Winter, and Christmas is on the horizon. The temperature’s plummeted, frost sugar coats the morning, and rumours of snow float around like high-school gossip. All a bit cliché, right? Pretty much, but there’s a twist: for the first time since 2005 I’m celebrating Christmas on my own.And what a relief! The bank balance is well within a reasonable amount and my festive shopping list has been severely reduced. No more hunting round WH Smiths for an overpriced piece of cardboard designed to express love and jubilation. There’s about £3.50 saved already. I can buy myself an extra pint with that!
Frantic phone calls to a girlfriend’s friends and family are merely a ghost of Christmas past; the only calls I’ll be making are to make sure I’m heading to the right imbibing establishment, or to phone for a lift home.
This year all the hallmarks of a Christmas round my house will be there: a chaotic morning on the 25th broken up solely by croissants, cream cheese, smoked salmon, and champagne; family descending on the property just before lunch; wrapping paper piled up around the living room; and my dad checking if the turkey’s cooked properly, the oven’s on at the right temperature, asking why the carrots are ‘boiling their heads off’, and demanding spoonful on spoonful of sprouts.
Can’t ignore a bracing jaunt in the snow if the rumours are true, though. With gorgeous scenery on my doorstep, made all the more alluring after a heavy snowfall, walking round the fields and footpaths is a classic Christmas treat (even if last year the bucolic romp was replaced by urban creeping, drinks in hand, searching for houses to ring the doorbell and run away from…).