Or should I say began a little over a month ago.
At least the
boring irritating repetitive traditional popular songs haven’t been loaded into the continuous players yet, but it will come, oh yeah, it will come.
Everywhere is tinsel, streamers, candles, glitzy packaging, hiked up prices for a fancy box tied with ribbon, trees, toys, snazzy jumpers and onesies (if you want to be Batman, Pudsy or Darth Vadar and they’re in adult sizes, so I could have a good Knight cuddled up to a huge Teddy Bear and not be afraid of The Dark Side!), and if you’re really lucky, you might actually find what you went into the shop for, you know, that thing which had been moved to make way for these glorious displays of festive goodies.
To be honest, if you take away the marketing and the hype, I actually like Christmas. It’s the profiteering and rip offs that annoy me. But as I came out of the supermarket with my 89p box of mince pies (OK, I admit I succumbed to temptation), I got to thinking.
As kids, we had a box of decorations, mostly hand made, which included trimmings for the tree, tinsel and the lights that worked when we put them away, but didn’t when we took them out a year later. That was actually a family tradition!
In my last ‘proper’ job (2002 – 2007), the ladies in my department were of various ages and marital status. In previous years, each had taken a turn in decorating the tree in our office, and being the newbie (I’d started in the January!) I volunteered to do it.
I was rather pleased with the end result, plenty of tinsel, lights, chocolate novelties, baubles of various colours, shapes and size, and a rather cute fairy to put on the top.
I hadn’t had to fork out for the stuff (other than the chocolate) as I’d found it all in labelled boxes in one of the store rooms.
My pleasure however was short-lived as 3 of my four colleagues were not impressed.
‘Don’t you have a theme?’ Mrs Designer (daughter-must-have-the-most-expensive-frock-and-hairdo-for-the-school-party) asked.
‘Did you have to use so many different colours rather than just one?’ said Ms Two Tone Grey.
‘It’s a mess,’ said the third (one of the most disorganised and careless people I’d ever worked with). ‘There’s no organisation or logic to any of it.’
‘I like it!’ said the other (recently divorced with 2 kids). ‘Bright and cheerful, muddly in an inventive kind of way.’
I like colour, and I like pretty balls, icicles and bells. We had the traditional stuff at home, but decorations weren’t purchased to co-ordinate with each other or the house decor. Nothing was themed to the latest Disney film or craze in the shops, chances of which were that by Christmas, it would all be obsolete anyway!
My method was simply to put the lights on first (after making sure they worked) and then fit the trimmings round them, trying not to put similar ornaments side by side, spreading out the colours, and making sure I didn’t overload it in case it toppled over!
And so my slapdash decorated tree survived the two week duration of the work’s festive season. I never did it again, leaving such decorating tasks to those who obviously couldn’t think past a check list or colour chart!
Remember this? It will be exactly the same this year.