On the warmest October day on record (or somewhere near it) when I’m in a sticky heap by the window hoping for a cool breeze and cursing freshers week – excited 18 year olds newly emancipated from any sort of parental supervision are right bloody noisy - I’m mostly thinking about Christmas. I know it’s early, and hot out (which coincidentally has made defrosting the freezer a far speedier than expected job, Saturday night’s rock round my way) but I’ve already had a lecture at work from an old lady who wasn’t happy that she couldn’t buy her mince pies yet.
I know it’s the done thing to protest that Christmas crap gets in the shops earlier every year but I’m not convinced and I like these next few weeks when it’s still kind of subtle and there’s no pressure to write cards or spend. I love thinking about what I’ll get people or make for them whilst it still feels like there’s all the time in the world to do it. I love seeing what shape Christmas is going to take in the shops – it looks like it’s going to be retro again. I really love having something to look forward to – that’s partly Christmas and partly the week off at the beginning of January that’s already turning into the light at the end of the tunnel.
This is because already work is all about Christmas; a stock pile of Frangelico is on its way – last year’s lessons have been learned and this time the customers will get there monk shaped hazelnut liquor. They will not appreciate the forethought and effort that goes into this – things I hate about Christmas include people who leave everything to the last minute and yet imagine that anything they want to purchase will be available to them instead of having been bought already by other much more organised people. To be fair this happens all the year round, there’s just more of it at Christmas.
Another thing I don’t altogether enjoy is how physically demanding the whole thing is. 23rd December last year (traditionally the busiest day) we sold a generous 5 tonnes of booze, at the end of the day the shelves were as full as at the beginning – the difference being several bruises, cuts, and aches everywhere as well as dirt that feels it will never scrub off your skin, the impression (by which I mean reality) that you have said the same thing a thousand times over, dreams about bottles, and the desire not to deal with anyone again for a very long time.
But just for know and despite the sunshine I can daydream about the gingerbread tree I WILL make, the relaxed time spent with family where my sister and I WON’T fall out over what to watch on television and a general sense of good times and new beginnings ahead.