Are you ready? Is your homemade Christmas cake ageing merrily in the cupboard? Is there a mound of matching be-ribboned gifts under your Scandanavian themed tree? Oh. You are, and it is, and there are. Shit. Don’t read any further then….
I don’t have a colour scheme for my decorations. Or a theme. Just have the stuff I have accumulated over the years- made or chosen by kids, bought by me, inherited from parents. Glitter skulls sit next to wooden soldiers. It looks like a fairy vomited on it. Lifestyle magazines would turn their noses right up at it. It is superb and beautiful and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I have no special tableware beyond Santa emblazoned paper napkins from Poundland. We won’t be eating surrounded by artful flower centrepieces or voltive candles costing more than the presents under the tree. We will have fun stuff like crackers. When it comes to Christmas, and weddings for that matter, people aren’t remembering that the napkins matched the place settings, they are remembering the love in the room. That is the magic bit.
I have lists. Well sort of. They are mostly doodles where my mind wanders about two items in. I will forget something like cranberry sauce, or sprouts. (though if I forget sprouts it will be accidentally on purpose, because they are vile little bollocky brassicas). It won’t matter. We will still have plates groaning with bounty, and I am sure strawberry jam and cranberry sauce are pretty similar anyway right?!
There is a teetering pile of bags and boxes in my bedroom. It convenes many health and safety laws and probably requires a hard hat to go near. Nothing is wrapped. I have no hand stamped paper or raffia ribbon. I have a big stash of brightly coloured cheap wrapping paper which you will find me crying under, slightly sozzled on Baileys, at about 3 am on Christmas morning.
I forgot to make handmade gifts. I did make some gingerbread cupcakes with the kids though. That makes me verging on Kirsty Allsop territory right? And I can make pom poms without a machine…
I FORGOT TO ORDER A TURKEY. Oh yeah, cos we are vegetarians, so I don’t need one. Ha! No getting up at 4 am to defrost a turkey with a hairdryer for me. I win. Except I have to eat Nut Roast.
You know what, I am a vision of calm (if calm is wearing tartan PJ bottoms, an oversized jumper and bed hair this season that is). I have voices in my head telling me I should be having a ‘last minute panic’. Some of those voices are mine, most of them are on the telly or on covers of magazines or email titles. I am not panicking. I know Christmas will be fab. I will wake up to 3 excited children, 1 excited adult, and 1 adult who is struggling to be awake that early- probably because I will abandon him to the wrapping at 3.15 am by passing out under a sheet of particularly gaudy Rudolph paper.
We will all be spoilt with things to open, and frankly they get torn into so quickly nobody will notice the lack of hand painted tags. We will have a huge dinner. But it is only a roast dinner- we have them most weekends, this one will just be a bit bigger, with more stuff thrown on the plate. We will have a lovely day. We won’t be wearing matching jumpers, nor will we have the roaring open fire of the picture books (sobs a bit about that one). But it will be our Christmas and I will love it. No peering through the fictional perfect M&S families window and weeping with envy with for me. I may fail at Christmas by the standards of the sugar plum visions contained in Good Housekeeping magazine, but I totally win at our scruffy round the edges, full of love, Cisco Christmas….