Happy Christmas Even Though It’s Still November

Like General Custer at the Little Big Horn I had fought long and heroically against overwhelming odds but had reached the point where I realised I was hopelessly outnumbered and defeat was inevitable. My only saving grace was that my opponents were slightly less bloodthirsty than Crazy Horse and his war braves. I raised the white flag and surrendered to Fionnuala and the girls. Yes I am going to get the Christmas decorations out of the attic later today.

Over the last few weeks they have gradually worn me down utilising a series of subtle and not so subtle psychological operations that would not have have looked out of place at CIA Headquarters. Pulling on my heartstrings one moment and then threatening to throttle me with them the next. These ladies could teach Jason Bourne a trick or two. The women of the Black household put the Black into Black Ops.

Our attic is akin to the Land that Time Forgot. Every time I reluctantly pop my head up there I fully expect to be dive bombed by a baby pterodactyl. Our step ladder is a step too short so in order to get into the attic I have to risk life and limb by teetering atop the top step and hauling myself up into the roof space itself. This involves contorting my body into positions that a man of my years was not designed to do. Before pulling down any Christmas decorations I invariably have to pull a few muscles first.

Gaining access to the attic is only Phase One of the operation however. I then have to battle through a minefield of bric-a-brac and discarded toys from years gone by in order to locate the boxes and bags containing the prized decorations themselves. With this bridgehead established I solider on, ignoring aching muscles I never knew I had, in order to haul the decorations down to the impatient little (and no so little ones) waiting below. Getting back down to terra firma is a whole blog post in itself but I’ll save that for another day.

With that my work is done as the more artistic and creative members of the family take over. If you were waiting for me to assemble and decorate a Christmas tree I would certainly have it ready for the big day; but by that I mean Easter as opposed to 25th December. Fionnuala loves all things Christmas and her enthusiasm has certainly rubbed off on Hannah and Rebecca. Before the end of the weekend we will have maintained our title of being the first house in the street with their decorations up. Bah Humbug I say to all our grinchy neighbours.

I want this Christmas to be a special time for us, as close to perfect as I can make it. A lot has happened since the decorations were put away last year. The same decorations may be coming out of the same attic this year but they are being put up within a different environment. This year they are being put up in a home as opposed to a house. This year we are going to celebrate Christmas as a family and look back on how far we have come these last twelve months. There have been ups and there have been downs; sometimes it has been one step forward, two steps back but we have made it. We are together and we are strong.

I wonder if Joseph and Mary felt the same as they looked down at their newborn baby boy all those years ago in that Bethlehem stable. They had just experienced a pretty crazy year (visitations from angels and miraculous pregnancies anyone?) and the birth itself was no exception. But, worried and exhausted as they no doubt were, they had battled through it and come out the other side, stronger than ever. A proper family. They trusted God and he guided them through the good times and the bad. He had a plan for both of them and they followed it to the letter, no matter what that entailed.

I hope I am following His plan too. The words have flowed this week and I am now 30000 words into my first novel. 30000 words that will require no end of polishing, trimming and reordering but I am excited by them and proud of them. I never realised I could run until I started running. Likewise I never realised I could write until I started writing. I have wasted so many years but I hope that period of my life is over. I want to follow His path now as nothing is impossible. We will enjoy this Christmas but if anything I’m more excited for what the year brings ahead for us as a family.

Now where did I put those stepladders?

When do your Christmas decorations go up?

Are you excited for 2018? What plans do you have?

17 thoughts on “Happy Christmas Even Though It’s Still November

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  1. Loved this story! I chuckled and my heart was warm at the end as I raised my arms in victory of faith in Christ. I, too, love Christmas but have fought against the tempting emails, store displays and the like to honor the turkey. This year our youngest son and I will participate in the Turkey Trot, a local 5K that I am told is a festive Thanksgiving event. After that, I will drag out the decorations:)

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  2. Great post, our loft is just the same! Only I send the husband up to risk life and limb 😂 my decorations will be up the first weekend in December, we love it, one tree in my daughter’s room and one in the living room. Then little snowmen and Santa’s dotted around everywhere, it’s when the fire is going, the tea lights are on and the fairy lights are twinkling I really feel the magic of Christmas and appreciate everyone close to me.

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  3. 30,000 words already??? Stephen, impressive isn’t strong enough of a word to describe what you’ve accomplished in a short amount of time! Don’t worry about the editing—just keep writing!!!

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  4. Amazing post and I hope this coming year is your best year ever. Life is all about ups and down, but it is about staying positive. Which you seem to have on lock down. : )

    best of luck with your novel.

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  5. Wow that is early for decorations mine go up around 2 weeks before christmas. May well be late for some people. For me i just feel it gets earlier and earlier every year. Yes i know it does creep up on you but that is the risk i take. Number 1 was talking about getting her decorations up at her house on the 1st December. I thought that was to early too but hey she lives with her mother and i do not have to look at it.
    2018 upcoming….. Plans i have a few. I want to move to London where my new job is yes it will be away from Number 1 but it is not a great distance and i will always come back to see her and once i am settled she can stay with me too. I want to finally be able to say i am recovered from my eating disorder how long this will take i have no idea???? One step at a time…………………………

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