“‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In the hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.”
This little ditty from the American writer Clement C Moore may give the impression of peace and harmony in our home. Not true. Once again Christmas has arrived without my permission.
I was going to be so organised this year. Start buying presents in July, get all the Swedish things going like the candles you burn every week until the BIG DAY. Order organic, hand-made advent calenders that the children will love and nurture forever, have the stocking fillers and presents beautifully wrapped and hidden by October.
None of this happened. Instead of writing at my desk I should be hiding in the downstairs loo wrapping stocking fillers. The advent calenders are the cheapest awful chocolate ones from the supermarket bought on December 1st and I still have to buy Bea’s main present.
Christmas comes but once a year. So you’d think I would be prepared for it. Why do I never remember that time between December 10th and 25th goes at double speed.
This year for the first time we are invited to some French friends on Christmas Eve. As a Swede I am not averse to celebrating Christmas on Christmas Eve. But I have heard that in France one goes to midnight mass and then has dinner AFTERWARDS. Meanwhile Santa will have been and dropped off all the presents. So assuming we have the usual seven courses I should be home just in time to stuff the turkey and pop it in the oven for lunch.
Why Tony Blair has converted to Catholisism I can’t understand. Especially just BEFORE Christmas Eve. You’d think he’d have hung on for a few days, avoided midnight mass and got an early night.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2007