So, as it is now December, my work has decided that it is acceptable to start playing the annual (obviously) Christmas CD. (They actually started playing it in November, but I was so outraged that I couldn’t even speak, never mind blog about it). I’m not particularly a Scrooge when it comes to Christmas, but after hearing the same horrendous Christmas song played over and over for forty minutes after someone in the office ‘accidentally’ put it on repeat, you start to question your festive spirit. I’m still keeping it alive with my Advent calendar, although my friend told me the other day that I was getting ‘too old’ for an Advent calendar, a point I would like to negate, if I may. First of all, I am a Catholic, and the only reason I partake in this activity is so I can monitor my religious progress during the festive season and make sure Jesus knows I am counting down the days to his much anticipated birthday. I find taking the religious route is a sure fire way to justify most things during the Christmas period. For example, when I was in primary school, we had an annual hoop decorating competition, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like – everyone decorates one of the hoops from the P.E. cupboard and the teachers vote on the ‘best one’. Now, during The Big Competition of ’99, one boy went a step above the rest and made a three tiered hoop. This hoop was amazing, it had all the makings of an award winning piece: there was tinsel, there was glitter, I mean, come it – it was triple tiered! It was obviously going to win. So assembly time comes around, and this lad is sat there, cocky as anything, knowing that his hoop is going to win. However, when it came round to announcement time, shock horror – it wasn’t him. It was, in fact, me and my best friend Adam. It was probably partly because our mums were on the governors and were best mates with all the teachers, but mainly because we had half-heartedly shoved a cardboard cut-out of Mary, Joseph and an animal that looked like a pig but was obviously in context a donkey, in the middle of the hoop. We had no tinsel, no glitter, no additional tiers – in fact, we had spent most of the time dedicated to hoop decorating fannying around in the art bay and mocking the other children. However, according to our teachers, we had captured the ‘true meaning of Christmas’ and as such we deserved to be recognised. I tried to carry this method on throughout secondary school by every so often drawing a picture of Jesus on the bottom of every crap piece of homework I handed in, but its success level decreased with each passing year and by the time my A-level R.E. exam came round, my artistic flare was overlooked completely. (This could also have had something to do with the fact that I had been recently suspended for my lack of religious respect in mass, but that’s neither here nor there, really...)
Secondly, (we’re still talking about Advent calendars here), I think you are only too old for an Advent calendar if you wake up in the morning and your first thought is not to do with opening the next door. If you wake up, go to work, come home, make tea, and don’t remember about your chocolate until late evening, you do not deserve your festive treat. Also, another good point, due to my mother being the sugar nazi that she is, we had a wooden Advent calendar until I was about eighteen and behind each door was a wooden ornament that you then hung on a little wooden tree, so, in terms of chocolate, I have a lot of catching up to do.
One of my less favourite things about winter is my inability to differentiate between slush and black ice. I find it difficult not to trip over my own feet anyway, but when snow comes into the equation, I am somewhat of a lost cause and end up looking like a severely overweight deer learning to walk. However, falling over is a small price to pay for my favourite weather. Every year, I tell myself I will act my age and not get overly excited about the snow - I even try to throw in a bit of complaining about the chaos on the roads to make myself seem even more mature, but then as soon as I see the first flake, I find myself running around work like a headless chicken, bounding up to the canteen for a better look out of the window to try and find out whether or not it’s sticking.
Excitement was all over the place at work this week when we had a power cut on Sunday and had to shut the shop for a whole three hours because one of the workmen outside has snipped through a wire. While my boss hurried around trying to figure out what was going on, I was running around eating all the free fudge from the tasting table and trying to scare people with stories about ghosts. (I regretted this when I had to go to the walk-in fridge by myself, but sacrifices must be made). Running around a supermarket in complete darkness is probably one of the most exciting things I have ever done - maybe not in my life, but definitely during a Sunday shift. It even beats the time one of the butchers’ shelves fell down and hit a customer on the head, and that was a good day. I didn’t fully realise before writing this entry the extent of my immaturity, but now I am thinking maybe it is time I grew up a little bit. The other day two of my colleagues had a conversation about how challenging I must have been to raise and how they offered their sympathies to my mother. I, personally, feel that I was a joy to raise – I think the real victims here are the people I had to live with at university that had to come home every day to a new disaster and sit down while I gently explain to everyone that I have pulled the clothes rail out of the ceiling, smashed a full bottle of vinegar all over the pantry, or accidentally let a man from a random electricity board into the house and signed us over to a different company without realising. Everyone likes a challenge though, right?