22 Days Left….

Waking up really early…slight pain in the head from excess alcohol the night before…sticky fingers from wrapping presents the night before…the expectation of what gifts lay waiting under the tree…hearing the kids whispering in the early morning darkness…”Looks like Santa came after all…. Mammy and Daddy…”…Disbelief in their eyes at the unexpected haul of toys and chocolate…trying to figure out how he got down the chimney…thoughts aloud in their dancing eyes “Is their really a Santa?”…wrapping paper all over the floor…what time is it?…time for Mammies present…the look on her face when this time I really do suprise her…did she like her present this year?…Is that a tear in her eye?…Yes, my boy..you’ve done it!!…waiting for my present…a few pairs of socks from the girls I suppose…..What did Mammy get for Daddy?…Something small but tightly wrapped…have not a clue in my head!!!

Suddenly I snap out of my day dream and realise that I have neglected my pact to get all the Christmas shopping done before its too late. It looks like ‘too late’ is swiftly approaching. I love to shop around for little presents. I could spend hours in shops looking for the perfect present. But it’s just not that easy for my wife. It must be like this for a lot of people. I can’t simply buy her a CD or some limited edition novel or a rare painting by Monet, for instance!! She needs to be wooed at least once a year and this time is upon us. It’s not as if I can dip into a big bucket of bullion to brazenly flitter from shop to shop with my personal shopper at my heels on my beckon call….I wonder do these kind of people have the same worries.

My wife related a story to me of when she was a little girl…still believing in the big S…..her brothers and sisters decided to play a little trick on her and substituted her presents with a bag of spuds….she still gets upset on the telling of this story. Christmas in their house was a magical time that was always celebrated with the giving and receiving of presents. My house wasn’t quite the same ….my mothers sister had passed on aorund Christmas time …so there was always a certain feeeling of  melancholy for her around this time…this was invariably passed on to us over the years….we still had wonderful times at Christmas, but somehow I feel my wife’s Christmas’ were on a par with the Partridge Christmas Family Special.

I just wish we could hark back to those innocent days when the giving of presents at Christmas was appreciated and not expected!! My brothers and sisters never gave each other presents at Christmas. If I did get one now it would probably bring a tear to my eye. It would be a totally unexpected thing! In my wifes family they all give each other presents…still!! It’s become a ritual part of Christmas for them. I still don’t know what I am getting for my lovely wife …something special perhaps…practical maybe….not a voucher…the Christmas dilemma…every bloody year!!!!

HEEEEEEELLLLPPPPPP…Where is Santa when you really need him?????

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