So I have decided that Christmas will come eleven days early this year.
It was what is called an Executive Decision and I didn't consult with anyone, not even Mr B. Especially
not Mr B. I rather think he would not approve.
Back in the days when I was a Working Gal, I believed whole-heartedly in consultation. Those were the days, mind you, before all manner of companies and organisations
decided to survey the socks off their clients / customers and the whole world went into Consultation Overload.
There are the delivery firms who text you to ask you to rate their staff's performance while you're
still struggling to manhandle a large, unwieldy parcel from doorstep to hall. The websites which don't allow you to search for their wares in peace but first want you to rate them on searchability, clarity, accessibility or anything other than the one thing
you feel qualified to comment on - annoyability. I did allow myself a wry smile when the lovely paramedics who came to pick Mr B up off the floor on his most recent topple, leftt a questionnaire the first question on which was: "How likely are you to use our
service again?" I really didn't want to tempt fate by answering.
Likewise, had I consulted Mr B on Christmas Come Early, I am pretty sure he would have raised any number of perfectly valid objections and I
would have had to explain myself. And, don't you know, I reckon at my Great Age I am entitled to the occasional piece of Executive Decision-making. However contrary it might appear.
While I am contemplating
my Great Deception, the Middle of the Darling Daughters contacts me, via FaceTime. It's her birthday and she knows I will need to speak to her but she's a busy Birthday Girl and can't guarantee being in when I call. My hair is wet from the shower as I await
the arrival of Scissor Wielding Sue to tame my unruly locks so I look a little wild, to say the least. Tala and Lilia press kisses on the screen so they clearly recognise me in Mad Nanni Mode. Faris shows me his train - apparently he is labouring under the
illusion that it is his birthday. Why have one birthday, he clearly thinks, when you could have your mother's too? Because I have to sign off in a hurry, due to the arrival of my hairdresser, I forget to sing Happy Birthday. My daughter is doubtless thankful
for small mercies. I hope she has the very happiest of days.
Christmas always used to start when granddaughters Katie and Eleanor came to stay for a few precious days. At first it was just Katie, then she
was joined by sister Elle, after which it was Eleanor alone. It was all because their primary school used to break up earlier than other local schools, before the start of holiday clubs. So for ten wonderful years, Christmas always Came Early at our house.
There were visits to Santa, trips to the pantomime, all kinds of Christmassy crafts and cooking to keep nimble fingers busy. Plus, of course, the annual ritual of bringing the tree down from the loft and decorating it. Every year a granddaughter would stand
to be photographed by said tree, holding an A4 card on which the year would be have been carefully scribed.
Since both girls went to Grammar School and my daughter, their mother, was no longer in need of my
services I have had to decorate our tree alone. Mr B has offered (mostly) constructive advice on occasions, usually concerning my spacing of the tree lights, but mostly he leaves me to it. This year will be different.
The Youngest of the Darling Daughters is coming to visit on December 14th when we will be having an advance celebration of grandson Jack's birthday. What's to stop us from using the occasion to mark the start of Christmas Come Early?
We can carry the tree down from the loft in triumph! We can play Christmas music while we decorate its spiky branches! We can prance about with reindeer antlers on our heads and pose for silly photos which we will post on Facebook
so that all my friends can remind me that it isn't Christmas for another eleven days.
It does rather depend, of course, on whether the Birthday Boy will be prepared to share his celebration with All Things
Christmas. Perhaps, after all, I do need to consult? His mother thinks it's a good idea but is that enough? Do we need a Family Referendum? And what will happen to Goodwill To All, if the vote is split?
Christmas Come Early? For one year only...