Making a Baubles of it All

  • Post category:Blog / General

Merry Christmas! Well, merry Christmas week, anyway. It’s the nineteenth of December, and this will be my last blog post before the big day, so I’m taking the opportunity to wish you all a very happy and jolly day, with lots of presents and enough food to sink a luxury liner, and enough drink to float a luxury liner, and loads of love and laughter and all the usual Christmassy things that people wish each other – even people they don’t particularly like, or people who have really, really annoyed them this year, like say, just for example, Grinch-like bosses who’ve scrapped the Christmas bonus and not so much as chipped in for a bottle of something festive, or a box of chocolates or even a poxy card for their hard-working employees. Just for instance. *Cough*.

Anyway, enough of that. I’m quite sure that I can leave them to their fate and that, one night, they will be visited by three spirits who will show them the error of their ways.  In the meantime, I am getting on with my Christmas. As usual, it’s organised chaos, and I’m left staring at a pile of Christmas cards that I bought weeks ago, remembered to write on weeks ago, even bought stamps for weeks ago, but somehow completely forgot to post/hand to relatives/give to DH to deliver. It happens every year! And the weird thing is, I never find them afterwards, so I can’t even reuse them the following Christmas. How does that happen?

I made an epic Christmas baubles of it all yesterday – even by my standards. I don’t know what’s going on in my peanut brain lately. I seem to be so distracted and forgetful and everything just slips away from me. I mean, I’ve known Christmas was coming for long enough. It’s not like it can sneak up on you unexpectedly, is it? Not when the tins of Quality Street are stacked up to the ceiling in the supermarket from the first of October, and you’re bombarded with Shakin’ Stevens wishing you a merry Christmas from the minute you step inside the store and have to endure him EVERY SINGLE TIME you shop for a whole twelve weeks. Anyway, I hate supermarket shopping so much that I’ve taken to ordering my stuff online. That’s not without its problems, but that’s for another post.

So, I decided that the Christmas shop would be no different. I’d book my delivery slot and the nice things would be delivered to my doorstep on Christmas Eve and all would be well with the world. Sainsbury’s even emailed me to tip me off that the delivery slots for Christmas week were being released, so as soon as I got the email, I went online and tried to book one. That’s when I discovered that deliveries weren’t made on Christmas Eve. Not only that, but some of the slots were already full, and the first one I could get was the twenty-second of December. Since that doesn’t coincide with pay day or my usual shopping day, I got thoroughly confused. Honestly! You know, years ago I would have taken all this in my stride. In fact, I wouldn’t have dreamed of doing my shopping online. (There was no such thing as online shopping. In fact, there was no such thing as online!) I would have taken all five of my children out with me and tackled the Christmas shop with a determined attitude and a list a mile long, and I would have got everything I needed with no problems. Now I just curl up in a ball and sob. It’s all too difficult! I can’t think straight!

Being unable to make sense of anything any more, I ended up booking a slot for the eighteenth, and then another for the twenty-seventh. I figured I could order my usual week’s shopping plus a few extras for Christmas Day and Boxing Day, and then have another week’s shopping delivered just after the big day to take me into New Year.  So why did it all go so wrong? What was I thinking???

I don’t know why, but for some reason I ordered lots of fresh food, like salad and fruit and pork pies and trifle, which all turned up yesterday on my doorstep. Sadly, I hadn’t taken into account the little matter of use by dates. It turned out that everything fresh I’d ordered would be out of date even before Christmas Eve. So that was useless. I’d also ordered a lot of frozen stuff, not thinking that I only have a fridge freezer these days, not my old chest freezer. So after the delivery man had left, I set to work putting everything away, only to sink onto the kitchen floor in a trembling heap twenty minutes later, after realising that I had a bag full of frozen food that I didn’t have any room for. I shoved the bag outside in the garden, hoping it would stay cold, while I tried to think what to do.

Luckily for me, while my brain cells seem to be diminishing rapidly, DH seems to finally have developed some. He came downstairs, saw the sorry state of affairs, and within ten minutes had completely rearranged the freezer and managed to put everything away. I could only look on and try to remember that once upon a time, I’d been the intelligent one.

I’m now sitting here writing this, when really, I should be wrapping up presents. I hate wrapping up presents, but since DH wrapped a third of them and DD1 wrapped another third, it seems only fair that I wrap some. Unfortunately, I didn’t buy enough wrapping paper either, so I probably won’t get to finish the job today. I haven’t even started wrapping DH’s presents, and every time he goes upstairs I scream at him, “Don’t go in the spare bedroom,” because that’s where they are. Since he doesn’t go in the spare bedroom I don’t know why I say it anyway. I’ve even taken to whispering about the dog’s presents so she doesn’t know what she’s got. And, after making a huge fuss about buying an advent calendar without chocolate, just like the ones I had as a child, I finally got one just in time for December, and have forgotten to open the doors every single time. The result is that, every few days, I look at it in horror and open about five or six doors, barely registering the picture behind them. Hardly the image I had in my mind.

Honestly, I’d love to say it’s the stress of Christmas that’s making me act so weirdly, but the truth is I’ve been declining for a few years now. I used to be so organised and so in control. Now, with all the kids grown up and left home, I’m completely losing track. Well, they do insist on breeding and this family is expanding more than the Von Trapps. I have so many people to buy for now I don’t know where I am or what I’m doing, and since DH is working all over Christmas again and I’m working up until Christmas Eve afternoon and back again on the Tuesday, there doesn’t seem to be much time to plan, prepare or enjoy the festivities.

Still, the main thing is, I managed to get a bottle of advocaat, so the Christmas Snowball will be happening! There’s always a bright spot, and this is mine. A few glasses of that and I’ll be wearing a paper hat and singing Abba songs into a hairbrush and all will be well again. I’m easily pleased. Right, that’s my lot. I’m off to eat some pork pie and trifle. Hopefully, I’ll remember to put them on separate plates.

Have a great Christmas xxx