Thursday 16 December 2010

Hunting for my Christmas mojo

I’m going to have to haul myself back to reality for a bit. Have to step out of denial and accept finally that Christmas IS coming and that the Bonkers House has no goose to be getting fat, no tree, no decorations, not much food and a serious dust issue. I sent out a small flurry of cards last week in a bit of a daze and now can’t remember whom I sent them to and whom I didn’t....

But hey, this letting Fate take its chance, this letting go and letting what will be, be, brings some practical as well as metaphysical benefits. If I can’t seem to get the wherewithal to go out and get Christmas, it seems Christmas is coming to get me whether I like it or not. First the most beautiful little box filled with home-baked biscuits from dear Uta in Germany. Those frankly didn’t stand a hope in hell of lasting until Christmas – you couldn’t see the crumbs for dust. But, replacing them, came a festive tin from ‘biscuiteer’ Judy...

‘I suppose we should get some spirits in,’ said Adrian looking pointedly at the empty sloe gin bottle, still sitting on my desk.

No need. A positively huge box arrived containing home-made sloe gin, limoncello and cranberry and orange vodka, all stunningly packaged. Not just that but a jar of plums in spiced brandy and a pot of cranberry, port and orange relish. Tiny Tim WILL have Christmas! I think what touched me most was that these came from Zoe, who’s only just come out of hospital (all thankfully well). ‘You’ve been having a tough time,’ she said, simply. ‘I thought they might cheer you up.’ Heck, what do I do to deserve friends like this? 

So the bah humbug mood was subsiding a bit when Tee asked if people would do a quick clip for her vlog. God no, was my first reaction. But then I thought, hey...why not? Drop the ego. Shut up the stupid voice in the head that goes, ‘you look shit, you sound shit’. I’d been sent a webcam a few weeks ago, with the idea that I might do some video reviews for a website. Well, I’d had a bash but let’s be very honest here – there is a clear reason I never fulfilled my childhood dream of becoming Valerie Singleton (the being a Blue Peter presenter bit, btw, not the gay icon bit – though, actually..... ;)) I duly sent off my reviews but never heard a word back. Obviously turned the marketing company quite, quite speechless (and not in a good way).

Anyhow, back to Tee. I had the equipment, so to speak, so why not? She wanted to know what everyone’s very favourite part of Christmas was. Good question. In fact, impossible question. I’m hugely ambivalent about Christmas. I used to adore it – used to do the whole country house bit with home-made garlands of greenery looping round the stairs; bowls of frosted fruit. Everything became a ritual – from chopping down the tree to laying out the mince pie (home-made of course) and sherry for Santa. Now it’s a bit of a chore.

So where is the magic? Is there any left? Actually, the more I thought about it, the more I realised yes. For me, it’s the night before Christmas. It’s going to midnight mass (even though I’m not really a church-goer) and singing the old old carols; in candlelight. It’s coming out into (hopefully) a clear crisp night, swapping candles for stars. It’s stopping still and breathing deep. Thinking that, whatever you believe, the story of a baby born in a stable, surrounded by animals, worshipped by the most lowly and the most high, adored by angels – is actually pretty magical.

I didn’t say that, of course. I stuttered and spluttered something about singing The Pogues, Fairytale of New York instead. And I do love that song.

But there’s one I love even more.... (cheesy, but true).

Because, really, that's what the magic of Christmas really is...  Not presents, not heaving tables, not parties or tinsel.  Just love. 

Talking of love.....I've neglected my relentless pushing of the Please Click the Next link of late.....but if you look up to the top right-hand corner of the blog, there is not a star but a little white icon.  Be a love and click eh?  Sometimes you have to give Fate a helping hand...  ;)


F said...

I've got you beat by one tree.

It's in the house, in a stand. I water it twice a day. It has no decorations.

We wouldn't even have a tree, but it was getting cut down anyway. Every time I water it, I think of redwood forests and trees that have been alive since before there was an America and it hurts me in my soul to think of killing a member of a species that can live for hundreds of years just to hang tinsel on it.

God, I'm a regular angst machine today.

I still love your blog.

F said...

Note: my tree is a fir, not a redwood. I realized after posting that it kind of sounded like I meant it was.

(Word verification: expecrof. Sounds like an expectorant for lung cruft. Seasonal, but eww.)

Rob-bear said...

Maybe the Bear is becoming aged and grumpy, but I'm getting more "Bah, humbug" about Christmas year by year. Not sure why; just am.

I do hope you and the other four in the Bonkers household have a delightful Christmas.

Gary@Leather Baby Shoes said...

Christmas has lost its "pull" as far as I'm concerned. Thank goodness for my wife or we may well be having a cheese sandwich for Christmas dinner!

Exmoorjane said...

Frankie: Ah, I know what you mean... at some level I totally agree but an atavistic part of my soul loves the pagan greenery...the sacrifice of the god. On a pragmatic note, Christmas trees (not redwoods, obviously) are a cash crop and (I think) carbon neutral too. But now you're making me feel angsty about it too... heck, farming trees? What are we coming to.

Bear: you're allowed to be grumpy... I do a great bah humbug too. But at some point Christmas usually bites me on the bum and snatches at my heart.

Gary: well, I'm certainly not coming to yours! LOVE those shoes btw...just gorgeous!

Posie said...

Oooh lucky you, that sloe gin looks beautifully presented, complete chaos and disorganisation here too, but with the snow it is 'beginning to feel a lot like Christmas'...have a good one Jane xx