According to Andy Williams “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”
Does Andy really believe that shit? If he does, he’s never been bereaved.
The festive season seems to twerk before me like a tinsel-strewn Miley Cyrus, a twinkling reminder that I am facing the second year without my husband.
Pre-death of beloved spouse, I hadn’t fully appreciated the couple-centric bent of the season. Now it seems to exist solely to taunt me: Endless rows of socks and soap-on-a-rope in the ‘what to buy for Dad’ sections, Iceland ads featuring fluorescent-toothed families enjoying quality time together, Mariah Carey, Nativity plays (yet another bloody happy couple), Christmas couples drinkies, mistletoe, Mariah Carey…it begins in October and twerks obscenely into January, ending just in time for Mark’s birthday on the 4th.
The decision, therefore, is whether to beat ’em or join ’em.
So I have decided to flip the bird to the season. I am not sending cards, I am not buying presents, on the day itself I’m going to my friend’s house to get shitfaced. I am the Grinch, and I’m twerking before Christmas.
My one concession has been the erection of a small spruce in the corner of the dining room. But even the simple task of decorating it seemed leaden with pathos. What was once an exciting part of the Yuletide schedule was reduced to fifteen lacklustre minutes of my daughter and me grappling with lights, extricating baubles, dusting off stockings.
In the end, my daughter wrapped the tree almost entirely in tinsel and now it seems to leer at me like some kind of camp Dalek reminding me once again that it is ‘the most wonderful time of the year’.
Most torturous time of the year more like.