Ah, Summer! As the sultry July days count down to August splendour, naturally I was overjoyed to receive my first charity Christmas catalogue in the post yesterday.
Bad enough there were cards in the shops even before the children had broken up from school. Bad enough that the restaurants are already advertising their special menus and group bookings for the December festivities. Bad enough one the shops I regularly buy clothing from sent me an Autumn/Winter clothing catalogue. I could just walk away, averting my gaze and muttering a Hail Mary under my breath like a lost monk in Soho.
This one mugged me though. This one was in an envelope promising other goodies. Sigoth and I recently signed up to be members of a particular charity and here was our shiny handbook, detailing places of interest to visit. Our dreams of weekends spent traipsing along cliff tops were rudely interrupted by the advent of, well, Advent. In July. In a heatwave. I do not live in the Southern hemisphere, so it was just wrong on every level.
Still, I don’t want to be all Scrooge about it. Who doesn’t like a jolly winter festival with feasting and frivolity and fat men stuck in chimneys? If I’m going to have repetitive tunez inflicted upon my eardrums in shops I would prefer Noddy Holder over some Lounge Lizard any day of the week, or indeed, week of the year.
So bring it on. After all, I make the cake in September so it can soak up the brandy goodness for a few months. Not long until September really.
With that in mind I’m starting my Christmas list, and I’m going to share it with you so you know what to get for my stocking.
- A chocolate orange. No stocking is complete without one of these in the toe end. The option of a genuine satsuma or clementine may be laudable, but let’s get real here. Chocolate is the way to go during the holiday season.
- A pair of black socks. Not those stupid socks with cartoon characters and dodgy slogans which you can’t wear to the office for fear of offending the receptionist. A decent pair of black socks which will actually be useful for the rest of the year. Otherwise I would feel bad for the slave labour that created them.
- A notepad and pen. Just in case I want to write down a phone message from someone who can’t work out how to use text or email. Because there are still lots of those people left in the world.
- Soap. Apparently there’s a rule at Christmas that says we all have to use our own soap instead of the perfectly serviceable soap in the bathroom.
- Chocolate liqueurs. See (1) above, but with added alcohol for the real meaning of Christmas.
- A magazine. This is a tricky item because I have to forswear magazines during November and December just in case someone gets me one I have already read. Alternatively you could get one of those rip-off Best of the Year style volumes, which just include all the stuff they already printed in a new issue. Because recycling is good, don’cha know?
- A small toy or novelty item, ideally as repulsive as possible. Christmas is about meaningless tat, so let’s start the day as we mean to go on. A sparkly vampire keyring, a furry dice or anything from a Pound Shop is ideal.
- A small gift the giver and the receiver both actually care about. This is the apology for most, if not all, of the above and says “I love you really.” Which I suppose is the essence of Christmas.
Have a marvellous summer.