I’m getting the decs up early this year. Usually I’m a later decorator for the completely reasonable reason that they stay looking better nearer the day if they haven’t been up for weeks. But may be because we were so low-key last year I want to start playing with my Christmas toys early.
I have made some resolutions. I’m not going to buy any more fairy lights. Although our outside ones have died so I have to replace them. I also bought some reindeer for the mantlepiece but they don’t count because they stand on it and don’t hang, so they’re not a bone fide fairy light.
I’ve also resolved not to buy life size acrylic reindeer (yes I am obsessed) to go on the parapet outside the first floor of our house. They would be seen for miles! I fear the neighbours might write me hate mail if I went for them. We are in a conservation area. However, I also decided that if something amazing happens I have the right to change my mind. And the something amazing could be quite small, like finding the wrapping paper.
One of my annual tasks is to think up an idea for the Christmas card. Sometimes the idea arrives naturally – when we had two pregnant Mums we had a double Nativity scene. But apart from having a picture of my newly upgraded bathroom – not really very festive – nothing new has happened this year. I don’t draw myself the picture. My daughter did it for years and year and now, although I feel I shouldn’t add this task to a busy woman’s life, she does usually get out the drawing pen. My daughter in law has done it, my son in law did it and once, we had to outsource if from the family all together. Once local school girl had a lot of extra Christmas money that year.
This year I have decided to have the view from my bedroom. I’ve been looking at this view for 40 years. It’s of a fort, a folly really, on top of the hill which is Rodborough Common. There are some decorative trees, quite small and wind blown, but always beautiful against a winter sky. I maintain that winter skies are better than summer skies on the whole. I might add Santa and his sleigh to the sky. If only I did draw myself it would be easier.
I’m not really one for wishing for things that I can’t have but I do often wish that I was as efficient and capable as the women in my books. They wouldn’t wrap two identical presents for two little boys and not label them, thinking it didn’t matter and then remember that the items in question (piggy banks) have their names painted on them. They wouldn’t fail to open the delivery for someone’s present that has to be posted until it’s time to send it off, only to discover that the wrong thing has been sent. No, they would be better organised. They’d have made their Christmas cake, bought a Christmas tree or two by now and generally got ahead.
That’s possibly why I put women like that in my books. It’s a fantasy!
I do hope your plans for Christmas come to fruition and if you have to make it up as your go along that it’s fun. It really isn’t about the food or the presents, it’s about seeing family and friends. Sadly, that’s often the thing we can’t control.
I like to make up a mental Advent Calendar of small Christmas joys. It could be sharing a smile with a stranger in a supermarket as you both try to get your trolleys to turn a corner, the spontaneous carol singing, the very special card from someone. Hearing a new carol that you love, seeing a favourite film. Those joys are to be had if you only keep looking out for them.
Thank you for this – it is lovely when I can’t see family this Christmas and feel anxious about new variant, which doesn’t help as I work in hospital for the Newborn Hearing Screening Programme.
Thank you for including me in your message and keep writing as I’ve found your books a great escape from daily work during all stages of the pandemic –
Happy Christmas to you Katie and best wishes for a happy, healthy and successful 2022 – may your Christmas lights shine and not let you down, reindeer included…as long as they don’t fly!
December 17, 2021
Merry Christmas Briony/Katie. Enjoyed reading your blog. Enjoy the festivities and keep writing xx