Sunday, 14 December 2008

Mistletoe and Whine

Well hello, nice to see you, to see you........ I really must stop watching Brucie on that Strictly Come Dancing thingy, I think it may be getting to me. Anyway, how are you? Ready for Christmas?

Of course, the correct answer to this if you are any friend of mine, is absolutely, definitely "NO WAY". Please don't tell me you've already wrapped all your presents, iced your cake, cleaned out your freezer and filled it with home-made goodies. I just couldn't stand it. And if you are one of these hideously organised people who have made their own cards from sticky backed plastic and glitter way back in November, please speak to the hand 'cos the face ain't listening.

No, I prefer the haphazard chaos theory of Christmas preparations - ignore it for as long as possible, throw up my hands in horror that it is in fact NEXT WEEK, tear around like a maniac buying all manner of unsuitable gifts, open the Harveys Bristol cream and fling decorations on the tree whilst steadily getting festively merry.

Catering-wise I've decided to take the easy road this year with ready-stuffed turkey, pre-prepared veg, M and S gravy and Mamma Mia DVD for afters. Hopefully having produced this gourmet feast I'll be wearing a new pair of those furry slippers that look like Ugg boots, my feet up on the sofa, a tin of Quality Street on my lap, waiting for one of my doting family to bring me a cup of tea after they've washed up and tidied the kitchen.

In my fantasy world all presents will have been received with enthusiasm, Christmas dinner will have passed without anyone having an argument, I will remain sober until tea-time and no one will notice we've lost half the Scrabble tiles since last year. It will all have been absolutely perfect, worth all the effort and everyone will be happy.

In reality I have only two words to say to that. One is "fat" and the other is "chance".

But really, what is a "perfect" Christmas? For me, it's having my family around me, my kids under my roof once more, sitting at a table with everyone I love around it.

So this coming week when we're all struggling with bags of shopping in the pouring rain (unless you've pre-booked your Sainsbury's delivery slot, in which case you can stay at home and be smug), or standing in a queue at M and S listening to everyone around us moaning about the amount of stuff other people are buying ("it's only two days after all, I don't know what all the fuss is about"), let's hold on to what's really important to us this year. Whatever you wish for yourselves, I hope you get it. Within reason, of course.

Happy Christmas everyone, try not to throttle each other, and enjoy.