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There Will Be Festivity … And A Little Bit Of Begging

Decorating: done (yes, all my bookshelves are this pretentious)

There are but three shopping days left until Christmas, dear reader(s). You’re probably sitting back smugly upon reading that fact, thinking ‘Well those are three more days than I need, because I am very organised and superior and all my gifts are bought and wrapped elegantly and sitting under my real Christmas tree which is tastefully decorated with charming and whimsical ornaments and soft white twinkling lights. All there is for me to do is sit back and peruse my Christmas menu, most of which I have already prepared and which is macerating, marinating, steeping, gelling and otherwise improving itself in my walk-in pantry and my huge fridge.’

Well bully for you, reader. Things ain’t looking so pretty around here. A few minutes ago, in a new  low of parenting, I procured a Christmas stocking for my child from a printer toner shop. For free. Basically, I begged it from the window display.

I was walking past, having visited all the fancy gift shops in the area in search of a nice Christmas stocking for May Blossom that wasn’t made of sequinned yellow satin (the best the $2 shop could offer), and in the hilariously lame window display was a rather nice stocking.

The owner was having a quiet day, because really, toner doesn’t exactly shriek with holiday good cheer. When I asked if I could buy part of his Christmas display, which otherwise consisted of scrunched up red and green tissue paper bursting festively forth out of Canon and Minolta boxes, he looked a bit bemused, then told me I could have it for free. I nearly wept with the Yuletide charm of the whole situation. I felt like I was in a heartwarming subplot from Love Actually. A dull subplot, sure, and one that ended up on the cutting room floor, but it was all very Richard Curtis, trust me.

Beyond the stocking begging, there was further Christmas cheer to be had this morning when Other Jess and I constructed gingerbread houses from a kit and decorated them with the assistance of two toddlers who had been sucking on red icing pens. They were somewhat exuberant.

Against all odds, no one was seriously burned with the toffee you have to make to glue all the gingerbread masonry together, and we managed to call the lollies ‘decorations’ for long enough to get a few of them onto the houses before the small people twigged and started stuffing freckles and jubes into their faces. In a confectionary-based analogy to our real houses, Other Jess’s gingerbread house was very neat and tidy and colour co-ordinated.

Mine looked like it had been decorated by a Drambuie-soaked chimpanzee, as does my home.

Bring on Christmas. I’m ready, waiting in a dark alley with a baseball bat.

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