It’s getting quite cold here in France. Not that I mind, I like the cold, it reminds me of how I can get warm, all those hot drinks, cinnamon, scarves, my coat, songs, tinsel, angels, and chestnuts roasting on an open fi—wait a moment! I can’t seem to get Christmas out of my head. And it’s killing me.
I heard a little snippet of “Have Yourself A Very Merry Christmas” and almost died of anticipation and sadness. I’m not thinking of the presents, nor even Jesus stuff (I can, and do, celebrate that all year round). I’m craving Christmas because of the little things which, although I didn’t really realise it until now, I desperately miss.
For goodness’ sake, I’m tearing up writing this, though I suppose it doesn’t help that I’m listening to Frank Sinatra singing all my favourite Yuletide melodies. Ah, ol’ blue eyes.
I miss having to wear a scarf and gloves (though I won’t for much longer). I miss mulled wine and mince pies. I miss hoping, no matter how vainly or inanely, for snow and a little fun with snowmen. Or should that be snow-people? This is a strictly P.C blog I’ll have you know. I miss all those little notions and memories of a Christmas I never experienced – a Victorian Christmas. All snow on the cobbles, holly wreaths, top hats and canes (yes that’s the real reason).
Yet for the most part, I miss the people. I miss the mad rush, you know sometimes I like to stop and sit down to watch everyone dash about in town. I feel more alive somehow. I miss how everyone get’s so worked up and almost kill random members of their family from sheer frustration. I miss seeing all the people I only see a few times a year. I miss the slightly awkward Christmas day services at the church down in Wiveliscombe (I love them, I’m not sure my parents feel quite the same joy). I miss the crappy chocolate coins. Even the crazy orange string that comes with them and is viciously annoying to get off. I miss all the period dramas that come on TV, even if I do always tune in half way through.
And I suppose I miss Christmas so much because it brings me back England. Christmas isn’t Christmas without white cliffs on my coast. When England’s green becomes winter’s white it drives me to, with the joyous hosts, proclaim Christ is born in Bethlehem. And oh for a midnight clear over Blighty…
So I wish you a very merry Christmas. Even if I am 65 days early.
Because I had to.