I look forward to Christmas every year. Since we got married (can you believe that was over four years ago already??!) The Bloke and I spend Christmas at home, visiting family and friends in the weeks before (although last year we weren’t able to do that). We have developed a bit of a routine and traditions – when we buy presents and send cards, when and how we decorate, when we go food shopping etc. Usually by now everything would be done and ready to go well in advance – the cupboards would be full, presents would be wrapped, our Christmas watchlist would have been planned to the nth degree to avoid missing any of the Christmas specials, The Bloke would have braved Marks and Spencer to grab a pre-rolled turkey and stuffing (there’s only two of us and there’s no way I’m spending half my Christmas Day cooking a massive frozen turkey that will go to waste) and I would have posted on the blog several times about how drunk the tree looks etc.
This year, however, has been different. I’m not sure quite what happened, but this Christmas was pretty much done in about 48 hours. December has been insanely busy with work, my Mum and I went off to York for a few days for Christmas in Narnia at Castle Howard (luckily it was before the Omicron variant became really intense here but unfortunately it was just as Storm Barra hit the UK, which prevented us from doing the Christmas shopping we had planned), we had a few shows at the theatre and then I suddenly woke up and realised that I had just a few days until the post deadline to get everything organised.
I started with one present that I had bought The Bloke earlier in the year and and that was it.
The Bloke put the tree up and the lights (I was so grateful, I hate that part) and we later threw the decorations on it accompanied by a Christmas playlist on YouTube which took less than 20 minutes. There was a slight moment of ‘awww’ when we saw the cat’s old reindeer outfit and Santa hats in amongst the tinsel. He’s no longer with us, bless him, but by god that cat could wear the heck out of a hat.
I ordered some gifts from Amazon, some of which I sent directly to my mum’s house. It’s slightly less personal but much quicker than having it sent to my house, wrapping them and then posting them on. To be fair, my mum knew it was arriving and she still opened it immediately and ate half of the chocolates I had sent her…
I ordered a present for The Bloke from Argos to collect in the store (there is an Argos just a short walk away on the local high street).
I went to the card shop (also on the high street), bought some personalised cards, came home and wrote them, then discovered my mum’s card said ‘wife’ on the front so had to go back to the card shop. Both times that I went to the card shop I forgot to pick up The Bloke’s present from Argos on the way back. I posted all of about 5 cards, when normally I send four or five times more than that.
I ordered some presents for my friends, and also got a little something for my friend’s dog. Random I know, but I walk him for her and he’s a 50lb hulk of furry smush that would snuggle you to death given the opportunity.
This morning I went off to the supermarket (also on the high street) and got most of the Christmas shopping. The supermarket has a points card system and we save up the points from our food shopping all year and then use it for our Christmas dinner and snacky treats, so in total I spent about £7.00. Bargain. I remembered The Bloke’s present from Argos this time (third time lucky).
The Bloke schlepped off to Marks for the turkey, arriving back with 3 extra bags of stuff just because…
This afternoon I will wrap The Bloke’s presents and then plan to settle down in my jammies under a duvet while watching Clash of the Titans (the 1981 version, of course – can’t beat a bit of 1980s Harry Hamlin!)
And that’s us done. The Out of Office has been turned on and I intend to do almost nothing for a few days.
And at the risk of waxing lyrical about it, how lucky it is that we are to be able to do that. Our family and friends are all doing ok, the bills are paid, the cupboards are full, the mantle is filled with cards and we can settle down all cosy and warm without having to worry about much – there are so many who can’t say the same, particularly over the last few years. It’s something I need to remind myself when things seem tough and overwhelming.
I hope you all have a very happy and healthy Christmas… x