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‘You’d Better Watch Out…’

I see that the Christmas starting gun has well and truly been fired and we hurtle once more towards the usual festival of excess (and that is only the TV specials). OK, some people have already false started prior to the start of Advent but I think the majority have now realised the inevitable and certainly for those of us sending parcels to friends overseas it is probably already too late to ensure they get there in time.

Time seems to be a generic issue. At least everyone I have spoken to so far feels that this year has rushed by even more than usual and as I look at what seems an ever more crowded diary over the next few weeks it does make me wonder when it all got quite that busy. There was a time when putting up the tree was a leisurely pursuit to be carried out when the Lovely Wife and I felt like it (sometimes a debate – I would have put it up today if given the choice whereas the better part of me would prefer to hang back in case of festive fatigue reducing the real fun when it really matters. Not so this year; we have two possible dates and that’s it. It must be the first year I have actually written ‘put up Christmas tree’ in the diary as a scheduled appointment. As I say’ I do not think we are entirely alone in feeling the concertina of time bellowing at us the days tick away.

There is an extra frisson to the Christmas decorations this year, which I will names as ‘avoiding the dead wasps’. Better than avoiding the live wasps I guess, but the corpses of this year’s lodgers have made their way into the Christmas decorations box requiring just a tad more care when pulling out the reindeer than does one verse of ‘Merry Christmas Everybody’ and the decoration most likely to annoy the Love Wife – yes, the farting Santa. Actually he sings as well, but more frequently seems insistent on blaming, and I quote ‘some bad cider’ for making the obligatory rude noises. Now I must, in my defence, note I never purchased this fine piece of seasonal art (unlike the aforementioned reindeer). It was acquired at a Christmas party at the Lovely Wife’s former place of employment, so I guess it can be best viewed right from the start as something that would annoy. But it brings out the worst in me. It has to make its way into work every year, if only for one day and only for about 20 minutes, by which point everyone is sick of it and in order to preserve its use for another year – and indeed any threats of unseasonal violence against my person – the batteries come out and once more it will be consigned to the loft. Every year the Lovely Wife hopes that the conditions in our roof space (or maybe the wasps) will have made the thing inoperable and it can finally go in the bin. But for a piece of cheap tasteless Christmas rubbish it is proving surprisingly robust… Over ten years of service and counting. That said, its appearance is becoming increasingly grotesque as dye from the moulded red Santa costume has leached onto and stained the plastic beard, which does give old Father Christmas now the air of a rampant zombie that has moved beyond not giving the naughty children any presents to eating their brains.

I think it just adds to the charm, personally.

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