{25/11/2012}   Preparing for Christmas

It will be Christmas Day in exactly one month.  How did that happen?  I like to plan things in advance and hate having last minute things to do, but I do feel vaguely prepared.  But, really, why does there even need to be preparation other than presents and cards?  Somehow, there just does need to be preparation.

For example, decorations.  I love Christmassy things (in December, not October or November) and love decorating my home with a tree, fairy lights and other bits and pieces.  This year, however, I have a weekend earmarked for that.  Usually it ends up being a bit approximate and rushed.  For quite some years, a friend of mine who loves and is very good at wrapping used to come over.  I would bake mince pies and decorate and she would wrap all my presents (except her own of course, I’m not that incompetent!).  We would listen to Christmas music and it was always so much fun.  Sadly, for the past few years we haven’t been free at the same time so haven’t done it.  If I shake a leg, we might actually manage to sort a date to resurrect this Christmas tradition.

So that could possibly cover a task I hate, wrapping.  Then there is the Christmas season food.  I see it as an excuse to stockpile favourite foods, mainly cheese.  I have also been well and truly influenced by Christmas marketing so always buy nuts (they usually end up more as dusty “decorations” but, hey, Christmas is all about nuts and dried fruit too … right?!) and chocolates and Baileys and – well, all the things the shops thrust in your face as you enter a shop.  I am gullible and foolish on this score.  But it’s all part of the Christmas excess and I love it.  I also seem to always have a fridge full of meat and vegetables as if shops will be closed for a week.  They aren’t and it just makes me eat even more.  Dreadful really and this year I should economise and not gorge myself.

So really, that should be it.  But somehow it never is.  For a one-day celebration, I end up spending hours and hours thinking and planning.  And my Christmas Day this year will be my mum and I; it’s not like we have a huge family.  But then there are the pre-Christmas meet-ups with friends, a season of parties/drinks out/meals out and catching up with people you’ve shamefully barely been in touch with since the previous pre-Christmas rush.  But really that’s nice, even though it’s sad, because at least there is a time of year that we make an extra effort to see friends and family.  For so many people, that’s the best thing about Christmas, seeing and spending time with your loved ones.  And eating loads.  And having a house full of fairy lights and what would usually be dismissed as tat!

So, while over the coming month I may moan I have no money/time and I have too much to do/eat/drink, really I will love it and it will make me feel Christmassy and homey and there will be schmaltz and Polar Express on TV and I will sink into my favourite chair covered in a rug, cat on lap, Baileys to hand, cheese aplenty, mince pies and brandy butter to be warmed at a moment’s notice, TV on, foot rest in use … ah, yes, I have well and truly been brainwashed by Christmas marketing.  But I don’t care, I love Christmas and this whole month coming.


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