In previous years, Christmas just happened. By which I mean, I'd go on holiday, the tree would be there, the presents would be there, the food would be prepared, and fun times would be had. The only work I'd maybe have to do would be to buy presents for the folks, wrap them and put them under the tree that was already there. So, to mark my first year of full employment, albeit in a menial job, I decided to give a little more this Christmas.
I pre-ordered this year's family tree and a new and rock steady one-size-fits-all base from Caring Christmas Trees, a volunteer-run organisation which takes top-notch Scottish-grown Norman firs and Norway spruces, and takes the profits from the sales to support the local homeless. I had a little help from Dad the driver to pick it up from my place of work Friday before last, but I did all the heavy lifting. I did most of the food shopping using my staff discount: aside from all the potatoes and garnishes, I bought a mid-sized Aberdeen angus beef joint for Christmas Eve, a small turkey joint for Christmas Day, and a largeish pork joint for Boxing Day, for when we had our closest family friends round. I even found half price Christmas crackers on Friday. And for Christmas Eve, among my share of the spoils in the big - and I mean huge - annual pre-Christmas staff shop blowout, I picked up a Christmas-themed flower bouquet as well as some red tulips to complement it. And I paid for the lot, not to mention the presents I bought this year.
So this year, the tree's here, the presents were here, the food was here and ready to be prepared, and I could at least claim some responsibility for it all. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and for some of those on my friends list, have a happy Hanukkah.