Loads of preparation already taking place. Now Father Christmas is alongside Saint Nicholas in the dutch shops. When I came to the Netherlands twenty-four years ago, Christmas was soberly celebrated. It was all about 5 December. In the last ten years, because of the commercial and the ching-ching of cash registers, we have now Christmas celebrations in abundance as well.
I used to love Christmas but now it just overwhelms me. The thought of getting a large Christmas tree up two flights of stairs is enough to have to creep back to bed and place the covers over my head. But I have no excuse this year. I am not going away for Christmas. My teenage daughter will be with her Dad but promptly reminds me about New Year - another dread in my already mushy brain. So what’s the least of the two evils? A great big bloody Christmas tree or explosions of light fantango and being attacked into 2012!
It would be easier to take a plane and go somewhere else. However, I’m sticking to my guns. I’m planting myself in front of the television, purposely feeling brain-dead and being anti-social. I don’t want a lot of people around. I’m slightly peopled-out because of my line of work. I always have people in my life. I want to retreat with my mega box of maltesers, cadbury’s selection box and Mozart. I don’t fancy eating the usual Christmas trimmings. I fancy simple. I want to hibernate and not answer the door. I want to stay in my PJs all day and not have a shower. I fancy lying down on my couch until the imprint of my body is a permanent fixture. I even fancy not fancying my Italian Stallion neighbour. He’s away for Christmas anyway!
So my plans are all in motion. I am determined and steadfast in my plans of action. I walk past a very festive window display and my heart melts. The sparkles and glitters attract me in to the store. I can’t resist. I buy a few trinkets for my imaginary tree. Noooooo. I’m hooked again. I look in a boutique window and see the perfect dress for a perfect day. Nooooooo. I buy the dress. No PJs. No chocolate stains on this dress!!! I’m weak. What can I say? I love the possibilities of going against the norm. However, my norm seems to change daily. Who knows? Maybe I will dress up or not. But the choice is left up to me. That’s the nicest thing of all. I can choose. In the choosing is the empowerment. I’ll wait and see. Mozart barks in agreement. His new santa blanket is being humped as I speak. Well, an early Christmas present for my overexcited canine friend.
Excitement all around. Christmas is coming!