For a while now people have been asking me if I’m “all set for Christmas”.
I’m never sure quite how to answer this. Is there some kind of check list I should be following where I have to tick items off as I do them? Depending on my mood I may reply that indeed, I am all set. Other times I may reply that I’ll be all set after three more trips to Dundrum Shopping Centre [Ireland’s great cathedral to the religion of consumerism] and once I have collected the turkey from Waterford.
The truth is that I am rarely set for today, let alone tomorrow or any day after. The only real planning I do is to ensure that the house is sufficiently stocked with whiskey, cigarettes and tobacco. The rest is done on a wing and a prayer.
As for Christmas, I suppose I had better do something. Maybe I’ll haul out the moth-eaten Christmas tree and stick it up with some tinsel on it in case the Grandsprogs call. I already have twinkling lights in place around the back room where I normally sit [they have been there for the last few years so I only have to switch ’em on]. There was a time I would fill the house with holly and ivy [both of which are abundant in the grounds] but I have little time nor energy for that these days. They always made a mess of the place anyway.
They say that Christmas is for the children and that is profoundly true. They really couldn’t give a shit about decorations, food or tradition so long as they get a load of [very expensive] presents. The Mob are talking about calling here on Christmas afternoon which is fine by me. There will be a brief moment of hysteria while they delve into boxes and wrapping, but by then I should be reasonably anaesthetised with a dram or five of whiskey. Sadly the visit will be a period of severe drought as none of them drink, but I can always revert to my little stash in the bedroom if things get too hectic.
So, am I all set for Christmas?
I just took delivery of a stash of Jameson.