It’s here again. The most dreaded time of the year. I was debating with myself in which way I would take part in the whole advent and Christmas time madness. Seriously considering to just ignore it like I did in 2017, no tree (whatever for, there weren’t any presents to put underneath anyway), no decoration (well, to be frank, I never was too much into Christmas decoration, no blinking lights and dancing Santas), no advent calendar. With the only concession of having Fondue on Christmas Eve.
But then I thought: screw it all! Now more than ever! I’m gonna get a beautiful tree, bake cookies like my Mum did, have tea and Christmas cookies on Sunday afternoons and embrace Christmas time, honouring my loved ones. They would want me to! Of course, this involves quite some preparation on my part!
No 1: the advent calendar! Should I treat myself to one of the huge selection of advent calendars available everywhere? Like … with tea bags, surprise eggs, cosmetics, delicacies, or the 99 cents chocolate version? Or shall I fill and put up my own 40-year-old advent calendar my Grandmother sewed for me? Of course, the surprise then is basically non-existent, having to fill it myself … oh, what the hell! I’ll just do both! Fill up my own and get a second one for the surprise factor!
No 2: the baking! Alright, I admit it, I’m not a big baker! I prefer cooking to baking. Usually the extent of my baking is a nice Betty Crocker baking mix chocolate cake, spruced up with roasted ground hazelnuts or a simple cake measured with cups. Sooo, thinking of my Mum’s baking skills … I should probably stick with the simplest Christmas cookies … or just buy a batch …
No 3: the advent wreath! Oh, this one is simple! I will actually save the money and not get a real, classic one but go with my fake berry wreath and a large candle. I like it and it will go perfectly with my décor! Speaking of which …
No 4: the décor! Not so simple! I’m not the kind of decorator who covers every single surface with Christmas kitsch. Guess I will do what I always do, use candles, just some more than usual. Oh, and pillows and throws, towels, place settings and bedlinens in Christmassy colours. As in red and green.
No 5: the tree! Briefly, just briefly I considered getting a fake plastic tree. (I am told they are looking quite good in this time and age!) Just put together and reuse year after year. No needles all over the apartment, no dead tree, no having to lug it down the stairs to get rid of it again. But then … nooo! The smell of a real tree is just part of Christmas, with real candles (no electric lights in MY household).
No 6: Christmas dinner! Same procedure as last year … and every year … and most years at home … traditional fondue! Once a year, looking forward to it once a year! Nothing else will do! With my traditional 70s fondue set from my parents … it still does what it’s supposed to do after close to 50 years. It’s tacky with its orange décor but ingenious with the frame for the pickles and sauce bowls my uncle welded together. I love it! And as long as it’s working it’s another part of my childhood memories and tradition I’m treasuring!
No 7: the gifts! Yep, there will be gifts! From my sister and my aunt! But mostly from myself! Ordered by Amazon and not being opened until the big eve! Even though the brown cardboard boxes are not exactly very Christmassy … and the surprise will be not too much of a surprise … but since I started ordering my own Christmas presents in November … there should be at least a small level of surprise … and of course there will also be presents for my tomcat!
And I guess, without my cat I would be in a completely different mind frame, spiralling down and having many more depressive episodes.
So, those are my plans for the advent and Christmas time! And looking forward to everything, which I didn’t do for a very long time!