Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas cheer

Festive fact of the day...six people a year die after eating Christmas decorations they mistakenly thought were chocolate. Is this is a case of fatal tinselitis?

Having tried denial on the whole yuletide festivities front, I failed miserably, realising that even though the teen and tween no longer believe in Santa, this doesn't get you off the hook in any way whatsoever. They forced me to ditch the Sunday papers to watch The Santa Clause, which I secretly enjoyed and so began the decking of the house.

The eco tree from Botanic and the LED Habitat tree have been dug out, but still this isn't enough for one member of the family, who berates me every day over the fact that I still haven't bought a real Christmas tree. The fact the last ten days has been a frenzy of socialising in London on our annual pre-Christmas visit followed by entertaining London friends here is lost on her. All that matters is we still haven't bought a tree and it's now December 20th. No matter also that I have no idea where the tree decorations are and given the festive fact above, am not so sure its a good idea to even try and find them. I think the tasteful little number pictured above should be enough.

So far it has been a far less stressful preamble to the big day than usual. I think I may have come up with a blueprint for how to do it minus the grief while also enjoying basking in a eco glow of smugness. Any resemblance to a certain Dickens character is purely coincidental.

1. Instead of buying gazillions of presents for the rugrats to open under the tree, rely on the generosity of other present givers and just buy one big present each. This equals five minutes wrapping and only one tree branch worth of Christmas paper as opposed to five days and a South American rainforest.

2. Tell everyone you are donating to charity instead of sending out Christmas cards to people you no longer see or even realise are still friends until you check last years dog-eared Christmas card list. Alleviates all guilt of receiving a card from someone you thought was dead on Christmas Eve when it's too late to send one back. Moving to another country works quite well too although it is a bit extreme.

3. For the tricky dilemma of what to buy the person who already has eveything, head to Selfridges and buy a gift card which comes in a smart box with ribbon and a glossy yellow bag wrapped by a man who makes Rowan Atkinson's sales assistant in Love Actually look slapdash. I spent 15 minutes Christmas shopping for tricky to buy people this year, the rest of the time can be spent at the Champagne bar celebrating how easy it was.

4. For food shopping, forget braving the traffic and queues of angry motorists huntng for car parking at some ungodly hour of the morning and head instead to Leclerc (or Waitrose) at lunchtime on Christmas Eve when every other shopper has vacated the area to start their Christmas queues, freshly stocked shelves and a speedy exit via the empty tills. You may even bag a bargain as the stores try and offload everything they fear they'll be stuck with.

5. Failing all of this, you could just come to my house where Handyman will be dominating the kitchen and the port supply on Christmas morning while I unwrap pressies with the girls, get stuck into the Ruinart that is quietly chilling in the wine fridge and singalong to Cliff, Wham and Kirsty and the Pogues on a never ending loop.

Merry Christmas tout le monde.