Sunday, December 28, 2008

...and all through the house...

I can't remember the last time I was as excited about a Christmas as I have been about this one. I used to love Christmas, adore it, nurture the thought of it and plot my present purchases over the six to eight months running up; I used to make my pudding in August and love it with brandy on a weekly basis until it emerged from the pot, steaming and reeking of booze on Christmas afternoon; I used to tingle with the anticipation of the furtive filling of stockings, the midnight mulled wine and mince pies and the early morning cracker-crowns and champagne.

Then, then there came a prolonged spell of hating it, the heaving mass of the public crammed into the shops, the last-minute purchases, the grey, empty feeling of sitting alone in one's rented room opening parcels from abroad and the false cheer of friends together trying to recreate the warmth of childhood. Then I married the Ghost of Christmas Past and gamely prepared our celebrations while he clanked and hooted and derided the capitalist sheen of false cheer, the arduous preparations, the dead tree and the mess. None-the-less, I soldiered on, determined to raise the spirit of Christmas Present from its wrapping paper until along came the spud and suddenly, there was the prospect of a glowing Christmas Future full of proper excitement and toys.

This year, the spud has magically learned the words 'present' and 'Santa' and I was puffed up on all the 'Night Before Christmas' hype. I baked, I planned, I imagined a rose-tinted soft-focus day with the frog fondly putting the star on top of a glowing tree; I grew presents a mile high on top of the wardrobe in anticipation. We had the nursery play, the Christmas card photograph, we mailed the cards and then it got to Christmas eve and... we hadn't bought a tree.

The only tree we could find in the entire south of London with Christmas less than 12 hours away was 7 feet tall and, having stood out in its mesh for several weeks, already beginning to shed its 'no shed' needles. While the frog struggled to put this mammoth into a bucket, I went to the supermarket for parsnips and brandy only to find that 1000 other people had the same idea. My stroke-inducing wait for the till included a lady purchasing 20 bottles of wine on coupons. Out of date coupons. This required an argument, apparently. By the time I finally got out, the frog had put up the tree and started on the decorations without me (O.M.G.) and the spud had wrapped himself in sellotape and broken in to a box of chocolates. We lost five strings of Christmas lights and after I finally manufactured dinner the spud danced around shouting 'Presents!' until 10:30pm, by which time the frog and I were ready to divorce over the question of who had put the cloves in the fridge. After the mulled wine we collapsed into bed only to be woken by the spud at 1 and then 3 and then, at 5:30, by the crash of the Christmas tree toppling over, requiring extensive hoovering of broken glass, mopping of water and swearing.

The spud woke up at 8:30 and we were so bleary we completely forgot to open the fizz or pull a cracker, however once we were finally there, sitting in the living room opening presents, it did all rather redeem itself. The spud was gratifyingly overjoyed with every present he opened (and still is) and he went down for a lovely long nap, allowing the frog and I to get mildly tipsy and to finally rustle up some Christmas spirit of our own.

The upshot of all this is that our son is now obsessed with the idea that anything that comes in any sort of wrapping at all (the water bill, cat litter, cereal) is a 'present' and so we are finding all sorts of interesting things in his room these days.

So, it turns out there is a Santa after all. I just have to convince him to come next year, too.

15 comments:

Jennie said...

That sounds like a hoot! Wouldn't have minded something similar myself. Maybe next year. Minus the dead tree though. Frog's got something there.

Michelle said...

Sparx, you are so funny! This is post is so hillarious and is why I just keep coming back for more! The falling, shedding tree along with the wakeful Spud had me roaring! Thanks for sharing. So glad that it ended well. Merry Happy to you!

Sparx said...

Jennie - well, sort of a hoot... a bleary, knackered sort of a hoot. And yes, I used to be against the dead tree but then something crumbled and I caved in... perhaps we shall think about it...

Michelle - you're so kind hon, thanks so much - hope yours was smoother!!

Elsie Button said...

Brilliant!! I am totally with you on the whole christmas experience coming alive again this year - isn't if fab!

I am now feeling really depressed that it is all over though - haven't had this feeling for years and years!

Jonny's Mommy said...

JG knocked over the Christmas tree too. Twice. Not on Christmas Eve. He waited until the day after. His dad was not amused.

Seriously, you crack me up!

Glad you made it through the holidays OK.

sufferingsummer said...

I'm sure were I there I'd be signing the papers to end my union too but but I must say from here there were tears in my eyes from laughing picturing all these elements colliding to the perfect storm...glad you did have those tipsy glorious Christmas moments as well.
Happy New Years!

Tara@Sticky Fingers said...

I caught my 3 year old standing staring open mouthed at the tree many many times.
Don't know if it was the lights or the chocolate or the thought that pulling it down would be SUCH a laugh, but she never ever stood in that room alone!

Jen said...

I personally loved the "ready to divorce over the question of who put the cloves in the fridge"! I'm guessing a lot of people file for divorce around the holidays?! Just saying. I'm glad the spud was able to make Christmas enjoyable once again!

Ivanna said...

Ha ha... :) I can relate. I actually TOOK a picture of our tipped over tree :)
http://vascojustine.blogspot.com/2008/12/tis-season-to-be-tipsy.html
Happy Holidays, Sparx and family

Helen + ilana = Hi said...

Happy double digits day!!

SabrinaT said...

Sounds like our tree. It died 2 days after we got it in the house. Next year we are going with a fake tree from the 100 yen shop. Less mess..

darth sardonic said...

hahaha yep, this post more or less sums up the sardonic family's attitude toward the thing

Sparx said...

Elsie - I know, and it seems SOOOO far away to the next one!!! Happy New Year!

Jonny's Mommy - no, seriously, twice? Boohahahah!!! I shouldn't laugh. It's in sympathy, really it is!!! Happy New Year!

Suffering! Happy New Year! I think most of us have some sort of Chrimbo meltdown, hey!

Tara - yes, toddler, tree... sort of an accident waiting to happen, hey?!!! Happy New Year!

Jen - Well I'm sure III didn't put those cloves there! Clearly he is mad... Happy New Year!

Ivanna - I loved the pic, glad we weren't alone!!! Happy New Year!

Helen - goodness, fancy you remembering that!!! Happy New Year!

Sabrina - I know... I've sort of thought about it myself... might be the best option... Happy New Year!

Darth - I can only imagine!!! Happy New Year!

lady macleod said...

Huzzah! And it only gets better...

Sparx said...

Lady M - happy new year!