Well, here we are. The first of December. Are you quaking in your boots or dancing in your shoes? Are you a cynical old Scrooge or a big, silly kid? I’m a big, silly kid through and through, and I’m gearing up for a month of singing along merrily to Now That’s What I Call Christmas and Bing Crosby in the car and a diet consisting mainly of mince pies, satsumas and chocolate money. That should cover all the major food groups.
To kick it all off, yesterday, my beloved husband and I took the children to watch the Christmas lights get turned in in our local town and sing a few carols. The afternoon was such a muddled concoction of good and bad, festive and foul, quaking and dancing, that I barely know where to begin. It was lovely (always start on a high, I say) to hear our local band sawing and tootling away while our local choir wailed Silent Night and our local crazies caterwauled various descant versions of Oh, Come All Yea Faithful. Like sick cats. It was charming to see our local children smiling gleefully up as the lights went on and it was delightful to witness our local Peppa Pig (yes, really) throw her Santa hat into a crowd of small, screaming, fainting fans. Daisy nearly cried with joy. On the other hand, it was less than lovely to witness our local, slightly tubby, police officers chasing down our local drunk who was pilfering bottles of beer from our local brewery’s stall. Equally unappealing were the teenagers loitering on every corner, mostly dressed (apparently) for prostitution and sneering at the festivities. I was less than charmed by the jostling crowds of people, and completely undelighted by the smokers wandering along blowing smoke into Guy’s pushchair (an occupational hazard for any baby in a crowd is getting a faceful of smoke while sitting in their pushchair in a crowd. They’re at exactly the wrong height). It was mildly less than impressive when about 20% of the Christmas town lights failed to come on altogether and it was vaguely disappointing to witness the sheer materialistic devouring of cheap plastic glow sticks and slightly flaccid helium balloons that seemed to be the flavour of the day. All in all, a very standard Christmas Festival afternoon in a local British town, I imagine.
And yet I came home yesterday feeling decidedly festive. I had a silly grin on my face that nothing, not even a very farty Labrador, could shift. I still had a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye from singing carols (especially Silent Night) and I just couldn’t help but feel just a little bit very extremely excited about Christmas.
I’m a Christmas devotee, you see. I love it. Don’t think me completely potty; I’m not completely doolally about it all. I don’t look forward to it all year long, and I never buy or decorate the tree until the 14th December at the very earliest (I can’t deal with the pine needles for more than two weeks tops. That, coupled with pregnancy, would send my OCD into overdrive and I might start mauling small children). I get very cross if I see decorations up anywhere before the 1st December, and I can’t bear to see the shops cashing in, but give me a carol to sing or a mince pie to eat, show me a child waving a cheap, shitty plastic glow stick and fawning up at Peppa Pig in her Santa hat and I just can’t help but feel the Christmas vibe. I love it, I really do. Father Christmas? I hope your knee is feeling sturdy, because you might just find a Loulou perched on it one of these days.
My beloved husband is less of a fan. He came along yesterday under sufferance (extreme duress, more like it). He’s just not a Christmas fan. This is in spite of sharing the last 9 (I think that’s right) Christmasses with me. You’d think some of my good cheer might have rubbed off on him. On one of those Christmas days I even proposed to him. You’d really think that might have helped Christmas’s case, wouldn’t you? But no, he’s just not the Christmas type. Anyway, he did his bit yesterday. I did throw the pregnancy card at him to get him to come, which was perhaps a bit sneaky, but fair’s fair. He got to watch Aliona in a little (very little) sailor suit on Strictly later on so I really don’t think he was too hard done by.
Meanwhile, I’m still feeling a little bit festive. No matter that it’s 4.43am and I’ve been awake since 2am (a snotty nose, a burgeoning tummy bump and a restless toddler has all put paid to a good night’s sleep. Again). Today it’s the 1st December. In a few hour’s time, Daisy will open the first (non-chocolate) door of her advent calendar (she’s 10 but, being Daisy, hasn’t yet cottoned on to the existence of chocolate advent calendars. Thankfully) and I will eat a mince pie for breakfast.
Happy December, peeps. Ho ho ho.