Gosh darn it and bugger, dear readers! It seems I have quite forgotten to MAKE the children an Advent Calendar!!!
In spite of weeks of trying to get myself into the Christmas spirit, including excessive and uncontrollable drooling over vintage baubles, clandestine hoarding of festive issues of 'Ideal Home' and 'Country Living' magazine, and to top it all, seeing troubling visions of Nigella just before I fall asleep every night (her face and head, but with the body of an Outdoor-Reared Organic Goose), I have once again failed to live up to expectations. Yes, FAILED.
It was meant to be the perfect way to start the perfect Christmas. A homemade ‘eco’ advent calendar fashioned from recycled tin cans, decorated by the children as a wintry after-school activity, with naif squiggly dates crayoned on recycled cardboard discs. Just divine!!!! I imagined it sitting there - on the kitchen mantelpiece above the range - amidst sprigs of artfully arranged greenery (from Sunday afternoon family walks in the forest), and homemade bunting made from recycled copies of The Guardian. (If you're inspired to make one yourself, you could use The Financial Times; the red print has a subtle Christmassy character. But please, please, for the love of God and the baby Jesus, please don’t use The Sun, or * sucks teeth with horror, almost keels over just thinking about it* ANY of the red-tops.)
But now, the dream is over, and I have already succumbed to one of the last branded chocolate advent calendars in the local Gro-Tesquo Express range. The window ‘hinges’ are only partly perforated, so I have to use a laser to open them, and there is a further layer of lacerating foil curtain to penetrate. To extract the chocolate, I need to use a pair of precision tweezers.
But needless to say, it’s so worth it when you taste the chocolate.
It will be the same with the rest of Christmas, of course. I will probably let all my friends down, and my family, BUT MOST OF ALL MYSELF. There will be missed culinary deadlines, broken Christmas lights, recurring feelings of failure and inadequacy, and worst of all, a tiny misplaced slip of paper featuring the names of those I must buy for in my street’s ‘Secret Santa’ draw. (Yes, dear neighbours, I did consider a face-to-face confession, but blogging about it is less painful, less humiliating…)
On a positive note, there will be a
charming musical reindeer from my aunt, and Quality Street, and gravy granules, and the most vulgar electric blue tinsel in the whole of Christendom, and an artificial tree decorated by an excited six and four year old, and a baby. And it won’t be chic, but it will be ours.
PS: Yes I do realise it’s December 3rd and a piece on advent calendars should be published on december 1st. But this is all part of the joys of Total Festive Fuckwittage.
PPS: I am deeply indebted to FellatioNelson’s Ponce-tastic Christmas thread on Mumsnet for inspiring me to write this blog.