I’m late posting today – OK, I know I’m late two weeks out of three, but today was kind of inevitable, if not quite deliberate, because I have to snatch whatever half-hours I can to do Secret Christmas Things, and husband was out of the house for part of the morning.
Christmas is our winter festival of choice, and it seems to have followed a similar pattern with very little variation for about twenty years. This year’s variation is a very unusual one: I appear to be fairly well organized! As a rule I lay down all kinds of good intentions in early November, and by mid-December I’m chasing myself in ever decreasing circles, wondering where all the time has gone and whether I’m going to be ready in time.
But this year cards are sent, the feast is either ordered, scheduled or in the deep freeze, and husband’s absence this morning allowed Santa Claus access to the secret hiding places so he could send a helpful elf to wrap the gifts that didn’t get done at the weekend. Well, something like that; I’m sure you get the picture. Next week daughter will be home, and we’ll slip into a well-oiled routine of baking, meal preparation and cake decorating. And putting the tree up, of course.
Unlike Marilyn’s husband, mine is a reader, and we have broadly similar, though not identical, tastes. This brings its own problem when I’m choosing gifts. We have a tall, narrow shelf unit which is designated for books yet to be read; at the moment the top two shelves are mine and husband’s fill four (or possibly five – I forget), and the shelves hold an average of six books each. Mostly this is because I read more quickly than he does; in general, unless a book belongs specifically to one of us and is unlikely to appeal to the other, I get first dibs, then move them on to his shelves when I’m done.
And thereby hangs the problem. The shelves are pretty well full, so he already has a backlog of at least two dozen books; I add to the supply at the rate of at least two a week, and he reads at little more than half my pace. So the only sensible way to buy him books as gifts is to choose something he really wants to read; he’s already well supplied with the kind that require the 50-page test. Which means he’s no easier to buy for than a non-reader!
The part of Christmas I’m really looking forward to is a few days’ respite from the constant comings and goings of large trucks, loud rumblings and beepings and layer of dirt over everything, all caused by the building site across the road which used to be a beautiful green field. My office hideout is as far from the chaos as it’s possible to be considering that we live immediately opposite the main access, but I’ve had a low-level tension headache since it began, and there’s no end in sight.
But for a few blessed days, they will go away.
And now, so must I. It’s Christmas Day next Wednesday, but fret not, through the magic of modern technology my post will appear. Whatever you celebrate at this time of year, enjoy!