Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Just a week to go and it will be Christmas Eve.
That day which is so full of nostalgia - even then the anticipation may well have surpassed the actual events of the day itself.
I am lucky because I can look back on happy memories of Christmas - a day when our house was transformed from the usual dark cottage full of untidiness and work into something approaching magical.
It is only in later life that I have stood back and watched Christmas from afar.
And I don't like a lot of what I see.
The commercialisation and greed worry me. People respond to the pleas of the profit makers by throwing money at an event which now has its image in the world of advertising.
We are told that the more we spend - fattening the big business bank accounts, the more likely we are to achieve that perfect Christmas which we are told we ought to have.
And people get stressed - fearing their inevitable failure.
Did my mother get stressed?
Did she pour over the celebrity chefs' recipes for how to create the perfect Christmas dinner?
It is possible, even now, to recreate that relaxed style of Christmas which doesn't depend on the amount of money spent or the type of "jus" to add extra zest to the special dinner.
When did gravy become "jus"?
My brother and his wife have a very full and busy Christmas with lots of goodies and good food - more than we would ever have had when young, but they manage to escape the stress and the waste of money which abounds.
Today I decided that if we are to have a Christmas of our own then certain things must be done.
I sent Bill up to the loft to get out boxes of ancient decorations.
Well, that was a wake up call!
The loft is not a suitable place for old folk. So, in the new year we will get some help to empty a lot out.
Many presents have been wrapped.
Everybody we spend time with over the Christmas period will have a present. The stress is taken out of finding presents by making sure that ones for adults are silly and second hand. Having said that some lovely treasures of a second hand nature are also exchanged.
The children we see will have something bought from a shop.
But which shop? I know so little about shops. I learned yesterday that Robert Dyas is not an ironmongers it is a general store with toys and all sorts.
This afternoon we did a big shop at Aldi - I wanted one of their four bird roasts. It will last the two of us for days!
I wanted treats too.
Bill kept telling me that we didn't need things - but he doesn't look ahead.
He thinks he doesn't need any yoghurts if there is one in the fridge!
Having bought some goodies - he came home and started eating them! Though we didn't need them!
The house will get decorated.
We will eat well.
Christmas will happen.
And I will be happy.
I have been chatting with others today who have more reasons than me to feel despondent about the approaching days.
I can feel their tension and bitterness.
If I have suffered from those in the past, then those days are gone.
And with much of the small amount of planning done and dusted I can just get on and enjoy what life throws at me in the way of surprises.