Hints & Tips
So. Just a couple of days and we are there. Christmas at last. All the post work parties, preparation, decoration, wrapping, clapping and ooohing and aaahing will soon be over and we will all fall asleep in front of the Queen’s speech having over indulged somewhat and feeling warm, cosy and full.
Well. I know I will. And so I just want to keep this very simple. I just want you all to have a lovely Christmas. I know my usual approach is to make my point by being flippant and charming, if I say it myself, and create some fantasy based on truth involving elves, Christmas fairies and so on…
Like the time, when I was a little girl and crept down late one Christmas Eve to see if I could catch Father Christmas (for that is what we called him) popping our presents under the tree and saw instead a large man in a Little Mermaid mask and a Santa hat wielding a chainsaw staggering towards me across the hall. It was, in fact, my Uncle Max, having drunk too way much, wearing his present for my little sister on his face and carrying his practical gift for my Father to put under the tree, but it’s not an image you want to be exposed to on the stairs at a tender age at 1 o’clock in the morning when you are hoping to glimpse the real spirit of Christmas.
Or the time my friend Justine’s Mother got so quietly upset at her husband’s gift of a ribbon festooned washing machine – a good one too – that she drunk all the egg nog and fell asleep with her head in the gravy.
Or the Christmas Eve that I, knowing my Mother never, ever decorates the tree or the house until Christmas Eve evening, listened with dismay as she ummed and ahhed about actually getting a tree that year “It’s not very eco dear is it?”. So Christmas Eve had arrived without her yet having bought one and I decided to take the krampus by the horns and get a tree myself.
What I didn’t realise was that she had actually bought a tree, hiding it in one of the outhouses as a kind of heavy handed joke/surprise. In the meantime though, so had my uncle, my Father, my two cousins and both my siblings on the way back from their respective Christmas parties or pub crawls, resulting in our spending the big day in a house that resembled a rather gaudy Epping Forest.
I suppose what I am saying, in my usual roundabout manner, is that things can, and often pretty much do, go wrong, but if you don’t lift your expectations to a ridiculous degree, if you treat people well, with a kind heart, and try to see the funny side, even the most tense of Christmases can be fun and even, possibly, joyful.
All the above events, no matter how ghastly ended up in laughter and goodwill… and a traumatised adult Holly who can’t watch ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ without expecting Richard Attenborough (or Edmund Gwen in the original) to whip out a chainsaw and run riot through Macy’s decapitating GI Joes and Teddy Bears as he goes.
So if your Christmas is feeling a bit like James Stewart after Uncle Billy loses the money, or Arnold Schwarzenegger realising he hasn’t bought the Turbo Man figure for his kids, or tiny Tim looking at the even tinier goose and thinking “I haven’t got a chance of a leg then”, just look around at your family and friends, listen to the radio, watch something uplifting on the TV, play a game, and think about what you do have and how tough it can be for others your Christmas might just become as merry as Uncle Ebenezer’s redemption filled, post-ghost morning.
A very Merry and wonderful Christmas and a peaceful, prosperous and Happy New Year to all our customers and a reminder that our office closes tomorrow (Friday 23rd) at 1PM and re-opens on Tuesday the third of January. See Ya! With bells on. Holly