Friday, January 06, 2012

Well, that's that then...

I spent this morning getting rid of Christmas.

To clarify: this was not some 'Bah-humbug' moment. Contrary to what my colleagues believe, I actually like Christmas; just in its proper place, which is for a limited time span of around 2 weeks only, and particularly without exposure to a never-ending syrupy slick of cheesy songs.

No, this was a reversal of the Christmasification of our home.

For the first time in memory my family had de-treed whilst I was at work earlier this week. It was a joy not to be the one to pick off all the trimmings, drag the crisp-leaved potential firewood outside and hoover up 90% of the needles, carefully leaving 10% to be found randomly throughout the year. My part this year was to remove the remainder. But first I had to notice it.

Thus I played an elaborate game of hide and seek without being entirely sure what I was looking for. Every time I thought I'd finished, up popped another card / silver snowflake / fake icicle etc etc to foil me again. Throughout the process I found myself singing a weird version of No Christmas by Jay Foreman, who was an amusing support act when we went to see Dave Gorman but has now become a bit of an earworm. Don't say I didn't warn you.

There's Christmas on the shelf
There's Christmas on the stairs
There's Christmas on the floor
There's Christmas in my hair....

This Christmas time was a strangely muted affair for me, due to a lengthy period of unwellness. I had to give in, and let others do or accept it wasn't going to be done. To be honest I enjoyed the experience, although not the missing events or coming home early pooped thing. Christmas for me is Advent; the looking forward, looking towards, expectation. Whether you are approaching it with a spiritual dimension or not, this is often true; despite all the weeks of pointing the way, it strikes me as jarring the way that Christmas seems old hat the second the 25th December is over. When I worked as a ward nurse this was often particularly the case when I was rostered to do a late shift on Christmas day; quick, eat the dinner! Quick, uniform on! Those patients in hospital over Christmas tend to be the sickest ones, who are often oblivious to the rather sad attempts by the NHS to make a Christmas in hospital seem jolly (favourite moments? The year every patient was given an alarm clock, only to have them all go off, in their wrappings, an hour before wake-up time when on night shift; and the time some dimbo had plugged the ward Christmas tree into a double socket with the arrest trolley defib machine, with the result that a cardiac arrest resulted in a nurse running up the ward with the trolley dragging the tree behind it).

But this year Christmas lingered pleasantly, as I whiled away the hours reading in a haze of Lemsip.

I may try to approach things this way again in future, though preferably without the illness. There was a piece of research published recently that said Christmas Dinner is so complex, it takes the average woman(!) until the age of 47 to master it. So I've got time...on the other hand...what's wrong with Lemsip and chips?




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