Ooookay people...the season of good will is almost upon us...but just quite how this feeling translates in reality during the annual scrap for sprouts in Sainsburys is somewhat lost on me. As someone who is known for her love of all things glitz...Christmas should be a sparkly shoe in right? At this point I really wish I had access to the family fortune buzzer...because the sound it makes truly conveys the way I feel about all things 'Noel' these days...in a manner which mere words alone can not convey.
GOWNS everywhere already know that Christmas is a tough negotiation in the new lives we were each handed on the demise of our spouses or partners...but in truth I think I already had started to appreciate Ebeneezers approach to Christmas well before the loss of my darling Kenny.
I am not a religious person so do not relate to the nativity message on that level...which kinda leaves Debenhams...and a host of other retail outlets as the contemporary focus for the seasonal celebrations of today. At this point I can hear many of you choking on your chocolate logs...as the notion that I would consider this scenario anything less than the kind of divine intervention that I could appreciate... causes you a sudden involuntary intake of frost tinged air. The truth is...I can shop till I drop at any time of the year...and without the dubious benefit of the so called ambience created by the crowds... who at this time of year pursue their purchases with all the voracity of a Jack Russell on speed.
As the Christmas lights snap on...one by twinkling one...we embrace the idealised images of the festivities fed to us via our flat screens...making lists as we do so, of all the products that we simply must have in time for Christmas...for no other reason than it is exactly what some clever marketing campaign has decided we should.
Well...I'm kinda not designed to do as I'm told...so I have found myself rebelling more and more against this seemingly benign manipulation. However, I do understand that I am one of the custodians of the seasonal memories of my grandchildren...and for this reason only, I decided to venture into the shops this morning to buy a new Angel for the top of the tree.
Determined to ignore the subliminal temptations all around me...I hit the shops...or to be more accurate the traffic jammed highways leading to the said shops...and then having done so...managed to locate the one and only car parking space available in the whole centre of town all within 2 hours...so I was feeling pretty flippin festive by the time I actually stepped through the shop door, to then be greeted by the sounds of Bing Crosby extolling the virtues of a white Christmas...my affinity with Ebeneezer had seldom been greater than at this point.
I perused the aisles and considered the contents thereof, which included everything from blow up reindeer...I mean just why?? to Christmas sacks and all manner of festive fodder in between. Unable to locate a Grinch with wings that I may have been able to pass off to the boys as a different kind of Christmas Angel...I finally spotted a graceful...GLITTER FREE Angel... I know...I know.. if this one small detail does not alert you to the sincerity in which I held my one woman protest against the commercialism that has hijacked this holiday...nothing else possibly could.
The object of my interest was perched high above me on a tree...the pathway to which was obstructed by several of the blow up reindeer...a sleigh complete with Santa...and a silver path lined with fake snow which reminded me only of Lux flakes. Unable to access the Angel by myself I searched for an assistant to help...preferably one who wasn't locked into conversation with another member of staff and pretending not to notice that I was trying to alert their attention. It was only twenty minutes before this magical Christmas miracle happened.
A tiny little girl with the biggest of smiles...came eagerly to my aid...chatting merrily away in a voice which sounded like a cross between Christmas bells and a celestial choir. I watched as she ventured down the silver path...carefully relocating the reindeer all in good cheer...and as I watched this true little Christmas Angel at work...I became suddenly aware that Ebeneezer had left the building.
Step ladders... were not much help... and as little fingers reached out to grasp it...I swear I saw the Angel smirk as it seemed to shift away from the little girls grasp. The ladders began to topple and soon she had landed into the tree with all the skill of a world war 2 fighter pilot ejecting his aircraft. The tree tottered for a second before falling on its side...causing the deflation of several reindeer and a total upending of Santa's sleigh in the process. Horrified I went to help...and was greeted by a serene smile...'it's ok' she said 'I got it!'.
The little girl handed me the Angel and assured me that she was fine and hadn't broken her neck on my account. Finally reassured..I inspected my would be purchase...and located the price tag...my turn for a sharp intake of breath £99.99
As I glanced behind me and observed the devastation in my wake...which was now being cleared up in the same cheery fashion as it had been created...I found myself unable to do anything other than make my way to the checkout...with my hundred quid Christmas Angel...whose only guarantee of not having its own neck broken lies firmly in the origins of its price.
'Peace be upon you' I whispered passing by the two sales assistants, who had previously ignored me...but who each now bore grins which would not have looked out of place on a Cheshire cat.
Bah! Humbug...Ebeneezer is back in the building.