About this time of year, I have a pre-Christmas panic attack. We have all had a year off as it was Covid and we were in tiers and then in lockdown. So we scaled our Christmas back but this year everyone says they are going for the full-on, in-your-face, probably overspend-Christmas.
I don’t want to sound like Scrooge but I loved last year. It was just us – the six of us and no guests because we were not allowed to entertain. We celebrated being together and being healthy which is something we should be doing every year but…..
My first dilemma is the Christmas card. Every year I say I will only send cards to people on their own or who I haven’t seen for ages. However, we have hardly seen anyone this last year so that list is very long. And at 76p (first class) or 65p (second class) plus the cost of the card, it is an expensive pastime. I also hate just signing our names though I also hate receiving the ones with a long letter telling you how little Johnny got a double first at university or they now have 7 bonnie grandchildren – we have none which is a bone of contention with OH (other half) and I as we would love some. We are awash with puppies, both daughters have acquired pups this year and they are coming for Christmas so we will be 4 bouncy dogs plus the 6 of us. And by Christmas day we will have scooped up a few other guests who may be on their own.
Back to the Christmas card – I might cheat and only send upon receiving one but that does seem a little contrived?
Next is the Christmas decorations. My husband lets out many an expletive when I say it is time to get all the decorations down from the shed. Inevitably some lights don’t work so out comes the debit card. Decorating the outside tree always creates tension as ladders are needed and there is a lot of huffing as I direct and OH tries to comply. We usually swap places and I ascend the ladder to try and get a more balanced look on said tree.
We have a crazy collection of Father Christmases (is that the plural?) which we arrange around the house but we have had some incidents with our dogs who feel this is an invasion of their home and have been known to attack one or two especially if the Father Christmas sings some out of tune Christmas song and to finish them off it then waggles its head. Once or twice I have seen one of them cock their leg on one of the FCs.
But let’s move onto the food……
As I type this I am on the phone holding for my supermarket customer service person as my regular delivery would be on 23rd December but apparently, they emailed me at the end of September to say my regular slot in Christmas week was cancelled and I had to apply for a new one. I never got the email or maybe at the end of September any email with the ‘C’ word in its title I chose to ignore. However, that is an extraordinary way to treat customers who have an online order with them every week of the year and suddenly on the most important week, we get bumped. I daren’t send OH with a list to the supermarket three days before Christmas as he tends to go off-piste and interpret my list rather than follow it. So looks like I will be doing the dreaded bumper trolley run, fighting over the last packet of devils on horseback and a huge tin of Quality Street – the tin being huge but the contents barely filling a third of the tin. Once opened all the purple ones are guzzled by my family and I am left with a few coconut ones and some extra pounds on my hips!
Of course, I could just get organised and get ahead as it appears from the oracle of weather reporting, the Daily Express, we are about to be hit by an Ice Age and if we manage to avoid that we will be in a snowdrift. So whoever stole my delivery slot won’t be getting their delivery two days before Christmas – maybe tinned food is the answer!
And, in all of this, I haven’t even touched on present buying, though through our own Gift Ideas section I have already done quite a bit. Black Friday seems to now have extended to Black November but still, nothing I want is ever reduced. So don’t wait my brain says but my heart says maybe there might be a better gift idea if I just hang on and then guess what, I spend more than I budgeted.
To be perfectly honest all I want for Christmas is to hunker down with my family, watch some good TV, eat normal food not turkey with bread in a milk sauce, mashed sweet potato with marshmallows or drink dodgy red wine boiled up with some spices, and go for long walks in the countryside. Nevertheless, I promise I will be starting to get in the Christmas Spirit on 1st December.
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