You can plan for Christmas as much as you like: start shopping in the January sales (I didn’t); be efficient enough to book a slot for a Christmas delivery for your big supermarket shop (nope. Me neither.); and festoon your house with as many lights, wreaths and homemade decorations as you can (well, I managed a tree and I call that success); but you can’t control everything, can you?
Despite the excitement of the big day, the kids (and let’s face it – the rest of us too) are tired and grumpy after a long, arduous term and arguments and irritability are bubbling under the surface ready to wreak havoc just at the moment when we are trying to capture some of that Christmas magic.
And illness. You can’t legislate for that one. What silly fool decided that winter was a good time to celebrate our most beloved festival? Sure the streets look beautiful lit up in the darkness of a winter evening and Bing Crosby’s dream of a white Christmas is a very tantalising one, but I think those Antipodeans maybe on to something. It may be strange to consider frolicking in the sunshine before tucking into the turkey (or nut roast in my case), but it certainly cuts the chances of a winter cold scuppering our fun by at least half!
I have just finished watching Brave with my youngest (at 11.30pm) after she was up once again with a temperature of 104. We sat under a blanket taking it in turns to sneeze, surrounded by bottles of Calpol and boxes of Lemsip….some Christmas celebration this is looking to be!
But oddly enough, whilst I am annoyed that things may not be turning out quite as planned (even my poor planning did not include sit around feeling decidedly rough without even a desire to work my way through the tin of Celebrations), it still feels like Christmas.
Maybe I am being fanciful – goodness knows there are enough terrible things happening in the world at the run up to this Christmas period to make anyone wonder whether there is really anything to celebrate – but those tiny moments in the busy Christmas preparations: the Salvation Army band playing in town; sitting with a mug of mulled wine to wrap that pile of presents; listening to Fairytale of New York yet again and hearing the melancholy beauty in the lyrics – those moments make it magical. Illness, bad temper, even terrible, sad news in the wider world – all this can be forgotten in those brief moments of joy and beauty.
Christmas is coming folks, and I wish you all a very merry one. Be happy and surround yourself with loved ones and you can’t go far wrong.