The Frangipanis are finally blooming and the Christmas Tree has gone up today. Michael Buble has been crooning his version of Christmas on Spotify all day, in spite of the old man’s retching motion, and there is a veiled excitement in the apartment, fuelled by the excitement of the Princess Spoodle who thinks that every bauble on the tree is a ball for her to play with.
We’re a little premature, I know, but this year we need the hope, symbolised by Christmas, to keep us from drowning. I’m always amazed at how, even in your lowest moment, a bit of tinsel and a few crass, white fairy lights can help lift your spirits.
Christmas is MY time of the year. I’ve loved Christmas festivities since I was a child and my mum would squeeze every last drop of Christmas-ness out of the few English pounds she had in her purse. We were the only house on our housing commission estate to have a Santa’s Grotto in our living area. And this year I’ve tried to reinvent our own private grotto in the block – in spite of being more than a little peeved that one of the wrinklies (on level 2 – you know who you are, bitch!) beat me to it by putting up her tree first.
We are in lock-down here, in another attempt to straighten out our son, but for once the old man and I are united in what needs to be done. Christmas is about unity, so it seems appropriate that finally we know where we’re going on our journey with Kurt, and we’ve even managed to laugh about the awfulness of our situation once or twice – although Scrooge couldn’t find it in himself to stretch to some Christmas spirit as I busied myself around the tree, pretending for a precious couple of hours that our life is normal and perfect.
We’re not faking happiness, but life goes on, even in your most dire moments.
Yesterday, I was sobbing in the car, (sending the old man into panic mode because after thirty years together he still hasn’t developed the tool kit to deal with emotional females); today, I was singing along with Buble as I hung all my favourite decorations on the tree and tried to ignore Kurt’s scathing comments, as he tried to intersperse my affected happiness with low-level comments about my decorating prowess.
I ignored him and focused on the positives. With Kurt not talking to me, sadly he has been unable to contribute to the design of the tree. So none of those nasty kindy decorations have made the final cut, nor the red tinsel or that hideous lantern that I’ve had to pretend I like for the past fifteen years, made out of a cereal box.
He’s angry, we’re angry, but I refuse to let him undo my determination. I won’t let anyone or anything burst my bubble when I’m decorating the tree, not even the most determined, antagonistic teenager.
We may have lost the battles, but we will win the war.
We still have hope…and wine. Lots of wine.