Well, it is now December so I suppose it is time to start thinking about Christmas. I know that some people have been preparing for some time already, but as far as I am concerned, anything done before December is simply much too early. I have heard that there are people who decorate their homes in November, but why on Earth would anyone want to do that?
Shops are the worst offenders of course. I had a need to call into Harrods at the beginning of September and having lost my way a little, walked straight into some kind of Santa’s Grotto. It was very disconcerting, being dressed for summer but surrounded by Christmas decorations and fake snow. One can hardly move around the City without coming face to face with either a snowman, an elf or Father Christmas himself.
To me Christmas is a time for children; there is something magical about it that is wasted on adults. At least, the adults that I know. I remember my own childhood Christmases spent with family and friends at the old house. It was a very special time and one of the few occasions where I could guarantee having both of my parents around. My mother always got very excited and put an awful lot of time and effort into making it perfect. My father was a little less enthusiastic but he indulged my mother and I and he always took part in whatever games or activities we came up with. Not always with as much enthusiasm as I would wish, but you can’t have everything.
These days I don’t really get too involved in the all the rigmarole of Christmas. As I say, Christmas is really a time for the little ones and as I don’t have any, there seems little point in going to all the trouble. Of course, we have decorations and a tree, but I try to keep it all within sensible bounds. And what we do have is all indoors. I have never seen the point of all these outdoor lights and sparkly decorations, which seem to get bigger and brighter every year.
Now, I don’t want anyone reading this to get the wrong impression. I have nothing against Christmas. I am not some kind of later day Scrooge. I do enjoy the festivities and the parties, but I really do feel that the over-commercialisation is spoiling the whole thing. There is far too much greed involved with far too much emphasis on spending money, very much at the expense of the spiritual side of the season.
I suppose I will have to make a decision very soon about how I am going to spend Christmas this year. I generally spend the big day itself with old Mad Duck and uncle George, sometimes at their place, sometimes here. Every now and again though I return to the old country pile with friends and family in tow. I think that this year I will invite Dorothy to join me in the country. She hasn’t seen the old place for simply ages and I am sure she would love the atmosphere. Obviously, I would also invite Angela as well, unless she has other plans.
That’s another thing about Christmas these days – everyone is always rushing around trying to visit relatives they never see from one Yuletide to the next. I see very little point in spending time with people one hardly knows and don’t really like, just because it’s Christmas and you are related. I want to spend time with the people closest and dearest to me, not simply to fulfil an annual obligation.
Of course, not everyone gets to enjoy Christmas. There are numerous people who have to work over the festive period. I do feel so sad for them. It can’t be pleasant having to work as if it were a normal day while the rest of us enjoy all the festivities and food. I suppose that is one good thing about me spending the holiday in the country, at least Mrs Kaczka and Arnold get to have a short break. I am sure they will both appreciate and make the most of the opportunity.
And I suppose I really ought to decide on gifts for people, but it is not easy. After all, many of my closest family and friends are hardly in need of anything, except maybe a hair transplant for Uncle George. I like to think that I am very good when it comes to buying gifts. Everyone says how good they are. I must speak to Miss Drayton about it tomorrow when I get to the office.