Much as people might disagree vehemently, something in my inner timekeeper has decided that now is an acceptable time to be Thinking About Christmas.
I used to be wildly against Christmas and the tentacles of its preparation happening too early in the year. I was quite happy to focus on Guy Fawkes’ night, and then the critically important event that is my birthday, without having the focus taken away and redistributed to an event much later in the year.
But this approach has been shifting over time, and where I once made a clear demarcation between the autumnal events and the Christmas season, I now prefer to roll everything together and thoroughly enjoy one long spell of festivities.
So it was that, whilst with Best Mate in Suffolk for a couple of days last week, I happened upon and purchased the bulk of this year’s Christmas cards. Given that I am particularly particular about my cards, I leap at the chance to buy those that meet all my requirements when I happen upon them: tasteful, not gaudy; proceeds donated to charity; and with faintly religious overtones. Whilst not a regular churchgoer, I appreciate that Christmas is an essentially Christian festival, and I like to mark it thus. That, and I see there being very little that’s fundamentally Christmassy about a guinea pig in a Santa hat.
With the cards sitting on the table, alongside a woefully out-of-date address book, The Writer and I lounged on the sofa in front of an excellent episode of Homeland on Sunday night, and I texted several of my nearest and dearest to ask for their addresses.
Clearly, I am an anomaly in Social Circle Blonde, thinking about Christmas before November’s hit, because the majority of the messages I received in reply, whilst merrily giving me what I’d asked for, also contained some variation of the following:
May I ask what this is regarding?
I take it I shouldn’t ask why…
And then The Redhead, who just came out and said what everyone else was clearly skirting around:
Hang on. This isn’t a wedding invitation address request, is it?
(The main exception was Pleasedonteatjo, who asked whether I was sending her a horse, as she’d need a bigger postbox. Top marks, that woman.)
I don’t know whether it’s an age thing, or a living-happily-with-the-boyfriend thing, or just a we-can’t-possibly-countenance-that-she-would-ever-be-that-organised thing, but people find it far easier to believe that I would be getting married than that I would be drawing up the Christmas list. I’m not entirely sure how to take that, to be honest. But I do know that some people should expect a highly raised eyebrow in with their Christmas card. And possibly a guinea pig in a Santa hat in protest.