The first of November is an important date to me. Up till Halloween, I am firmly in Autumn mode and cannot bear the sight of Christmas decorations in the shops or TV ads for anything related to Christmas. But once the 31st October has passed, my mind begins to race with ideas and plans for Advent and Christmas.
No matter what else I am doing, at the back of my mind there is a little thought that simply will not rest. He sits there with his notepad and scribbles away, copying down ideas from anything he sees, plotting and planning which recipes to cook or bake, how to decorate the house, where to hang the Advent calendars, what to fill them with, ...... . Inevitably his list is too long for me to live up to but I love that he is there.
Around mid December he takes a break and is generally replaced by another little thought, just as dedicated to his role. Unfortunately his task is to be anxious and he constantly asks "Where'll you find the time to....?" or "Have you forgotten...?". Occasionally he'll remind me of the list his colleague compiled and how little of it has actually come to fruition. I like to think he's playing devil's advocate to spur me on, but I have a feeling he's just being nasty.
Generally speaking his shift ends somewhere around the early afternoon on Christmas Eve. The little guy who takes over from him is quite lazy compared to his predecessors. "D'ye fancy a drink?" he says. "Go on, a drop of hot port will get you into the festive mood. Sure you can make the stuffing while you drink it". He can be quite insistent. "Stick on a festive CD while the kettle is boiling. Light a cinnamon-scented candle", he says, putting his feet up and leaning back in his chair. He knows all the right buttons to press. So what can I do but give in and let the Christmas celebrations begin?