La la li la la… Oh no! I can't bear the dreamy trance.
Particularly for parents with children, it's a time when just hearing the word "Christmas" puts you on edge. No, it’s not a pleasant.
"Why?" you ask?
1) Getting presents for the kids. You have to successfully coax out of them what they want from Santa Claus. And by the way, making the mistake of buying things too early means making painful excuses.
2) Preparing presents for the relatives. You have to dream up a gift that each and every relative would be happiest with, plus, you have to think of something that fits within your budget.
3) Then there's all the hubbub at the shops, thanks to Christmas. There are the crowds, and then the queues at registers.
4) You give out invitations, you get invitations, you have meals at restaurants, so there are more events. And yes, school and other class events.
5) Dinners with the whole extended family, and the preparation.
6) Christmas decorations are a pain.
7) The Christmas decorations, presents, wrapping, and so get strewn about the house making a mess.
8) And for one reason or another, I ended up getting married at this time of the year.
For 1, 2, and 3, lately I have been reaping the benefits of technology and getting those jobs done on the internet. For 4 and 5, liquor is giving me strength. For 6, I get the kids involved. For 7, I tell myself it's a matter of a little forbearance, and I close my eyes. And when it comes to 8, well, in 16 years of marriage, we have celebrated our "wedding anniversary" not once.
If I don't do things that way, then the wheels eventually fall off, the happy energy in the world becomes too dazzling, too twinkly, and I just can't handle it any more.
No, I prefer to spend the end of the year quietly, in a sentimental mood, without rushing, just fully appreciating that we have managed to get through another year.
Beside me, my eldest child diligently wrote this Christmas wish list across-wise, changing marker color as he went. The younger one had already given me his letter to Santa Claus.
"I am a Sporting fan. What about you Santa? YES NO Please mark with an "X".
Maybe he thought he would just share his feelings.
For the kids, December sure is a special time filled with magic and unending excitement.
Portugal doesn't get snow, but as Christmas approaches the skies turn suitably wintry.
At our place we light the wood stove when night falls.
This is the time to sip a glass of wine and look into the charcoal dissolving into pure orange-red.
Aaah, yes, that's Christmas.