Well, that's it over for another year ! Christmas, I mean . The mistletoe has lost all its berries, the wine has all gone and if you hear that bloody Cliff Richard song one more time you will scream. The recycling bin is over -flowing with 'holly and robin' wrapping paper and we won't even mention the glass box ! Well, actually, yes lets mention the glass box, because its so full of bottles that you are embarrassed and have already done half a dozen trips to the big glass bin in the supermarket car park just so the binmen, not to mention the neighbours, won't realise what a dipsomaniac you have become.
The Christmas tree is past its best and now leans drunkenly to one side and there are more needles on the floor than on the spindly bare branches . Even the fairy on the top has a squinty, glazed expression as she teeters precariously at the top of the tree, her wand now missing its sparkly star, which fell off when the cat chased an imaginary mouse through the branches, scattering baubles left and right.
The fridge is full of leftovers, which nobody wants but you can't waste because there are starving people in the world and the turkey gazes at you accusingly, there seems to be more left than when you first cooked it. You have forgotten to wrap the cheese in cling film after last nights drunken snack and now the smell of ripe Stilton has filled the fridge and filters out into the kitchen everytime someone opens the fridge door and mixes with the aroma of over-cooked sprouts and sage and onion stuffing.
The sideboard still groans with bowls of nuts, they were mixed nuts but now there are only a few walnuts and hundreds of bloody Brazil nuts, which nobody can manage to crack without a hammer and chisel or the stamp of a hob-nailed boot ( what IS a hob-nail ?)
Boxes of chocolates litter the surface too, each one containing just two or three of the most hated centres.......in my case , treacle toffee ! All the scrummy centres have been eaten.
Fractious children, over-tired and bored, bicker endlessly over whose turn it is on the Wii or Playstation , their new toys strewn across the floor and many already broken or discarded because it wasn't the 'in' thing and 6 yr olds whine and cry because they didn't receive a BlackBerry or iPhone like little Wayne down the road.
Grumpy in-laws, visiting for the 'festive season' flop in easy chairs, feet sprawled out, snoring at 2 in the afternoon, but waking swiftly should someone dare to change the channel on the TV. Scowling at the childrens behaviour and giving each meal or mince pie an autopsy because it "isn't the way I used to make it ".
Hubby is sweating in the over-heated sitting room because he has to wear the hideous jumper lovingly knitted by Grandma, the jumper that is two sizes too big and knitted in at least 6 colours too many !
The dog is being sick in a corner after being force-fed a diet of chocolate log and tinsel by little Tommy and you are skulking in the kitchen, swigging sherry at 10 in the morning and trying to think of interesting ways of disguising left-overs again for lunch..
And everyone is heartily sick of the sight of each other, cooped up together since Christmas Eve, with too much food, too much alcohol and far too much enforced jollity.
Is any of this familiar, do any of you recognise this scenario, isn't even just a little bit of it true ?
But didn't we have a lovely time and wasn't it all worth it ? And won't we all do just the same next year ? We will decorate the house and trim the tree and buy enough provisions for a small country and spend more than we can afford on gifts for everyone and invite the in-laws and indulge the children and sing the songs and pour the wine and toast each other and watch the Christmas Specials and eat and drink ourselves into a stupor. And some of you will remember the religious meaning of the celebration and go to church. We will visit friends and relations and spread a little joy and festive spirit. We will remember the last Christmas and vow that, this time, there will be no arguments and near-divorces and everyone will be happy. And , if we should wonder why we go through this every year , we will smile softly, feeling a warm glow inside and say to ourselves ,
" Well............... it's Christmas.............isn't it !!! ? "
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and that all your wishes came true. I have had a truly special Christmas time, basking in the warmth and love of my family and friends. I would now like to wish you all a Happy New Year , may it hold many magical moments , you all deserve it !!