As I chase my tail here is my story of Christmas, so far.
I begin the day with coaching at 6am and there is definitely more than a hint of Christmas spirit among our young swimmers.
Afterwards I am determined to begin shopping. ‘Why not make a list?’ he who has but one present to buy’, asks me, ‘I find it very helpful’, he adds. He gets a look I’ve perfected over twenty five years of marriage, as I I think to myself, ‘No thanks’, for if I actually saw how many gifts I have to buy I’d keel over.
I drive to town only to discover that Xmas shopping is complicated by the many others who also want to shop. I feel the rage inside me swell, as they also all wish to park in my choice of car park. Sitting for over half an hour waiting to enter it, I flood my brain with Xmas fm, desperate to try to stay in a Christmas mood. At last I get in, travel almost to the moon before finally on the rooftop I find a space. Let the shopping begin.
Two hours later I return and pay a ridiculous fee for the privilege of parking near town. I did so in order to be able to put my many purchases in the car when they got too heavy to carry. I look down at my small carrier bag carrying two cinnamon scented candles and smile at my stupidity. Presentless I return home.
The day continues in a crazy rush. I am organising a swim gala for young novice swimmers, aged 6 to 12 years, on Sunday. We have eighty entered and the proceeds will be going to the amazing team attached to the Mercy Hospital, who travel around Cork administering chemotherapy to children in their own homes. The eighty young swimmers can’t all win medals so goody bags had to be made, as well as another 200 for next week, as rumour has it a very special visitor is coming to the pool to see the young swimmers during their lessons.
I began to think that the lacking of Christmas spirit within my house was hindering my ability to be full of cheer and goodwill, so we put up some decorations. In our kitchen we have a fake tree, as the real one is to be purchased this weekend for the sitting room. My youngest and I bravely tackled the lights and even if I say so myself, we did an amazing job. They worked first go (of course they did, because I’d bought a replacement set just in case) and when they were up the tree looked like something out of a movie. Never before had I seen the lights so perfectly distributed. We turned off the lights in the kitchen to order to fully admire our talent.
Moments later all joy and self congratulations were at an end when my other daughter arrived in and in disgust said, ‘Why have you the coloured lights on that tree? It’s the clear lights we use. They look awful’. I immediately protested and declared, loudly with passion, my sincere love for the lights and the tree, but inside I was saying, ‘feck, feck, feck’, for indeed she was right.
I’m not a great one for admitting I’m wrong, or even worse, that she is right, so I have merrily enjoyed that tree all week, while inwardly cursing it, knowing the day is coming when I have to take everything off it and do it again as there is no way I’m putting the other ‘wrong’ lights up on my lovely real tree when it arrives.
Tomorrow I’m away at another swim event and then come Sunday our big day, the gala of the year will take place. Sadly all this real living is playing havoc with writing and blogging. Hopefully very soon I’ll be back to where I belong, sitting at my laptop, living in a world of my own creation.
So tonight I’ve decided there is only one thing I can do… leave you all behind and go to a Christmas party. Who knows I might find my Christmas cheer there!
I hope to get a chance to catch up with you all real soon.