December has been an exciting month, as ever. I have had an article published on the front page of the DMU newspaper the Demon, survived my first term at university and managed to play carols in town with the Loughborough Orchestra without giving anyone a cold this time. As of this morning I am now the proud owner of 14 pairs of new socks. Courtesy of Santa, apparently.
Santa, in my experience, hasn’t always demonstrated top quality service. Apart from where presents are concerned. The last time I hung my stocking over my bed, I had to pretend to sleep through him coming into my room and moving around clumsily on my bed to reach and fill my stocking. He then whispered goodnight and merry Christmas to me in Mum’s voice. If nothing else, at least Santa can do impressions. Last year I got back from Midnight Communion at church to find that my stocking had already been filled. Honestly, all this fuss about Santa not coming until you are asleep – I wasn’t even in my pyjamas! I should probably write a formal complaint, but am too busy and, quite frankly, cannot be bothered.
There is also the issue of birthday presents. I keep telling my parents that it is very irresponsible of them both to have birthdays in December, yet they insist on having them the same time every year. Another common feature of Christmas is Bouncer’s fascination with the tree. Bouncer is the most dignified of all the cats during the rest of the year, but he somehow cannot resist the Christmas tree. For some reason, everyone else conveniently decides he is my cat whenever he tries to see how high he can climb it, despite him being everyone’s cat the rest of the time. He does seem to be resisting the temptation more and more each year though, so with a bit of luck, the tree will remain the right way up without any assistance. One thing that’s lacking is hearty guffaws of laughter at my year two nativity book. There were times when I wished it would disappear after yet more digs at King Herod’s death being celebrated with a party with cookies. I should have been careful what I wished for, as I seem to have got it.
To be honest, I was having mixed feelings about Christmas this year. For a start, it is my first one without Grannie. I did pray that God would say Merry Christmas to her from me, so hopefully she’ll appreciate the thought. I also didn’t appreciate my tutors’ present of six pieces of work to do during the holidays, particularly after having volunteered to help with various food preparation (including my annual attempt at cake decorating). I do enjoy Christmas though, even if this is seen by people at uni as a bit of a character flaw.
One thing that struck me this year more than in previous years is just how lucky we are at this time of year. However unfashionable Christmas may be at uni, we live in a country where it isn’t considered sinful to celebrate it. As far as food, money and shelter are concerned, not even everyone in this country spend this day in a warm house befuddled by a three course lunch and more presents than they can see over. And lastly I happen to live with a family who are caring and supportive (among other things) and who only have arguments of the “I’ll do it!” “No it’s ok, I’ll do it!” variety. An on-going blessing indeed. Merry Christmas, one and all!