As a family, we are usually late for everything and Christmas is no exception. ‘Ooh, fab,’ I thought a couple of weeks ago when I sat down to write this blog post (never let it be said that I just dash them off), ‘I’ll write about what a feminist advert the M&S Christmas ad is.’ But by the time I got round to that people had already started bitching about why it wasn’t (don’t worry Janet McTeer, I’m still devoted). Now, according to everyone on Facebook, the only Christmas advert we should be crying over is the Polish Grandad one. And by the time I post this I’m sure Polish Grandads will be a bit meh too, and the country will be back to slagging off immigrants.
Despite being repeatedly warned by the good people at Tesco, I have now missed all the Christmas delivery slots. I have not posted a single Christmas card, because thanks to digital communication I have no idea what the addresses of any of my friends are. And no friends, please don’t write and tell me, because I’ll probably miss the last posting dates too (although obviously, this doesn’t mean you’re not dead to me if I’m knocked off your Christmas card list in return).
We have only just got our Christmas tree up, because we reuse the one from Andrew’s school department, and term only finished on Friday. And, erm, the delivery driver looks too pissed to go very fast.
I have done zero Christmas shopping for anyone, which is entirely Andrew’s fault for attention seeking-ly turning 40 this December. Never mind actually buying and then posing an Elf on a Shelf, I still haven’t worked out why I need to worry about being a shit mum for not having done so.
Buying new Christmas pyjamas for our family was the one thing I did feel smug about. But I have recently discovered I was late with that as well. Apparently everyone does it, Christmas Pyjamas are an actual thing, and probably passé by now too.
And nope, I have no idea what we’ll be eating on Christmas day either. As a vegetarian, Christmas dinner is not the big deal for me that it is for meat eaters. One year I had pizza while Andrew had oven chips and steak. This was the year of the Three Bottles of Prosecco Christmas Eve, drunk to celebrate the return of electricity after a three day power cut.
Actually, apart from the puking on Christmas morning, that was our best family Christmas ever. With no electricity we had to talk to each other. We played games, went for walks, ate off a camping stove, used candles, read, huddled by the fireside under blankets. It was simple, free, and relaxing.
Apart from the puking.
It was also unplanned, romantic and old fashioned…All the things we so desperately try to make Christmas as we frantically bounce from shop to website to Post Office.
That was three years ago, and every year since we’ve promised to do an electricity free 24 hours over the Christmas holidays. And every year we’ve found an excuse not to. Mostly because it would be a massive pain in the arse, but then the best times in life are usually preceded with some kind of pain-in-the-arseness, aren’t they?
For example, Bear was off school last week with a vomiting bug. This was a pain in the arse of the most literal kind for him. And it was painful for his mum, too. One does not know servitude, sacrifice and claustrophobia until one has tended to a sick four year old for a few days. Although feelings of peace and goodwill were not always in abundance, the upside was that we got to spend lots of precious one to one time together. I took him to a thrillingly GINORMOUS Asda and let him get tinsel to cheer himself up. Never has tinsel been allowed in our house before, and I feel some kind of metaphor trying to make itself felt, about Christmas not being about what you think you want, but glittery and special nonetheless.
I’d have time to work out such metaphors properly, if it wasn’t for the fact that I’ve got a Christmas to go and get…
And may I be first to wish you a very happy New Year.