Only ten days remain until Christmas.
I’ve had a story in an advent calendar for the Black Library. There has been snow. I’ve done some shopping for stockings. I’ve booked a delivery for all the Christmas day lunch essentials; there is a goose on the way, and everything... And yet I can’t seem to muster the Christmas spirit.
Yes, I’m still working to deadlines, and there’s a lot to do in the office before I can take my Christmas break, but it’s like that most years, and, yes, I’ve been struggling with a horrible cold for almost a fortnight, so my spirits, generally, haven’t been as high as they might have been, but I don’t think that’s it either.
Perhaps it’s my age. Perhaps it’s because I don’t have kids in the house anymore. Perhaps it’s because there are no constant reminders that Christmas is coming, no daily countdown, no gift suggestions piling up, no begging for decorations to go up early, no stream of kiddy cards entering and leaving the house.
Ah... Christmas cards! I miss Christmas cards. I have been gradually missing them for years. This year, I finally gave up and deleted them from my festivities, in favour of something charitable, and, already, I regret it. It makes sense, though, as, year-on-year, fewer and fewer Christmas cards have plopped through our letter-box as more and more people send e-cards or FaceBook greetings or other alternatives. The couple of hundred cards I usually send with the cost of the cards and postage at 60p each, and the colossal carbon footprint does seem like an extravagance. Then there’s the couple of days it generally takes to write all the cards and address all the envelopes. I don’t know, though, I suspect I might return to the ritual next year.
No other day of the year feels quite like Christmas day, and I’m sure I’ll get that feeling again this Christmas... I certainly hope so.
In the meantime, I’ve got a book to finish, and the daughter’s due home from college, and it’s my father’s birthday, and mine too, and I still haven’t wrapped any gifts or trimmed a tree, so, with any luck, by the time all of that’s done, the Christmas spirit might just have visited. Of course, if it hasn’t, I’m sure my regular Whisky-Mac on my Chrismtas Eve birthday will help it along nicely.