The Youngest of the Darling Daughters tells me that I will be the Best Prepared Person in the Family this Christmas. If not on the planet. It is reassuring to think I will achieve something I have never, ever managed before
- to have my Christmas cards written and stamped, my Christmas letters composed and signed, my presents bought and wrapped all before the 20th November. Add in five family birthdays between now and Christmas, requiring cards, presents, and (for all but two)
birthday banners for which I must also Be Prepared and you can imagine the state of play in our household between now and then is likely to verge on the Manic.
deadline date of November 20th may still change which would throw everything into even more confusion. Having had one surgery date cancelled, I am not feeling any level of confidence about the new date I have been given to submit my Problem Shoulder to the
surgeons’ scalpels. Or whatever other surgical instruments they may choose to use on me - I am far too squeamish to research the matter. I do know, however, that after surgery I will be required to wear a sling for six weeks which will take me up to
Christmas and beyond. Hence the Youngest of the Darling Daughter’s good advice about being prepared.
The trouble is, I am not feeling particularly Christmassy.
It is only September, after all. I am still keeping my fingers crossed for a balmy Indian Summer, taking us all through October and holding winter at bay, presenting several more opportunities for a visit to the seaside by the Trio of Rampaging Rascals. I
am looking forward to walking through Cardiff in the sunshine at half term in the company of my (Not So Very Little) Welsh Boys. I simply can’t begin to think about snowy Christmas scenes with red-breasted robins perching on top of bright red letter
boxes - though surely buying my Christmas cards should be the easiest part of the task ahead.
In past years I have set aside one of the window sills in our living
room for the display of various knitted projects of a Festive Nature. Perhaps I should start early this year, remove the photos of our Golden Wedding which presently decorate the window sill (don’t worry, I will find another place for them, they won’t
be stowed in a drawer and forgotten) and Begin As I Mean to Go On. No sooner said than done, I position my first completed knitted gift (destined for a Twinkle’s December birthday) on the sill. Mr B says this is a Very Bad Idea as it will surely fade
over the weeks it has to sit there waiting for Christmas.Especially if we do, indeed, enjoy that Indian Summer I am hoping for.
When My Foursome were littl’uns,
Christmas preparations did start at half term, with the making of the Christmas pudding. It was quite an event, involving much stirring by all and the risky insertion of silver threepenny pieces into the sticky mixture, followed by painstaking steaming of
said pudding for hours on end, trying not to let the saucepan boil dry. Never again, I used to tell myself every October half-term, surveying yet another burnt saucepan which would take me ages to clean. Come Christmas morning, I would uncover the pudding
and scrape the mound off the top before steaming some more. Nobody ever suffered, as far as I am aware. Wasn’t penicillin produced from mould originally? Though not, as far as I know, mould grown on home-made Christmas puddings...
Enough of all that - I have decided that it is All In The Mind. Therefore for this year - and this year only - October is going to be November, and November will become December.
This will provide me with the sense of urgency I need as I hurtle towards my deadline.
You know it makes (sort of) sense...