List-mas

I feel really disorganised about Christmas. Especially as it’s only a week away, give or take.

I’ve bought presents – that’s pretty much covered – although I have massively neglected buying anything for my mum because it’s so hard these days. Mum, and dad, used to be an easy buy at Christmas. Mum was happy with crosswords or jigsaws, dad was happy with a DVD of someone funny that he liked, a book or just being left alone to cook the Christmas dinner. In more recent years we found that the way to their collective Christmas hearts was to provide several bottles of wine which kept them merry and bright.

But obviously everything has changed in the last few years – dad has died and mum has had a stroke. Both of which really put a spanner in the present buying thing. Mum is very hard to buy for now because she can’t do jigsaws in any sort of capacity like she used to – as the one on her dining table, under a fine layer of dust, attests to. I think I have done more of that particular jigsaw that she has, in fact, because I can’t leave it unfiddled with whenever I am in the house. She also can’t do crosswords or puzzles because her brain doesn’t seem to work like that anymore. I’m sure it could be retrained. But that doesn’t seem to be something she wants to spend time doing.

So what do you get her?

She needs a new address book as her current address book system comprises, mainly, a carrier bag full of addresses torn off the back of envelopes or such like.

If you want to get a large print address book, with text and features in sizes recommended by the RNIB you have to buy one that is ridiculously bright yellow and may as well say “YOU CAN’T SEE VERY WELL” on the outside. I’ve ordered it, because she does need it. But the cover is so patronising, with a big picture of a phone on it, next to an equally big picture of a letter.

I have debated buying some stickers – anything, at all – to smash all over the front of it so it doesn’t look as demeaning.

But it’s more than that – by now I’ve usually listed all the food stuffs and assorted gubbins we need to get.

There’s a bare sheet of paper in the kitchen with the heading “Christmas”. Nothing else. Not a sausage. Which, of course, should be written on because sausages are amazing to have at Christmas.

I’ve got a week to get my act together and not vanish into an seething mass of internal turmoil at the whole festive period.

Deep breaths and happy thoughts.

Let’s Polly-Anna this sucker.