually, they always do.
The snow had been a big help. Everything looked more positive covered with a thick blanket of brilliant white, however reason-defying that sounded. Snow aesthetics lifted the mood, even if it deepened our strike-ridden public transport woes.
Alas, it melted.
Hamza winning Strictly brought the seasonal magic to almost within reach.
And then, on the Sunday before Christmas, my two adult children came home for the festive season, and as soon as we were five again, Christmas had arrived, and nothing could spoil it from then onwards.
Within minutes, pigs in blankets were in the oven, Quality Street on the table, and Gogglebox reruns on TV. The world stopped, the time slowed down, and life was perfect.
For the semi-empty nester like myself (youngest daughter is still at home, but only just, with one eye firmly on emails from UCAS), Christmas truly is the most wonderful time of the year, when I get to deal with endless wash loads, kitchen mess, siblings’ banter, and a mountain of shoes by the front door, taking me right back to the mid- noughties. The magic of Christmas at its very best.