My choccies fell in a puddle. The fairy lights didn’t work. The Christmas tree fell over, its metal stand snapped inside the trunk. I had to drill another hole, get another stand...
I wasn’t feeling Christmas at all. Was it just me?
The thought of all that effort and mandatory happiness … really? In a global pandemic? When my dad has died? When my oldest son has moved continents?
Regardless, everyone on my street started putting up their Christmas trees.
My house looked a bit cheerless in comparison, but the trouble didn’t seem worth it.
“Let’s not do presents this year,” I said to Himself. “I’m not feeling it.”
“But I’ve already got you stuff!” he protested. “Of course we must do pressies!”
Did I have to write cards though, I wondered?
Then I got a card through the letterbox from my aunt, full of glitter and chat, so I thought I’d probably better write one back, and I realised there are other people who’d be cheered by a card too.
I still wasn’t exactly fa-la-la-ing yet though.
The local church put up a banner advertising Carols by Candlelight. What was the point, I wondered? You aren’t allowed to sing, you have to wear a mask throughout’ you have to sit removed from other people.
My bells were not jingled by the prospect.
I doubt I was the only former Christmas fairy who felt too tired by the year.
Then on Friday, my sister sent a message: “Three weeks till Christmas!”
I thought we had months!
Panicked, I rushed out to buy a lopsided charity tree from the scouts in the rain – a real tree, because this is Europe and real trees smell good – and I went to the butcher to order the tiniest turkey, since there will be only three of us this year.
I even bought a box of Quality Streets for nibbling while tree-dressing; I was getting there.
But my choccies fell in a puddle. The fairy lights didn’t work. The Christmas tree fell over, its metal stand snapped inside the trunk. I had to drill another hole, get another stand…
However I pressed on and, as Christmas started to take shape around me, as I put tinsel on the dog, my heart started to defrost.
It seems as with enthusiasm, as with bravery, as with love, so it is with happiness: sometimes you’ve just got to fake it until you can make it.
I’m making it now. I hope you are too.
For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.