(Please note that the views expressed in this article are not necessarily the views of the author….or are they?)
It’s mid-December and I am just about ready to commit Hari Kari!
I’m thinking back to September. Remember the warmer, though, in Wales not necessarily drier, lighter days? The grass cutting still being needed and the whine of hedge cutters accompanying your lazy Sunday afternoons just as you’ve sat down on your sun lounger for a peaceful read (always happens, very annoying😏). The visit to town. Walking into my favourite garden centre and finding…..I had to walk through their ‘Christmas Shoppe & Grotto’ to get to the plants!
October, wander into a favoured chain to share lunch with a new friend. My anticipatory enjoyed face being replaced by a slow freeze into disbelief as my ears were assailed by Merry Christmas Everybody (Slade). Even before the 12th day before Christmas I physically flee shops when I hear the strains of Wizzard, The Pogues or (the usually great) George Michael amongst others. “I Gave you my Heart” George – if you do I will personally cook and eat it with green Fava beans and a bottle of nice Chianti.
November in my village, most houses suddenly sprouted outside lights and fully decorated Christmas trees everywhere, and not all of them tasteful. Our usual, acclaimed, ‘black night’ sky where you can see the far more natural twinkling stars and planets has been completely obliterated. I’m trying to watch to see if my feed to the International Space Station shows a jarring puddle of diffused light on the dark hills of North Wales. I’ve also spotted Americanism creeping into these light shows with bizarre, gigantic, fully illuminated, snowmen and Father Christmases. How anyone who does this can afford their electricity bill in January must have pots of cash. Or else they’ll be beggared and at least the darkness will return.
Presents at Christmas I do get, but only when there are children involved. I’ll grant the little germ magnets their fun and excitement provided they keep their grubby mitts off my coat. Adults are a whole other ball game. Why buy anything, that is not edible, for adults that can afford to buy things for themselves and probably don’t want whatever it is you are buying them. I still have a drawer full of ‘not my taste’ gifts which I can’t get rid of in case the giver visits and I have to whip it out and put pride of place on my mantlepiece (honestly, the 2 swans kissing ornament defies any gratitude I wish I had felt).
I have been swamped by kind invitations from very lovely people who are aghast that I will be spending Christmas alone this year. I couldn’t face the inevitable travel disruptions and have not that long ago finished my cottage renovations so have made my excuses to my family. However, I have noticed that when I explain I will be staying in my PJs, lighting my log fire, eating crunchy nut cornflakes washed down by a few glasses of champagne, watching old black and white movies (Gone with the Wind + Anthony & Cleopatra are in the pile) keeping myself to myself and the cats, I am absolutely certain I have seen an emotion that looks a lot like jealousy cross their faces.
Though I am very much against the enormous commercial exercise Christmas has become and have grown into this Bah Humbug person, I do very much wish every one of you a wonderful Christmas however you choose to spend it. If you are alone, and don’t want to be, my heart goes out to you though try and make the best of it and change things for next year.
Adieu for 2023.