Mr B and I are discussing / debating / arguing about when Christmas should officially "start" in our house.
As in, when should we venture up into the dark depths
of our over-crowded loft in search of the Christmas decorations? When should we embark on the annual puzzle to identify which bit of artificial twig goes where when building our Christmas tree? When, in short, should we deck our halls with boughs
Lots of my friends, it seems, decorate their homes on 1st December. They will be sitting in their arm-chairs, even now, gazing happily at their efforts. They will probably be sipping a glass
of sherry or port and humming a Christmas carol. They will be feeling really Christmassy. Funnily enough, these same people often take their decorations down on December 27th, declaring that Christmas is over for another year and isn't it good
to be able to dust the mantelpiece again after it has been hidden for so long under the holly wreath with the tasteful red candles and prancing reindeer on it?
For ten delightful years we looked after
grand-daughters Katie and Eleanor in the run-up to Christmas so there was never any argument about when the decorations came down from the loft and when the Christmas tree was erected and decorated. It was one of our "Christmas Traditions". Last year,
the first year we were without them (now that they are both grown up Grammar School girls who don't break up from school till a few days before Christmas itself) Mr B and I were all at sea, trying to decide what to do and when, without the girls to guide
So, this year, I have a plan. We shall put up our decorations twelve days before Christmas and take them down twelve days after Christmas. Mr B says, with a frown which does not augur well,
that this is an awfully long time to have the Christmas decorations up. I say that it's only 24 days (my arithmetic is pretty good, you know) but Mr B counters with the argument that it is the best part of a month (his arithmetic is even
better than mine.) I remind him that we shall be away for several days over the Christmas period, visiting The Family. We shall probably only have, say, 18 days to enjoy our tastefully decorated home. That's only a little over two weeks...
Well, you will have to wait until December 12th to find out who wins this particular argument. I wouldn't put any bets on it, if I were you. In the meantime, I have decided that I will aim to do something
Christmassy each and every single day until Christmas. This is my alternative to opening an Advent Calendar or burning an Advent Candle. I shall call this my Advent Adventures.
I made an excellent start today. First of all we spent a fortune on second class stamps for all our Christmas cards - all written they are, it's a World Record for us. Mr B stuck the stamps on the envelopes (it's okay, I'm more than happy, as
always, for him to share my Adventures.) He is meticulous about the way he places the stamps on the envelopes, straight and full-square - it comes of being a printer in a Past Life. Though he didn't say as much, I don't think he wanted me to
stick the stamps on because he finds my rather-more-haphazard approach to stamp placement annoying in the extreme. Mind you, they were self-adhesive stamps. I bet if they had required a good licking, he'd have left the task to me.
After that I went to see a beautiful Nativity Exhibition, organised by a dear friend, featuring around 100 nativity scenes from all around the world. While we were there, we were entertained by a Madeiran Folklore
Group singing Christmas carols in Portuguese. You don't have to understand the words, you know, to get the Christmas message.
Finally, I have spent quite a lot of time today stuffing a reindeer.
Please don't fret, I haven't started cooking and eating what are known in my family as "documentary animals." My reindeer is of the knitted variety and I'm hoping the little lad who will receive him as a present this Christmas will love him dearly. I'm also
hoping he will forgive the fact that my reindeer's antlers are a little on the wonky side and his eyes are a bit close together, lending him a somewhat suspicious look.
Adventures tomorrow! I am sure you can't wait...