Saturday, 24 December 2011

The littlest things

I've been making little mistakes, like forgetting to attach the email attachment, and bigger mistakes like wrapping up the wrong present. I don't usually make mistakes like these but perhaps its not surprising. I am exhausted. There are also six birthdays in December and I have been up until one wrapping.

During the wrapping session I am also on the phone finalising birthday party preparations.

'I've got the parental champagne,' I say, 'and I just need to sort parental nibbles.'

'Great! I've hired a helium canister,' says my friend.

'Goodness,' I say, 'You've thought of everything.'

'Actually I feel like my head is about to explode,' she says.

This is exactly the feeling I have. This is Christmas.

'I'm sorry to sound like a moaning 70s housewife,' she says, 'but I think men think that Christmas just happens.'

When I was a child, my mother drove us insane. She'd make three puddings and complain about all the work she had to do, and we'd say, 'But you only needed to make one,' and she'd say, 'Well I like everyone to have their favourite.'

Looking back, I think she achieved the miracle of Christmas by never sleeping. The house was always full of happy people and wonderful cooking smells and a matriarch who had been making lists for a month and had thought of everything.

This year I only started feeling Christmassy yesterday. I like to be in the kitchen cooking, I like a houseful of people (lots of whom must be chocolate-stealing children), I like to have choral music in the background, I like a church service, I like lots of fairy lights, I like the smell of a real pine-needle-dropping tree, I like lots of booze, and giving beautiful things.

Christmas is a million little things. It's the things that make your head almost explode. But as my mother taught us, it's the thought that counts.


  1. And now it is time to enjoy it all, have a wonderful time.

  2. May those happy memories of your childhood be with you this Christmas and always!

    Happy Christmas!