Mr Thinly Spread and I were reminiscing on the Good Old Days when we had an unexpected day off together sans enfants recently. We strolled along beneath frosted branches, blowing dragon breath without feeling we needed to comment upon it, not jumping into bushes for a quick hide, not lifting each other into trees for a climb and we chatted without interruption!
Christmas soon came up in conversation but neither of us spouted long lists of present requirements, we didn’t even talk about Father Christmas. We did, however, talk about who we were going to see and when. Christmas as adults seems to mean a lot of juggling about to make sure you have seen all the people you need to see, contacted all those you will be unable to see, sent things to people you never see and making sure you haven’t forgotten someone you’ve never met. We talked about presents for relatives and friends and we talked about when we would see my family and when we would see his.
Many years ago, pre children when we were free to wander at will and to return after bed time without facing the consequences, we returned from the wilds of Wales to our small basement flat in Bristol. Laden down with Christmas goodies from Mr TS’s family we were waylaid on our doorstep by our landlady looking as if the world had ended.
‘Don’t go in’ she begged and I noticed the boot mark on our front door. She took us upstairs to her beautiful house and filled us with chocolate and wine to prepare us for the horror which awaited us when we returned to our burgled home. ‘It’s a terrible mess’ she said, patting my hand, ‘I’m so sorry’.
The burglars had taken anything we had of worth, which wasn’t much. They had stolen the CD player and a camera and they had strewn my cheap jewellery from the box in our bedroom in a rejected line to the front door. The only thing I cared about was a gold fob from my Grandfather. It had been my lucky charm in every difficult situation I had found myself in as a teen and young adult and it was gone.
We stood in the middle of the mess, my landlady’s arm around my shaking shoulders. It wasn’t until Mr TS had shown her out re-assuring her that we would be fine and could clear it up ourselves that I could finally burst out laughing. The burglary was undoubtedly a horrible experience and left us feeling angry and violated. We were furious with ourselves as we would be footing the bill for a new CD player, camera and CDs; the home insurance form we had intended to fill in sat staring at us on the kitchen table.
However, there was a funny side….all that mess? It was ours! We are not the tidiest people on the planet. Burglar Bill and his chum must have had to pick their way through strewn books, knickers, old newspapers and junk to even find the things they pinched! I’m not sure but I actually think they may have picked one or two things up and put them away!
How do you organise Christmas? Do you find yourself Thinly Spread between family members trying to keep everyone happy and wearing yourself to a frazzle in the process or do you keep it simple and enjoy every minute? What is your secret to a Happy Christmas?