Okay, I know I was just writing about Thanksgiving yesterday, but since we live in London, there’s no evidence of any holiday except for Christmas. Actually, I take that back… last week we were at my favourite Indian restaurant, getting unusually subpar food and service. It was exceptionally busy for a Tuesday night, and we eventually figured out it was because of Eid (the Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, for all you other pasties out there). Other than that night, however, you can’t go anywhere in London without bumping into Christmas.
It all seems very premature, but I have to confess I love it. I am even shamelessly listening to Christmas music as I write this. It’s not even advent, and I find myself whistling Christmas Time is Here by the Vince Guaraldi Trio. Part of it’s my upbringing, as my family always went all out for the holidays. By this I don’t mean excessive amounts of spending (though I certainly never remember Santa being stingy with the toys), but rather good food and music.
Also, nothing says Christmas like the annual Christmas tree argument. It used to just involve annoyance with each other for leaving it too late, driving around to multiple tree stands, and coming home with something totally overpriced and unsuitably tall. My father would then have to saw off the bottom part of the trunk, taking care not to maim himself… and this was the FUN PART. We'd then wrestle with the finicky Canadian Tire Christmas tree stand, and once up, would argue over the exact positioning of the lights. The tension usually started off with my father muttering 'sh*t' under his breath, and escalated to full blown 'this effing goddamn piece of sh*t!' Ah, it brings a tear to my eye just thinking about it. Since moving to Vancouver Island, my parents have started going to the local Christmas tree farm to cut their own, which adds in the element of fighting over which tree to choose, followed by trying to remember where it was when they go back to collect it.
This is the awesome action I'm missing out on, people! So you can see why I was a bit despondent at the thought of our Cratchit Christmas this year, with no money to spend on such frivolous things as decorations. But never fear, today I discovered the bestest present ever. My mother, it turns out, bought us some Christmas decorations, complete with fairy lights to untangle and a mini tree to argue over setting up. I'm sure my husband thinks I’m
a big baby overly enthusiastic about this, but I don't care. Our tiny flat will be festive this season, and we can argue like a normal family, the way Christmas was meant to be.
*Thanks to Mom and Dad for the decorations! They are fab!