Does anyone else, I wonder, have a "Christmas Room"?
I expect you are thinking that a Christmas Room would be somewhere magical, festooned with glittery garlands, a Christmas
tree maybe, a groaning table laden with festive goodies. No, that's not what I mean at all. My Christmas Room is the spare bedroom, where nobody could possibly sleep because the bed is literally covered with unwrapped presents, rolls of gift wrap, boxes of
Christmas crackers (one with only half its contents remaining after our Nomination Whist party yesterday), brown paper for the wrapping of parcels to be sent by post (I know, I know, I'm late again) and a selection of gift tags for every age of recipient from
Father Christmas ones for the Small Fry to tasteful red and silver stars for the Grown Ups. Festive it may be, but tidy - not a bit of it.
Little by little, the bed will be cleared. The carrier bags of presents
destined for my sister and her family will eventually be delivered, hopefully before Christmas, just as soon as we can decide on an appropriate rendezvous, half way between her house and ours. And preferably not a motorway service station because we will doubtless
be spending too much time in these as we travel between houses over Christmas and the New Year. I think I might have found a friendly looking Garden Centre where we could even have lunch with Santa Claus. What do you mean, that's only for the littl'uns? Where
in the small print does it say that?
All presents which haven't yet been wrapped, will be wrapped. I shall be rapt, myself, when I have finished the job. Mind you, I have to find the Sellotape first. I did
have it, when I wrapped up Young Sam's present, then I turned away to write the gift label (a Santa one - I ran out of space on the back, so had to put the kisses on his spindly legs) - when I looked back for the Sticky Stuff to affix the label, the Sellotape
had disappeared from view, never to be seen again. Or at least, not so far. I dare say it will resurface after Christmas when I don't need it any more. I am too mean to simply trot down to the local newsagents to purchase another roll so I am wandering about
the spare room (it's not that large, so wandering is probably a step too far, no pun intended) in a Vain Quest to locate it.
Christmas preparations are fraught with such problems, don't you think? Take our
Festive Red Berry Lights. No, please don't, because Mr B won't probably let me buy anymore, should I mislay these. They are battery operated which we thought was such a good idea until Mr B came to try to insert the batteries and found he needed a screwdriver
of minuscule proportions to open up the battery pack. It was quite a search to find one - but he finally did. Our Christmas tree now sparkles with festive red berries. It is a Sight to See. Even if Mr B is right - and he usually is - when he says these lights
are so flimsy that he doubts they will last more than one Christmas.
So pleased was I with our tree that, when we went out shopping after lunch, I set myself on Christmas Tree Inspection. My task: to investigate
how well the various shops had taken on the business of imparting the right amount of seasonal cheer to their customers by decorating their windows with Christmas trees.
The hairdresser's - sorry, it is now
called a Hair Spa, whatever that might be - has a rather crisp and cool silvery tree with a minimalist number of coloured baubles artistically set at strategic intervals among its glittery branches. The chemist's boasts a green cardboard tree which looks as
if it came as a flat-pack to be put together in three easy stages. The decorations are all printed on the cardboard so it won't have taken too much time and trouble to set it up. Still it's the thought that counts, as they say.
I am still struggling with the thought behind the tree in the barber's shop which is hanging upside down in the window. Why? I ask myself. Is there some significance to an upside down tree which, like
the Sellotape, is escaping me? Another shop has gone for one of those stylish trees like a branch from a tree with a few twigs, coloured silver and lit with sharp white lights. I quite like these though they are a million miles, design-wise, from our tree
at home, all red and green and assorted baubles gathered over the years.
My favourite shop, in terms of Christmassy window displays has to be the florist's. To be fair, there is no Christmas tree - instead
there is a beautiful fire-place, with glowing fire, stockings hanging from the mantelpiece and assorted stuffed toys and indoor plants decorating the hearth. It looks so cosy and welcoming - you feel that if you stood there long enough, looking in, Santa himself
would extricate himself from the chimney, shake the soot from his jacket and mutter "Ho, Ho, Ho!" before setting about his Important Business.
In our house, and in the shopping parade, it is beginning to look
a lot like Christmas. The Season of a Good Cheer.
If I could just find the Sellotape, everything would be just hunky-dory...