It’s going to be a strange Christmas. My father wasn’t a big festive fan, but his presence will really be missed. The routine of Christmas Day will never be the same again in Milltown. JR was a typical farmer, who liked his ‘dinner at dinner time’, even if it was Christmas Day, there was a large bird to cook and children and family to travel. I always felt that people who have Christmas dinner in the evening time were exotic creatures.It’s my first Christmas-proper as a singleton too. I can’t say that I was looking forward to that, but I have got a new burst of determination and am gaining confidence from the experience. It does make things like shopping for Santa a bit more tricky, but the beardy fella will come good in the end. I’ll try to surprise myself on Christmas morning with the thoughtful gift that I will buy for myself. ‘You shouldn’t have’, I’ll say, chuffed at the expense that I have gone to.
I didn’t fancy wrestling with a real Christmas tree and all of the sorting out the base of it, so I bought an artificial tree this evening. Leon insists on calling it ‘the FAKE tree’, making it sound all the more plastic. We had great fun decorating it, although I was terrified that Mya would topple into the tree as she insisted on standing on a tall stool to reach the high parts. If the only task was decorating, maybe it wouldn’t seem so painful. Living in a Hobbit House means that there is always a lot of moving and cleaning to be done before the glitter appears. Add excited little people with no patience into the mix, and it’s one big jumble sale. The mop, baubles, bubble wrap, dust. Lots of dust. And glitter, but mostly dust. I feel that familiar feeling that I am a minger.Nights like this are testing grounds for my multi-tasking skills. The children want the Christmas tree up right-now-this-second, but also ‘NEED’ a sandwich immediately. Leon asked me at one stage why 'do you never sit down Mam?' Eh, hello ??
How come they always wait until I am balancing on one foot cleaning the (very high) mantelpiece to have a mini crisis that usually does involved spilt milk? Just as I get into my full cleaning groove, their excitement gets the better of them and they start beating the heads off each other. It's vicious. How can eight year olds be THAT rough ? Cage fighters wouldn’t get a look in. At that point, I give up. I’m about 70% there with the Christmas-ifying. That point where it looks like the house has been ransacked, or the last 5 minutes on cookery programmes where it looks like it might never be edible.
I’m still not convinced about my plastic tree, although The Boy told me that he was glad that we bought a ‘fake one’. He felt very grown up dragging the box from the car into the house and helping me assemble it, testosterone pumping inside him.
The tree may be plastic, but the magic feels real ...