16 Sleeps (As The Kids Would Say)

‘Twas two weeks before Christmas and all through the house…

Shit, it’s only two weeks until Christmas.

I thought I was quite well prepared, especially having had more of a run up at it this year without any pesky work to get in the way of the festivities, but there’s still a dull sense of panic at the back of my mind that it’s only two weeks to go and there is so much to do.

I think a shred of the panic comes from the fact that the house is in disarray at the moment, as things are not necessarily where they should be while we sort stuff out in the back bedroom.

Then there’s the fact that it’s the first Christmas we’re having my mum over. And, obviously, it’s the first Christmas without my dad. Although having said that, my dad wasn’t a massive fan of Christmas anyway, but it still counts. I still think “Ah, dad would like that…” every time I see an advert for the new Billy Connolly DVD and then remember that I don’t need to buy a present for him anymore.

It also feels wrong that we’re two weeks away from the festivities and there is no Christmas tree up yet. What’s the point in having an artificial, non-cat squashing tree if we can’t put it up at the start of the month and not have to worry about shedding needles? Obviously it’s tied up in the nonsense of sorting the back bedroom out – we can’t get in the loft as we have to go through the back bedroom, and there’s nowhere to put the stuff that would be coming down. It’s a very complicated mechanism – basically, think of this house as one of those puzzles with the sliding squares. There is one empty square (debatable at the moment) and you can only move things into the empty space, thus creating a new empty space. Do that enough times and the picture is made. Or, in this analogy, the house makes sense and Christmas is up.

But, amongst all this stress, it’s nice to be at home to receive deliveries and not chance them to the whims of the neighbours or even just the fates of the delivery gods. I even had a parcel arrive, within timescales, from Yodel. Which has never happened before. Last year they attempted delivery (apparently) on a day when I was in waiting for them to attempt delivery and then took ages to redeliver.

And, as we know from that year when Carole’s birthday stuff didn’t arrive, things will not be let lie if presents are not present on the day.