Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Merry Christmas x

On Sunday morning when I was resting my corns and looking forward to the possibility of doing naff all, Hubby proclaimed that, “We should go Christmas shopping”.
“For whom exactly are you considering shopping for?” I asked.
“Well, then, let’s see. The kids..”
“Right, er, your family..”
“My mum and dad?”
“Hmm, what about me?”
“Nope you’re pretty much sewn up too,” I answered. There was a long silence. Who could possibly be left?
“So, you haven’t done any then?” I continued. He shook his head.
“None at all?” I must have looked incredulous because he felt the need to defend himself.
“Well Alice love I’m very busy. Knackered actually. What with the job, my MSc and you and the kids. It doesn’t leave much time for gallivanting around the shops you know”.
“I see your point, although I would point out that it could be argued that Gordon, George and Barak are marginally busier but, you can bet your crashing dollar that when Sarah, Laura and Michelle wake up on the 25th, something will have arrived from Amazon for them to open.” I got out of bed, slipped my feet into my slippers, pulled my dressing gown around me and left him to mull over what I’d said.
As the kettle came to the boil, he arrived in the kitchen wearing, rather disarmingly, his eldest daughter’s dressing gown which only just skimmed his crown jewels.
“What the...?”
“One of the bloody cats has been sick on mine”, he explained, shoving a ball of blue fleece material into the washing machine. Bending over did him no favours in his current state.
“Good lord come here”, I elbowed him out of the way.
“You can’t just put it into the machine”, I said, hurriedly pulling his dressing gown out again, “It has to be rinsed first”. So as I filled up the sink and hand washed the Go-Cat from his dressing gown he sat on an adjacent kitchen stool.
“What do you want then?” he asked
“You mean apart from world peace? Hmm. Let me think. How about high achieving children, global economic growth, free healthcare for all, oh and to publish a bestselling novel to name but a few.”
“Oh ha bloody ha. Seriously Alice, what do you want that, er, Marks and Spencer’s can provide?” There really isn’t anything that I need although I am always happy to receive a good book and some groovy music but it seemed pointless spending money just for the hell of it. Still, in times of economic crises, surely the best thing to do is to spend; otherwise the situation can only get worse.
“No wonder you live to your overdraft limit”, said Hubby gravely as I explained my fiscal philosophy to him. We pulled in to Sainsbury’s.
“Well it’s true isn’t it?” I went on, grabbing the big, recyclable bags out of the boot, “It’s all about confidence and the more we hear of how awful the economy is then the more people don’t spend; the banks won’t give credit ergo businesses can’t function ergo people lose their jobs and so on.”
“Fiona Bruce needn’t lose any sleep”.
“She hosts The Money Programme on BBC2”
I ignored him and fished for my Christmas food shopping list. I felt horribly defeated to find that most of the items I needed for the Big Day and beyond had use by dates of the 22nd on them so I’d have to return for another round, alone. Mags had stepped into the breach this time and had the kids at the last minute for me.
“He’s offered to go shopping with you?” she asked, astonished, “Carpe diem Alice, carpe diem”.
With only half a trolleyful we left the car park and drove into Plymouth’s city centre. Hubby has yet to come to terms with Drake Circus and looked most uncomfortable negotiating the spiralling turns of floors as we searched for a parking space.
“Shall I drive?”I offered. He was about to pull on the handbrake when the white reversing lights of a Honda 4x4 illuminated our way.
“Over there!” I hollered and we pulled into the space before another couple who, given their hand gesticulations, weren’t too pleased with us.
“Shall I meet you in an hour?” asked Hubby, but I could tell he didn’t mean it and besides I didn’t want a repeat of my birthday presents which had included some heinous pieces of knitwear in the most contemptible colours and the most enormous sizes.
“But I’ve lost four stone”, I wailed, standing in a vilest green, crew necked jumper which hung off me.
“I wanted to err on the side of caution”, he explained.
“Well you’ve just erred”.
We finally left town as the shutters were coming down on the shops. It was only half past four but that’s Sunday trading for you. Hubby was feeling smug. Only an hour Christmas Shopping tops and he’d come away with a pair of black stilettos and, to redress the balance a little, a warm pair of brushed cotton pyjamas – “Not exactly sexy Alice”. Were he to re-programme the central heating to run for a couple of hours more and I might be more inclined to wear the kind of undergarments he favours i.e skin.
So, that’s it. All that can be done now is to stuff the turkey and ourselves, drink and be merry. My children are exceptionally excited, although our Norwegian girl would prefer to wake in the arms of her boyfriend than be made to open a stocking at 7am. In her dreams.

May Christmas 2008 and the year 2009 find you where you want to be and with the people you love the most; let our thoughts and prayers be with those beloved friends of ours whose past year brought with it anxieties and sorrows that mean Christmas will be one of the biggest challenges of the year. You are not forgotten.


Anonymous said...

To your final paragraph, I add a resounding AMEN!

Sally said...

Happy Christmas!! You made me laugh as always!

sally's hubby said...

Loved it, as ever.

I've got to come out in sympathy the Commander. My Christmas shopping for S also started at about 4:20 on Sunday 21st, and was done by the time the shops shut. Nothing wrong with that! I'm afraid I didn't achieve the same balance of cocoa-time and party-time, though.

Anyway, Happy Christmas!

And, you never know, 2009 might yet bring the chance for us all to meet up.


beck said...

Loved your post, hope Christmas was fun! We had a lovely dinner outside under a beautiful blue sky. Food was excellent, company was great and it was the most relaxing Christmas in a long, long time. Thanks for you nice words recently on my blog, & yes, we hope you come for a visit one day too! bye for now. x