And so here we are, a month from Christmas and soon the traditions of the season will be upon us. Although, as is the case most years, I’ve been honouring one custom since around mid-October. Which is the eating of mince pies. I love a good mince pie, but in all honesty, there is far too much in the way of other festive fare available when we get to Christmas proper. So, I like to get my mince pie consumption started as early as possible.
In a similar bookend, I probably won’t eat much Christmas cake until January, but will then try and eke it out for as long as possible.
As I write this, my almost-16-month-old daughter is tearing around the room wreaking havoc wherever she goes. She’s quite the force majeure. For this reason, I’m not sure there’ll be a Christmas tree in the Proclaims household this year. At least I’m not sure there’ll be a Christmas tree for long…
I have already bought most of the Christmas presents I’m going to buy. I’m not an especially organised person in most respects, but present buying is generally something that I’m pretty good at. Either that or I have an exceptionally polite family when it comes to gift-receiving. But as some of them aren’t too bothered about letting me know my shortcomings in other respects, I’m going to say I’m good at buying presents.
Obviously with it now being ‘Black Friday Week’ I may have jumped the gun, having purchased all my gifts prior to this most traditional and heart-warming of wallet-friendly weeks. I believe that Black Friday proper is yet to come, although apparently some retailers, having just too many deals for one Friday, also incorporated last Friday. As I say, I won’t be joining in the fun, but I will, of course, sit down to enjoy the traditional Black Friday meal when the day does come around. The traditional meal being my own soul.
Anyway, the shopping is mostly done, which is good because December already looks set to be a fairly taxing month.
There is of course the forthcoming general election. Although that probably won’t take up too much time. I will vote, but at this point I’m voting for the least-worst candidate and really, whoever wins, it’s hard to be too optimistic. I’m not even sure who the least-worst option is. I think I know who the worst is though. And sadly, I think that is probably who will win.
December also brings its fair share of family commitments. In and of itself this is not really problematic. I’m not a fan of gatherings in general, but it would seem churlish to apply that sentiment to the people I’m related to, and to be fair they’re a decent bunch. But they all live approximately two hours from me and a two-hour drive is rarely fun. It’s worse still with a lively toddler in tow. She’s only mastered a few words, so we’re not in the territory of the “are we there yet?” chant, that I recall torturing my parents with on oh-so-many a car journey. But she has her ways of making an already challenging experience even more horrendous. Changing her nappy at the services on the M25 is an experience from last December that I’m in no hurry to repeat.
Not that she needs a long car journey to elevate my stress levels. Even as I was writing that last paragraph, she marched up to my pc and attempted to switch it off. I would have lost of all of this delightful prose in one act of infant insurrection were it not for my surprisingly considerate computer checking that I wanted to pursue the unfathomable undertaking of shutting down without saving my work before it carried out my daughter’s directions.
December is always a busy time in work. I’m not really sure why, but there always seem to be deadlines that need to be hit prior to the festive break. I’m not likely to hit any of those deadlines without ‘upping my game’. I’m never keen on upping my game. I prefer to operate a level of ‘doing just enough to get away with it’, but occasionally it pays to demonstrate that I am capable of more. For the sake of my own ego if nothing else.
In the unlikely event that my boss is reading this, I would point out that everything I write on this blog should be taken with a pinch of salt and clearly that last paragraph was written in jest.
In the more likely event that my boss is not reading this, then I can confirm I am a workshy waste of space.
One event in December that I’m really looking forward to is, of course the release of the new Star Wars film. Even if it’s ultimately quite disappointing I will still watch it multiple times. It can’t be worse than The Phantom Menace and I’ve seen that loads of times.
Speaking of films, all going well, December should also bring my, now traditional, blog offering, of The James Proclaims Advent Calendar of Christmas(ish) Films. I’ve already sat through quite a few movies with a vaguely tenuous link to Christmas so, if I can muster up enough time to actually write about them then activity on this blog is likely to go from ‘very little in recent times’ to ‘quite a lot actually’.
But it’ll all be badly written reviews of essentially non-Christmas films that might have a bit of an obscure link to Christmas.
As opposed to badly written posts about nothing much at all.
Once the advent calendar has run it’s course, I am also hoping to write my, even more traditional, Christmas Day message.
And I expect I’ll follow that with my equally traditional Boxing Day post, in which I’ll produce some sort of weak play on words referencing the sport of boxing.
So, if you’re a fan of this blog then there really is a lot to look forward to.
But if you are genuinely a fan of this blog, you may need some kind of help.
I have an appointment booked with my therapist for Thursday. I should have escaped from my straightjacket by then!
I concur with your mince pie strategy. In fact, I concur so much that I’m devastated I hadn’t been using same as an excuse for the past 10 years.
I love a mince pie but don’t like Christmas much. This could be a dilemma but you can easily buy a years worth of mince pies from the supermarkets in January for about a pound.
Can’t fit anything else in the freezer but at least it’s ready for more mince pies by next January.
Very good James and so many words. Lovely to read and keep it up. Best wishes Phil