Eva Bradley: My Christmas life support


I'm on Christmas life-support. It happened the other day when my cynicism over December 25th reached alarming new heights after a petulant declaration that I might just sleep through it.

Ever since I sprang Mum stuffing my stocking and pretending she was only helping Santa, not being him, the closest I've come to any sort of Christmas spirit is mixing my vodka with cranberry juice instead of orange.

This year things weren't helped when I learned my family members had each made plans for Christmas already, and none of them included me.

Which was the cue my self-appointed Santa's Little Helper needed to swoop in like a knight in shining armour (or an elf with a dozen reindeer and a sleigh) to come to the rescue.

Now, every morning before I do anything else at work, I do my Christmas homework.

I open my electronic advent calendar and click on today's date and watch the sweet little cartoon that changes each day and has me momentarily involved in all sorts of Christmas activities such as designing snowflakes, decorating a tree, making a wreath and building a snowman.

Earlier in the week I even received my own personal message from Santa, who seems to have moved with the times like everyone else and arrived in my inbox instead of down my chimney, congratulating me on a number of specific personal qualities and achievements and generally making me feel ... well ... jolly.

Although it did seem somewhat counter-intuitive to be receiving my Christmas cheer medication digitally, I had to concede that it really did work.

Within days I was filled with anticipation about what exciting festive activity might briefly delay the inevitable onset of the day's work and Santa's little message to me had been re-crafted and forwarded to several of my nearest and dearest.

The annual bore chore of Christmas shopping suddenly seemed less daunting.

Combined with the marvellous excuse it provided of taking an afternoon off work, I found myself happily exchanging cash for all sorts of desirable but unnecessary consumer items with which to clutter the homes of my family and friends.

The pre-emptive strike saw all my shopping done with over a week to spare and the momentum carried forward to wrapping and even tying ribbons.

As I stuffed them all in bags ready to deploy on Christmas Day (the re-education might have seen me decorate a tree online but was still a long way from seeing me do a real one in my own home), I felt proud.

Proud that I was organised, and strangely enough a little proud that for the first time in a few years, I felt a strange enthusiasm for Christmas.

At the rate I was going, I would be stuffing a turkey and glazing a ham by the time the 25th arrived.

However given this combined two things I try hardest to avoid (cooking and Christmas), I thought better of it and invested instead in an over-sized three-litre bottle of cranberry juice to mix with my vodka and newly-rediscovered sense of Christmas spirit. Eva Bradley is an award-winning columnist.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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