A Christmas….Carole

You can do it Carole, you can manage.
Just make a list of things to be done by Christmas. 
And then when the list runs to its fourth page, sit back and calm the hyperventilation. Imagine a glass of wine, relaxing with the feet up, the next glass of wine.
Imagine the look on the School Head’s face if she saw the glass of wine.
- No, sweetie, I have not finished the wings yet and yes you do have to be a fairy, it wasn’t my decision it was Miss O’Connor’s.
I would like to see the imperturbable Miss O’Connor trying to deal with what I have to put up with this time of year - mind you, she probably sews like a pro, sprinkling fairy dust and loving smiles on everything, the sanctimonious cow.
- You never play with that any more anyway, sweetie, the school wants it for the Christmas Fair, think of how happy some other girl will be when she gets it - and, yes, I am going to bake the cookies tonight for you to take in tomorrow.
Just one simple thing. That’s all I ask.
The Christmas tree. That’s all I asked him to do.
And his bloody parents decide to fly over this this Christmas (why do they call it the bloody HOLIDAYS? It is Christmas, for god’s sake, call it what it is), what the hell is wrong with LA at Christmas with his sister? Keep her away from me, at least.
‘Carole, darling, do you really think it is right for a child of her age to wear her hair like that?’
Yes, I do, Irena, which is why she has it like that.
Now, not only do I have THAT WOMAN in my house for five days over Christmas, I have to keep her away from Mum on Christmas day, we don’t want blood on the tablecloth, that is of course if I ever get food to the table.
I love Veronica, well most of the time, she is my sister, but give me a break. OK, the yoga teacher’s course was good after the divorce, but not all yoga teachers are veggie, and what in god’s name is a Tofuturkey?
His father will drink too much again and start lecturing us on where Britain is going wrong in the world. 
A gift suggestion for a child in the Ukraine? 
‘Dear Miss O’Connor, my suggestion as a present for the whole of the Ukraine is to stay the hell away from Christmas, wrap that up and send it to your orphans...’
OK, that was a bit harsh, we should think about others at this time of year.
Think about him. 
Swanning in, eyes rolling from champagne, complaining of the pressures of endless partying ...
- Carole, will you relax, for god’s sake. I’ll get the bloody tree tomorrow. I don’t know why we didn’t use the tree service, anyway, save me the hassle.’
Exactly, you bastard. Save you the bother. I want you to get one taste, just one little taste of the reality of Christmas, and you can’t even get that.
It wasn’t funny, really. Yes it was. He didn’t get the tree but I sent him into the loft three quarters cut on office Christmas cheer to get the tree base down anyway. He could have really hurt himself.
The look on his face when I couldn’t stop laughing. They sulk like children, they really do. It’s only a bruise. A few bruises.
- Eight days, sweetie, eight days to Christmas, like yesterday it was nine, and, yes, Santa is fat but he’s been coming down chimneys forever, I’m sure he’ll manage.
On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love brought to me ... a nervous breakdown and six months in a sanatarium.
Can’t put Irena anywhere near mum, keep Veronica away from Timothy, they can’t cease hostilities even for Christmas, keep the kids down at one end of the table so they can trash it, keep his father in the next room, and keep me in the kitchen screaming at a turkey that goes from raw to dry in a millisecond, while I make both mash for the Americans and roast potatoes for the real people while trying to make a brandy sauce without lumps...
Just make a list.
Heading: Carole’s Christmas List:
•  Facial.
•  Massage.
•  Yoga.
•  Lunch with Tess to tell her how lucky she is her family is in Australia and she has no kids.
•  Glass of wine.
- No, sweetie, you can’t open that. No, it’s not a present. It’s something for daddy’s work. No, I don’t know why it was sent here instead of his work.
Christmas comes but once a year.

Otherwise we would all go mad.


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