My arse it was. This is not how things panned out in our house…
First off, Paul and I had our annual “where do we normally put the tree?” debate, that means moving most of the furniture around the lounge to try the tree out in various spots. After half an hour of lugging coffee tables and sofas about the place, wondering how on earth so many cobwebs (and age-old blueberries*) could form a cult under one sofa in just 12 months, I found a photo of the lounge last year and all our questions were answered. Back goes all the furniture to where it had been a half hour earlier.
*could well have been a grape at one point, or a plum. Time had not treated it well, let’s put it that way.
In movies, families might stop at this point to laugh and smile around an open fire, maybe have a glass of mulled wine and crack open the Quality Street. Not us, we like to do things differently. By ‘differently’, I mean that at this stage of proceedings Bear filled her nappy then instigated a game of chase, so the whole downstairs stank to high hell. While I’m wrestling her to get her changed, Paul is trying to get the iPad to connect to the speaker thingies so that Now that’s what I call Christmas can get its annual recital. That worked, but not for long because Bear doesn’t want Ben & Holly taken over by Bing Crosby so we admit defeat on that one and decorate the tree to the sound of an elf and a fairy (which sounds way more magical than it will ever actually be, trust me). And after 10 minutes of that she wants Peppa bloody Pig anyway…how festive.
We do miss having a real tree, if only because it makes the house smell far more pleasant than a toddler’s nappy. But we opted for an artificial one after Bear was born (for obvious reasons) so we got to work assembling it. We’d got all the numbered branches in little piles (the Christmas spirit right there, eh?), Bear scatters them around the room (perhaps wandering off with the odd one altogether), and despite the one leftover branch that is still in the box, the tree got there in the end.
Then out came the decorations. Baubles aren’t half like missiles when you’re 2, so they were lobbed about for a bit. We started putting them on the tree, trying to coax her into helping. ‘Helping’ turned into lobbing the baubles at the tree (fail), trailing the lights around the room like a pull-along toy, then setting herself the task of unravelling the silver bead string stuff. This is how that turned out…
No mince pies, mulled wine or even Quality Street were consumed in the making of our Christmassy lounge. Not a chance. Instead, I’m off my face on Lemsip (and yet can still smell the lingering waft of Bear’s earlier indiscretion) and Bing Crosby has been kicked to the curb in favour of the Bing Bong song (a little in-joke there for fellow Peppa
fans sufferers). Christmas has officially started!