The festive season snuck up on me. It sat in the shadows and watched for a while, waiting for an opportune moment to strike. I was vaguely aware of its presence. A twitch of whisker encouraged me to put up the decorations, the slight swish of a tail provoked the buying of wrapping paper, while a gentle growl reminded me to send what few cards needed to be sent. The first weeks of December passed without event, almost without notice.
The next few weeks made up for that! Bad weather, extra shifts to cover at work, sick boys to look after. All these factors conspired against me. Proposed shopping trips were cancelled, Internet orders were delayed, time was running out. The parcels under the tree were going to be very thin on the ground. Eeek!
And that's when, without warning, IT pounced! Catching me unawares it landed its full weight on top of me, forcing me to my knees. As its claws dug in I started to panic. A cold sweat of fear drenched my body. I avoided looking into its face, certain in the knowledge that I was unprepared and would have to suffer the consequences. Closing my eyes I waited for the inevitable.
A warm breath engulfed me, scented with brandied apples and cinnamon, clementines and cloves. The soft fuzziness of a hundred hugs enveloped me. I carefully opened one eye. Twinkling orbs filled with shared laughter met mine. Where was the hideous monster looking to punish me for my pitiful display of material love? Nowhere, that's where! Because although the madness of the festive season had pounced, the festive spirit had come to my rescue.
I chilled. I stopped looking at last order dates on stuff that no one wanted or needed. I confirmed arrangements to meet friends and family. I sent off my Christmas ornament swap to my swap partner Flaming Nora and received one from her.
The boys made their recovery, if not fully at least enough to enjoy themselves (with the added bonus of a few days off school). So Christmas Day dawned and while there were fewer gaily wrapped presents to pass amongst the gathered family, the gift of love was as bountiful as ever.
Hope you had a good one :o)