Failing at Christmas

by Steve

Man falling over with Christmas tree

Every year, around about Boxing Day, I think to myself, “Christmas is a lot of fun. I wish I’d started celebrating it earlier rather than not really getting into it until a few days before.” Well, I don’t necessarily think those exact words each year, that would be odd, but often words to that effect. It is not that I’m fundamentally Bah Humbug until it is too late, more that Christmas kind of creeps up, doesn’t it? I mean, it is less than three weeks away. How did that happen?

So, no decorations at home yet. And as we chucked away most of our decorations when we moved earlier this year decorating for Christmas means buying a whole bunch of new stuff before we even begin decorating. This is sure to be a lot of fun, and sure to get me in the mood more. We do, however, already have a frankly astonishing collection of fairy lights which in some arrangement or other should make the place look pretty festive.

Yet, I’m also aware that when it comes to decorations sometimes the real joy is in accumulating different bits and pieces over the years, each decoration holding a memory, each memory building up to something incredibly personal and meaningful, yet probably also creating a scene that doesn’t quite match properly. That’s no bad thing. It is Christmas, not interior design.

Is a Christmas tree a good impulse buy? I keep seeing them outside shops and thinking it would be fun to arrive home with one slung over my shoulder. I suspect the reality would be me dragging it along the street and ending up with a slipped disc.

The office has Christmas decorations up, although forced workplace fun isn’t really my thing. Christmas is a time for family, friends, looking back at the past year, looking forward to the next, a period of warmth and contemplation. It is not really a time for balancing on a desk whilst trying to hang some tinsel from a ceiling in a way that won’t lead to it overheating under the oppressive, omnipresent striplighting and setting fire to the whole enterprise. Any ideas for what to buy for my work Secret Santa present?

I always fail spectacularly at sending Christmas cards. I love the idea of festive correspondence, of writing personal and touching messages to my nearest and dearest. However, evidence suggests I appear to love the idea more than the reality. I don’t think anyone will be publishing a Collected Correspondence of Steve volume in years to come.

I certainly haven’t started my Christmas shopping. It is far more fun leaving it until the last minute, weaving between other weary shoppers, laden with last-minute gifts, finally rewarding myself with a well-earned mince pie. Or pint. That seems the fun, albeit stressful, way to do it. I don’t understand people who have finished their Christmas shopping, wrapped and all, by September. If I’m not covered in sellotape on Christmas Eve, I’ve done something wrong.

I have eaten a few mince pies already and have put some Christmas music channels on the TV. I’m trying to get in the spirit, just not quite there yet. I’ve been mulling over some End of Year Lists for here, or a post saying why I don’t like End of Year Lists, or just some further Christmassy posts. We’ll see. I hope you’re enjoying the season

Image from the Nationaal Archief, via Flickr

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