So, you made it to the end of December! What shall we call it; a marathon; a challenge; a headache, fun and/or a joy? I expect if it’s properly analysed, the last month of the year is a bit of all of those. It’s certainly been different this year for all sorts of reasons. The news has crept into all our lives for sure. And for those of us who have the additional issue of birthdays in December, it’s just one more hurdle. I have three family members with birthdays in this month. It’s a shame for them really in one way but how lovely to be on the receiving end of huge gift bags.
My film club showed Cinderella as its Christmas offering on the 5th. It was a 2015 production, not a cartoon version but with the likes of Cate Blanchett as the wicked stepmother and Helena Bonham Carter as the fairy godmother and containing no sex or violence, it was pure joy to watch and anyway, who doesn’t like a happy ending. Call me an old softie if you like but in the company of good friends, I can’t think of a better way to spend a cold December afternoon. I recommend it.
On the 9th, I was at the U3A December monthly meeting which always takes the form of a carol concert performed by the U3A choir. Of course, there were several opportunities for the audience to join in and raise the roof we did!!
The weather has kept us on our toes as usual and leaf sweeping continued, rain permitting, so I added that task to my Move It ticked box, along with window cleaning etc. While on the subject of weather, I was astonished to see a baby hedgehog marching along quite briskly on my front drive. We do have large numbers of these lovely creatures where I live but surely this little soul should have been fast asleep by now. My neighbour and I followed his progress and he disappeared under the hedge and hopefully is now home, dreaming of the spring. He could well have been confused by the wide range of temperatures we had during the month. I know I was!!
I decided to take the bull by the horns this year and change my shopping habits. Now that I’m retired, I always try to avoid the shops at the weekend. I still remember the battle when at work, one eye on the clock and one on the shopping list, trying to cram everything into a few hours and running at double speed to keep up with my life. Bearing that in mind, I’ve been shopping at night. I can remember when evening and all night shopping was introduced and there were so many objections but how life has changed because of it. Many shops used to shut on Wednesdays, 6pm was closing time and no shops opened on Sundays. Perhaps we didn’t have or need so much ‘stuff’ then. Now, some of our smaller shops open on Christmas day. I always like that cosy feeling on Christmas Eve evening. “That’s it – no more” I always say to myself (or the cat if he’s nearby).
20th December. Well, best laid plans and all that. I was expecting to be fighting my way through the endless shopping lists and the supermarket. I wasn’t planning to be at the vet with my lovely cat who somehow has injured his back leg and was limping badly in pain. Much talk of x-rays and fractures with a review on the 23rd. As you can imagine, I had visions of spending Christmas in nursing mode. Don’t panic (but of course, I did!).
For Awareness in January, I’ve chosen the 5th which is Twelfth Night. I know there’s some argument about whether it’s the 5th or 6th but I confess I rely on Google – such a useful help at times. This means its time to take the decorations down. I can’t make my mind up whether it’s a sad or happy occasion. All that time spent deciding where to put this and that, getting the right batteries for the right lights, splashing out on that lovely new decoration when you only went to buy gift wrap. And don’t forget to take the batteries out of all the decorations. I learned my lesson the hard way; my lovely snowman doesn’t look the same without his glow; my fault for leaving the batteries in last year. As we had the shortest day on 22nd December, by the time I natter again we’ll be enjoying a few more minutes of daylight, which is such a tonic and perhaps makes getting out more inviting. And by the way, my cat responded to medication and the damaged foot is now better so good timing Jaffa.
Well, we’ve made it. All that planning, visiting, cooking, eating and drinking done. I’m ignoring the constant adverts for diets and gym memberships, It’s easy for us isn’t it – just pick up where we left off. I hope you’ve had a happy Christmas and feel ready to take on the world in 2020.