With November finished (and my successful completion of NaNoWriMo!) a distinctly cold snap has arrived in this second day of December, which has brought into sharp focus the annual debate of ‘What are we going to do this Christmas?’ In my working life it related to where and when the office Christmas party was to be held, ensuring that the date suited everybody’s calendar (never did) and the price suited everybody’s pocket (ha!). It was usually down to one poor soul to grasp the nettle of organising things and inevitably upsetting one or more work colleagues by failing to take account of date, location, price, food preference, or any combination of these. The same issue has arisen over the last few years in the group of which I am a member. Everyone has an opinion about what to do and where to go, but none has taken up the reins. The result is that the party has been carried over the holiday period into January, the argument being that after the festivities have finished, January is dull for just about all of its thirty one days, and it is good to have one day of partying when nobody else is and which will probably cost less to hold out of season. However, the same issues have arisen: where, when, how much? A day was arbitrarily picked out only for someone to point out that it was Burns Night, an event that is so popular it will make any bookings equally tricky to secure. I fear therefore we may be reduced to having to arrange our festivities inside a tent with blow heaters, as was the case for our Christmas party in a pub garden some years ago. but it was a very sociable event, which is what it should be about.
Such agonies should not be part
Of Advent. Chaotic shopping sprees.
Christmas cards, turkeys and trees.
Invitations to lost relations. ‘Add to cart?’
Amazon asks. Thoughtless gifts
Bought and expensively wrapped.
In six months time, either scrapped,
Lost, but not healing the rifts
Intended. And you don’t have money to burn,
Totting up more than you ever earn.
Yule read the rules but never learn.